Apparently Ty Fryfogle didn’t come back to school to study up on how to be the NFL’s next diva wide receiver.
After being named the Big Ten’s receiver of the year and third team All-American in 2020, many assumed Fryfogle would ride the wave to the NFL Draft. He finished his degree in May, he was part of one of the best seasons in IU football history — what more could there be to accomplish, right?
Fryfogle would have been drafted had he chosen to go that route in the spring, but there was a belief that with one more year he could work his way into the first couple rounds. There are many reasons to believe he can move up the board this year. Fryfogle has now had a normal offseason to dedicate to training, he hopes to have a full season with quarterback and fellow NFL prospect Michael Penix, Jr., and he is the clear No. 1 wideout at IU with Whop Philyor now with the Minnesota Vikings.
The 6-foot-2 and 205 pound Fryfogle has also been working on the technical side of his craft, something he talked about at the Big Ten’s media day in Indianapolis in late July.
“I had a lot of things to work on and get better at such as my route tree, getting separation, getting faster, learning more defenses,” Fryfogle said.
Fryfogle is now 22 years old, and his preparation now is as much about next year’s draft as it is Indiana’s 2021 season. Many at his age and with his future would be bringing baggage with them to a fifth season of college football. But his head coach couldn’t be more impressed with the selfless style the star receiver has brought to fall camp.
“I just really appreciate his approach,” Tom Allen said on Monday. “He just doesn’t complain. Some guys when you get to that point [in their careers], they can kind of worry about this or worry about that. He just goes all out. He is tough, he doesn’t say anything, he just plays football. I appreciate his attitude and his leadership. For a guy that has been here a long time, he came back for the additional year, and he has elevated himself. He has his body in great condition and he has worked his tail off in the weight room and I just love his mindset.”
One of Fryfogle’s gambles by coming back for another season is of course the risk of injury. He has been seen at times with a blue jersey at fall camp meaning he isn’t to be tackled. But in the second scrimmage on Saturday, Fryfogle took a big hit.
It was a moment that tests the commitment of guys in his situation. But his coach already knew exactly what would happen next. Play on.
“You never want to see him get laid out, but he got hit on Saturday in the scrimmage and just popped back up,” Allen said. “You are trying to avoid some of those things obviously, for guys like him, but it is tackle football. It happens.”
Fryfogle likely won’t see much more friendly fire before Indiana opens its season on Sept. 4 at Iowa. And it is a fifth and final campaign in Bloomington that looks very promising for the No. 17 Hoosiers.
When Fryfogle committed to IU out of high school the program had just one winning season over the last two decades. The Mississippi product has been here for the turnaround, and the thought of one more season with many of the guys who fueled the transformation helped Fryfogle reach his decision to stay.
“Seeing the amount of people coming back and how good and special this football team has a chance to be this year, that just made it easier to come back this year,” he said.
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