Indiana got a significant boost along its offensive line on Wednesday evening.
Starting guard Mike Katic announced he is returning to Bloomington for a sixth season of college football. 2024 will be his final season of college eligibility.
“After conversations with Coach Cig, Coach Bostad, and my family I have decided to withdraw my name from the NFL draft and return to Indiana for my 6th year!! #GoHoosiers,” Katic posted on social media.
The 6-foot-4 and 315-pound Katic has played in 39 games with 37 starts for the Hoosiers. Most of his starts have come at left guard, although he does have the versatility to play and has played center for IU.
Katic has been starting games for Indiana going back to the 2020 season when he was a redshirt freshman and named the program’s offensive newcomer of the year.
The Pennsylvania native will join left tackle Carter Smith as a returning veteran up front. The Indiana offensive line improved considerably in 2023 after the program brought along Bob Bostad from Wisconsin to coach the group.
Pro Football Focus gave IU a 47.0 grade in run blocking in 2022, which ranked 122nd in the nation and last in the Big Ten. That grade improved to 59.5 this year, which was 75th in the country and 11th in the conference. In pass blocking, the Hoosiers graded at 45.3 in 2022 (118th in the country, 12th in the Big Ten); they improved to 56.0 this year (106th in the nation, 11th in the conference). Additionally, IU allowed 38 sacks in 2022 (13th in the Big Ten), and that number fell to 25 this season (ninth in the Big Ten).
IU also added veteran Wisconsin transfer OL Trey Wedig via the portal, and veteran James Madison starters Nick Kidwell and Tyler Stephens.
The Hoosiers lost center Zach Carpenter (Miami, Fla.), right guard Kahlil Benson (Colorado), and right tackle Matthew Bedford (Oregon) via the portal. But in Katic, Carter, Wedig, Stephens, Kidwell, and Longman, IU has a solid core of players with experience as starters.
The Hoosiers currently have 18 offensive lineman slated to be with the program in 2024. Josh Sales is currently in transfer portal limbo as he decides on a destination for next season.
Here is a full look at the offensive linemen on scholarship for the 2024 season.
Offensive line: 18 (Mike Katic, Max Longman, Nick Kidwell, Tyler Stephens, Trey Wedig, Cooper Jones, Vinny Fiacable, Noah Bolticoff, Carter Smith, Bray Lynch, Drew Evans, Will Larkins, Bubba Jeffries, Austin Barrett, Adedamola Ajani, Mitch Verstagen, Evan Lawrence, Austin Leibfried; Joshua Sales)
For complete coverage of IU football, GO HERE.
The Daily Hoosier –“Where Indiana fans assemble when they’re not at Assembly”