The majority of Indiana’s offseason roster moves may be complete, but Curt Cignetti is not done putting the finishing touches on his first IU football team.
But where does the new coach believe the Hoosiers still have needs?
In an interview following the announcement of Indiana’s 2024 signing class, Cignetti touched on a few positions groups where his staff is still actively trying to land players.
Perhaps the most obvious is the safety position, where IU’s three starters are all either in the transfer portal or out of eligibility.
Cignetti’s defense utilizes a hybrid safety/linebacker role like Tom Allen’s — a position Cignetti calls the rover. Noah Pierre manned that spot in 2023, along with Jordan Grier, and both have moved on, along with free safety starter Louis Moore, who is headed to Ole Miss. Starting strong safety Phillip Dunnam is also in the portal, but despite significant attention he hasn’t announced a destination.
Cignetti said they are looking for multiple players to help fill those spots. Without portal additions, program veterans like Josh Sanguinetti, Bryson Bonds and Tyrik McDaniel will need to step into larger roles. As a freshman in 2023, Amare Ferrell flashed and should be part of the solution as well.
Indiana added Trey Wedig from Wisconsin, and two more (Nick Kidwell, Tyler Stephens) from James Madison, but Cignetti is looking for one more offensive lineman, he says. One wildcard there is Josh Sales, who is in the transfer portal but has not announced a destination. Sales was the third tackle on the depth chart for IU in 2023.
Despite heavy additions and a strong returning core, Cignetti says he is also still looking for one more attribute to round out the wide receiver group.
“Still looking for another vertical outside threat,” he said. “I’m talking about a guy that not only runs fast but is also a good receiver. You’re always looking for those one-play touchdowns.”
Jaylin Lucas would seem to check that box but appears unlikely to return. He’s still in the portal without a destination as well.
There’s one more group Cignetti did not mention, but Indiana’s offers over the last few days tell a story. As new players continue to enter the portal, the Hoosiers have offered at least three defensive linemen since announcing the 2024 class last week.
Miami (OH) defensive end Caiden Woullard was offered by Indiana this week. He finished second in the MAC in sacks (9.5) and had 12 TFLs.
Indiana also offered a pair of defensive linemen from New Mexico State. Defensive tackle Sterling Webb had six TFLs and 4.5 sacks, and Dion Wilson had two TFLs and 1.5 sacks.
To see a complete list of Indiana’s 2024 new additions, GO HERE.
For a summary of the current scholarship players by position, GO HERE.
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