The drama continues for the Indiana University football program at the running back position. Just over a week after starter Morgan Ellison was indefinitely suspended, his replacement Cole Gest has been lost for the season with a torn ACL. The injury occurred during Saturday’s 38-28 IU win over Florida International.
Gest had five carries for 17 yards on Saturday before leaving the game.
At the conclusion of the 2017 season, the running position appeared to be a deep position of strength for IU. Since then IU was hit with a wave of transfers that included Tyler Natee, Alex Rodriguez and Devonte Williams. All three had a role in the last couple years.
Then Ellison was suspended and now Gest is lost for the season — and there are more questions than answers.
Based on Saturday’s distribution of snaps, true freshman Stevie Scott appears to be the lead back, with likely contributions from Mike Majette, and Ricky Brookins. Also look for true freshman Ronnie Walker and/or redshirt freshman Craig Nelson to see a role.
Head Coach Tom Allen mentioned Scott, Majette, Brookins and Walker when he was asked today about how the Gest injury would impact running back playing time going forward. Allen seems to be expecting contributions from several players at running back.
“The bottom line is, seasons always give you things you don’t expect, and obviously this is one of those for us and you have to adapt and move on and be able to utilize our whole personnel that we have on the offensive side of the football….and we’ll see who is able to come and and make plays and be the guy,” Allen said.
During 2017, Gest finished second on the team with 428 yards on 93 attempts (a 4.6 average) with one touchdown He played in 10 games with one start at Maryland. His 428 yards were the fourth-highest freshman total in the Big Ten. Gest also made 10 catches for 83 yards and one TD.
Gest’s 2017 rushing total was the fourth best for a freshman in the Big Ten. He is also an Academic All-Big Ten selection.
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