The Indiana Hoosiers are not exactly the hottest college football team on television each and every week like some SEC teams, or Ohio State, Michigan, USC, Oregon and several others. Therefore, a lot of people didn’t really follow Tevin Coleman last season as he ran through, around and almost over Hoosier opponents in the 2014 football season.
Coleman was a Consensus All-American at Indiana following only Wisconsin’s Melvin Gordon in rushing yardage in 2014.
Like Gordon, Coleman was successful no matter which teams he lined up against including SEC East Champion Missouri and the 2014 National Champions, Ohio State. Nobody really slowed him down all that much as he ran for 2,036 yards on the season.
The only team to hold Coleman to under 100 yards rushing was Penn State, and the Lions were number 2 nationally in total defense behind only Clemson.
The extremely impressive situation about Coleman is that he did a lot of his damage without a passing threat at all from the Quarterback position. Quarterback Nate Sudfeld was having a decent season until he went down against Iowa in the Hoosiers’ sixth game.
I don’t want to hear from the Bold and the Beautiful’s star Don Diamont about my blog bad mouthing his son, but Zander Diamont was not ready to play college football in 2014. The true freshman Quarterback from Los Angeles struggled when forced to start in Sudfield’s spot. That’s not a slam of the kid at all. Alexander Diamont was the 85th rated Pocket Passer Quarterback prospect in the country in 2014 and a 3 star prospect at 6-2, 175. There are a lot of 4 and 5 star 6-5, 230 Quarterback prospects that come into college football every season and they are not ready, either.
Coleman has declared for the NFL, and seemingly the 4-8 Indiana Hoosiers should collapse even further in 2015.
Indiana returns 4 out of 5 Offensive Linemen from a year ago and these were the guys opening holes for Tevin Coleman. The Offensive Line was pretty good for the Hoosiers last season and should be even better in 2015.
Left Tackle Jason Spriggs is one of the better Offensive Tackles in he country and not many people even know about him. He has run a 4.82 40 yard dash and has a 37.5 vertical. Those are impressive numbers for a 6-7, 305 Offensive Lineman and Spriggs is looking more and more like an early NFL Draft pick in the 2016 draft.
Right Guard Dan Feeney is also outstanding. These guys were all good last year in opening holes for Coleman.
Nate Sudfeld is back at Quarterback for his senior season and there’s also a chance he starts to move onto NFL draft lists. Sudfeld injured his shoulder against Iowa and he used his rehabbing time wisely to improve his skills as a leader, watch more game film and learn more about becoming a better Quarterback.
The senior from California is 6-5, 240 and does have the size, the arm strength and the accuracy to possibly play on the next level.
But, for now, he needs to help his Indiana Hoosiers win a few more football games in 2015 than the 4-8 record of 2014.
Everyone expected for Coleman to declare for the NFL Draft and naturally he did. But, what nobody did see coming was for the Hoosiers to gain the services of Jordan Howard after the University of Alabama at Birmingham dropped it’s football program after the 2014 season. Apparently, the Indiana coaching staff spent a lot of time and energy recruiting Jordan Howard as a replacement for Coleman.
Howard is a 6-1, 230 Running Back from the Birmingham, Alabama area that played at Gardendale High School before playing a couple of seasons for hometown UAB.
At 230 pounds, Howard is clearly big and strong. He is a good blocker out of the backfield and has been known to pancake a defender. He hits the hole hard and has seemingly breakaway speed. He has played against LSU, Vanderbilt, Mississippi State and Arkansas and Howard has done well against all of them.
Coming out of high school, Howard was recruited by Alabama, Auburn and other SEC schools, but decided to stay home. When UAB announced they were dropping football, the schools started hitting on Jordan Howard again. Notre Dame, Vanderbilt and plenty of others wanted to land Howard because he was one of the top backs in the country and the 7th leading rusher nationwide.
Comment about the level of competition all that you want, but Howard rushed for 1,587 yards and 13 Touchdowns at over 5 yards per carry. Some of that yardage total came against Mississippi State and Arkansas. He had 179 total yards rushing in those 2 games, so the mighty SEC didn’t shut him
As a true freshman, he ran for 881 and played against LSU and Vanderbilt. Alabama A%M and Southern Mississippi are the only teams that shut down Jordan Howard over the last 2 seasons.
Howard hyper-extended his elbow in Spring Practice and will sit out the final practices of Indiana Spring Drills.
Other Running Backs on the Indiana roster that could make a move on the depth charts are sophomores Devine Redding and Myles Graham, who combined for about 200 yards as freshmen.
Other additions to the Indiana roster that will help them in 2015 include fellow University of Alabama at Birmingham transfer Wide Receiver Marqui Hawkins and Junior College transfer Wide Receiver Camion Patrick.
Indiana head football coach Kevin Wilson is thought of as one of the top offensive minds in college football. He’s been in a bit of a struggle at Indiana, but who really has done well for the Hoosiers over the years? They have been to one Rose Bowl game in the entire history of the school. The Hoosier powers that be need to just be patient and let the man do his job and realize that the state of Indiana is all about basketball. Wilson and his Hoosiers went 1-11 during his first season as head coach. They have improved to 4-8, 5-7, 4-8 since that time.
Wilson is doing the right things. He is recruiting locally, he is bringing in tough Midwestern linemen as he should. He is also hitting the South and Florida really hard and bringing in some talent and some speed. Selling Indiana football in Florida to recruits that are also getting hit up by many other schools is a tough job, but Wilson and staff should get it done given the time. In the 2015 recruiting class, Indiana brought in 5 talented guys from Florida, 1 from Texas, 3 from Georgia, 1 from Alabama and another recruit from Virginia. The same holds true for the 2014 recruiting class with many recruits signed from talent rich states like Florida and Georgia, plus a few from Ohio. It’s just going to take time if Indiana is ever going to go on a successful run of football seasons. Please leave Kevin Wilson alone and let him coach.
Expect to see a little more improvement out of the Indiana Hoosiers in 2015 with the return of Quarterback Nate Sudfeld and the addition of Running Back Jordan Howard.