In a summer full of recognition, two IU defenders earned one of college football’s more prestigious preseason honors.
Indiana linebacker Micah McFadden and cornerback Tiawan Mullen were both named second team preseason All-Americans by the Associated Press on Monday.
Mullen became the first cornerback in program history to earn first-team All-America honors (FWAA, Phil Steele) one year ago. He was just the second cornerback (Tim Wilbur, 1980 second-teamer) in school history to achieve All-America status and was the first Hoosier since offensive lineman Dan Feeney (2015, 2016) to claim first-team recognition.
Upon the conclusion of the regular season, Mullen became the program’s first cornerback to card first-team All-Big Ten honors since Tracy Porter (2007). He is the team’s active leader with eight career takeaways (3 interceptions, 3 forced fumbles, and 2 fumble recoveries).
The Fort Lauderdale, Fla., native was named IU’s 2020 Most Outstanding Defensive Player of the Year after he made 38 tackles, 27 solo, with 3.5 sacks (32 yards), 4.5 for loss (33 yards), three interceptions, one forced fumble, four pass breakups, and one quarterback hurry in eight games.
Mullen led all Big Ten defensive backs in sacks (T-12th overall) and tackles for loss, and shared sixth overall in interceptions. He finished tied for first on the team in forced fumbles, second in sacks, third in solos stops, tackles for loss and picks, tied for third in pass break ups, and fourth in total stops.
McFadden collected second-team All-America honors from Phil Steele and third-team accolades from the Associated Press in 2020. A first-team All-Big Ten honoree (coaches, media), McFadden was named IU’s Anthony Thompson Most Valuable Player along with quarterback Michael Penix Jr.
He led the team with 58 tackles, 44 solos, six sacks (31 yards), and 10.5 for loss (39 yards), while he shared second with three quarterback hurries, and finished fourth with two interceptions. McFadden topped the Big Ten in sacks, the first Hoosier to do so since Greg Middleton (2007), tied for second in solo stops, shared third in tackles for loss, and tied for eighth in interceptions.
From the Big Ten only Ohio State has more players on the first two teams than Indiana.
Joining McFadden and Mullen from the Big Ten on the first two teams were Iowa center Tyler Linderbaum (first team), Ohio State wide receiver Chris Olave (first team), Ohio State defensive tackle Haskell Garrett (first team), Northwestern safety Brandon Joseph (first team), Minnesota running back Mohamed Ibrahim (second team), Ohio State offensive tackle Thayer Munford (second team), Ohio State wide receiver Garrett Wilson (second team), Michigan defensive end Aidan Hutchinson (second team), Purdue defensive end George Karlaftis (second team), and Penn State safety Jaquan Brisker (second team).
Indiana opens the 2021 season at Iowa on Sept. 4.
The complete first and second teams are as follows:
- Quarterback — Spencer Rattler, sophomore, Oklahoma.
- Running backs —- Breece Hall, junior, Iowa State; Bijan Robinson, sophomore, Texas.
- Tackles — Evan Neal, junior, Alabama; Kenyon Green, junior, Texas A&M.
- Guards — Cain Madden, senior, Notre Dame; Zion Johnson, senior, Boston College.
- Center — Tyler Linderbaum, junior, Iowa.
- Tight end — Charlie Kolar, senior, Iowa State.
- Wide receivers — Chris Olave, senior, Ohio State; Justyn Ross, junior, Clemson.
- All-purpose player — Kyren Williams, sophomore, Notre Dame.
- Kicker — Cade York, junior, LSU.
- Ends — Kayvon Thibodeaux, junior, Oregon; DeMarvin Leal, junior, Texas A&M.
- Tackles —- Haskell Garrett, super senior, Ohio State; Bryan Bresee, sophomore, Clemson.
- Linebackers — Will Anderson Jr., sophomore, Alabama; Nik Bonitto, junior, Oklahoma; Mike Rose, senior, Iowa State.
- Cornerbacks — Derek Stingley, Jr., junior, LSU; Ahmad Gardner, junior, Cincinnati.
- Safeties — Kyle Hamilton, junior, Notre Dame; Brandon Joseph, sophomore, Northwestern.
- Punter — Jake Camarda, senior, Georgia.
- Quarterback — Sam Howell, junior, North Carolina.
- Running backs — Mohamed Ibrahim, senior, Minnesota; Isaiah Spiller, junior, Texas A&M.
- Tackles — Thayer Munford, senior, Ohio State; Darian Kinnard, senior, Kentucky.=
- Guards — Jamaree Salyer, senior, Georgia; Emil Ekiyor, junior, Alabama.
- Center — Jarrett Patterson, junior, Notre Dame.
- Tight end — Jalen Wydermyer, junior, Texas A&M.
- Wide receivers — Garrett Wilson, junior, Ohio State; John Metchie III, junior, Alabama.
- All-purpose player — Jerrion Ealy, junior, Mississippi.
- Kicker — Anders Carlson, senior, Auburn.
- Ends — Aidan Hutchinson, senior, Michigan; George Karlaftis, junior, Purdue.
- Tackles — Jordan Davis, senior, Georgia; Dante Still, senior, West Virginia.
- Linebackers — Devin Lloyd, super senior Utah; Christian Harris, junior, Alabama; Micah McFadden, senior, Indiana.
- Cornerbacks — Kaiir Elam, junior, Florida; Tiawan Mullen, junior, Indiana.
- Safeties — Jalen Catalon, redshirt sophomore, Arkansas; Jaquan Brisker, super senior, Penn State.
- Punter — Lou Hedley, senior, Miami.
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