The Hoosier Huddle Countdown to Kick-off is nearly complete! There are now 17 days until the Indiana Hoosiers kick-off the 2017 season against the Ohio State Buckeyes. Today’s countdown takes a look at IU’s most electric player- Antwan Randle El.
ANTWAAN RANDLE EL (Legacy Player)
-Height: 5'10”-Weight: 185 pounds-Hometown: Riverdale, Illinois-Position: QB/ WR
Antwaan Randle El was one of Indiana’s most exciting players during his career, and it certainly carried over to the NFL as well. He played primarily quarterback at IU, and made his name known in his very first game, when he completed 22 of 29 passes for 385 yards and three scores (no interceptions). He also added 82 yards and three scores on the ground, which gave him 467 total yards and the NCAA record for freshman total offense in his first career game. IU won that game against Western Michigan 45-30, with Randle El’s incredible performance paving the way for more incredible plays in the coming seasons. Randle El won the Big Ten Freshman of the year award following his first season in which he totaled 1,745 passing yards and six touchdowns along with 873 yards on the ground, which broke the IU single season record for a QB.
Randle El added to his remarkable freshman season by putting up crazy numbers for the last three seasons of his career. He became the first player in D1 history to pass and rush for 40 touchdowns in a career, and finished his four years fifth on the all-time NCAA total yardage list. Much of this was due to his versatility (rushing, throwing, returning), and the numbers don’t lie. He was the first player in the history of college football to total at least 2,500 yards in every season of his career, and his final totals of 7,469 passing yards, 3,895 rushing yards and 92 touchdowns will keep him in college football lore forever. His sixth place finish in the Heisman Trophy voting his senior season was disappointing, but by no means diminishes what he accomplished during his time at IU.
After Indiana, Randle El went on to have a great career in the NFL. He was a second round pick of the Steelers in 2002, and his signature play came in Super Bowl XL, where he threw a reverse touchdown pass to Hines Ward to clinch a Steelers victory. He then played for the Redskins, primarily as a receiver and returner, much like he did in Pittsburgh. He is regarded today as one of the best returners of all time, and his ability to fill in as an emergency quarterback made him one of the most entertaining players in the NFL to watch. He signed one more time with the Steelers, and saw mild success, before ultimately retiring in 2012. He remains very active with Indiana and the Big Ten Network, and keeping him in and around Bloomington would be a great move for IU.