Even an emerging program with by most accounts a great culture isn’t immune to the new era of roster turnover in college sports.
Spring practice can bring clarity to the depth chart, and that may in part help explain a recent wave of IU football entries into the NCAA’s transfer portal over the last week.
The latest to enter the portal is Miami, Fla. based wide receiver Gary Cooper. He follows a pair of defensive linemen, Jeramy Passmore and Damarjhe Lewis, who signaled their intent to find a new school earlier this week. Like Passmore and Lewis, Cooper is no longer listed on Indiana’s official roster on iuhoosiers.com.
Cooper, who hails from the same Miami high school (Christopher Columbus) as Passmore, put his name in the portal this week. He played in six games in 2020 after making the move from tight end to wide receiver during fall camp. He redshirted the 2019 season while catching two passes for 15 yards in four games during that true freshman campaign. Cooper did not catch a pass in 2020.
The 6-foot-2 and 235 pound Cooper was ranked the No. 13 hybrid tight end nationally by ESPN.
Last week the NCAA passed a rule allowing all athletes including football players to transfer one time without the traditional penalty of sitting out for a season.
With these recent departures, Indiana now has a few additional open scholarships on its roster that it can fill via the portal.
Defensive line is a priority, and one name who has emerged this week is former Illinois State defensive tackle John Ridgeway. In addition to an offer from IU, the Illinois native has also landed offers from Arizona State, Arkansas, Iowa, Michigan, Penn State, Tennessee, Texas, and USC. Ridgeway had 22 tackles, three tackles for loss, and an interception in four games this spring with the Redbirds.
Another intriguing name in the portal is Arkansas defensive tackle Enoch Jackson. The 6-foot, 298-pounder was the No. 37 defensive tackle for the 2019 recruiting class and had an IU offer before choosing the Razorbacks over Clemson, Georgia, and others.
To see a complete position-by-position summary of Indiana’s roster including year-over-year changes going into the 2021 season, GO HERE.
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