Written By Alex Compton
COUNTDOWN TO KICKOFF: #55- MIKE MCGINNIS
Weight: 230 pounds
Hometown: Allentown, New Jersey
Year: Redshirt Senior
When Tom Allen went into the JUCO rankings last summer to secure a commitment from ASA College standout Mike McGinnis, the move seemed puzzling at times. With two NFL linebackers in the fold in Tegray Scales and Chris Covington, starting spots were all but locked up. Behind those guys, you had some seasoned players who knew their role and were ready to contribute. McGinnis seemed to be an insurance policy last year, but maybe that was all part of the plan. A year getting his feet wet in the Big Ten has now set McGinnis up for a massive role in his final season of eligibility in 2018, and the Hoosiers are going to need him to play at a high level to maintain Indiana’s recent resurgence on defense.
McGinnis played in 11 games for IU last year during his first season in Bloomington, posting 7 tackles, 1 TFL, and 1/2 of a sack. While those numbers leave a lot to be desired, you have to remember that it was his first year of Big Ten football, his first year in Tom Allen’s scheme, and that Chris Covington and Tegray Scales rarely left the field. McGinnis will be in that starting mix this year, but starter or not, he’s going to be a major factor on this version of the Indiana defense. Besides McGinnis and fellow fifth-year senior Dameon Willis Jr., there isn’t much experience in the room, so the younger guys will definitely be looking towards Mike and Dameon for some veteran leadership this year. If the season opened tomorrow, I would expect McGinnis to start, and I do expect him to have a pretty solid season. He showed some flashes last year, now all he has to do is put it together in a more enhanced role.