Written By T.J. Inman (@TJHoosierHuddle)
Countdown to Kickoff: #82 – Jacolby Hewitt and Logan Justus
Weight: 209 pounds
Hometown: Cordova, TN (Cordova High School)
Class/Position: Freshman/Wide Receiver
On paper, IU signed a terrific recruiting class in 2018. They added potential impact players at multiple positions of need and bolstered the class with solid additions from top to bottom. One of the earlier commits from that class is a player that could have a big impact early and often. Jacolby Hewitt, a wide receiver from Cordova, Tennessee, was one of the first targets of IU wide receivers coach Grant Heard and he made no secret that he thought Hewitt could develop into a special player in Bloomington.
Hewitt is a big target that averaged nearly 20 yards per catch as a senior in Tennessee. He has the tools and the frame to play as an outside receiver or as an inside slot man and he impressed during spring practice as an early-enrollee. The Hoosiers have a strong wide receiver corps but there are certainly some question marks. Can J-Shun Harris, Donavan Hale and Nick Westbrook recover from injuries and return to form? Can Whop Philyor take the step from a rarely used piece to a full-on weapon? However, the pieces are in place for IU to have one of the top wide receiver units in the Big Ten once again. Westbrook and Hale are definitely on schedule to be 100% healthy and both should have terrific seasons. Luke Timian is a rock-solid target and Whop Philyor is a special talent that will be dangerous every time he touches the ball. Hewitt being in Bloomington for spring camp makes a difference and puts him in line to have a role in 2018.
I don’t think the Tennessee native will move ahead of Nick Westbrook (an All-Big Ten receiver in my book), Hale, Timian or Philyor but as many as six or seven receivers will see significant snaps this coming season. That means Hewitt will be competing with guys like Harris, converted tailback Mike Majette (who saw snaps at WR in spring), sophomore Ty Fryfogle, fellow freshman Miles Marshall and walk-ons David Felton and Justin Berry for snaps. I think Fryfogle has a good chance of seeing plenty of snaps but Hewitt is a guy the staff plans on getting on the field this coming season. His development and place in the offense will be something to watch for during fall practice.
Weight: 173 pounds
Hometown: McCordsville, IN (Mt. Vernon High School)
Class/Position: Redshirt Junior/Kicker
Our second player on today’s countdown list is another kicker on the roster, redshirt junior Logan Justus. I’m going to “go green” and recycle an earlier introduction I wrote regarding kickers: Kickers don’t often get much “love” and they are typically overlooked as unnecessary and lesser parts of the team. However, it’s common for games to be decided by field goals and having a good kicker is extremely important for a team that is likely be involved in a significant number of close games. After graduating long-time kicker Griffin Oakes, the Hoosiers are on the lookout for their next great kicker and it’s an open competition that will probably continue throughout fall camp. Redshirt junior Logan Justus is not considered a favorite to win the job but he’s one of a few candidates with a shot.
Justus came to Bloomington after kicking for Mt. Vernon High School in McCordsville, IN. He was a terrific athlete at Mt. Vernon, lettering for three years in football, hockey and soccer. Justus joined the IU program as a walk-on during the 2015 season and redshirted. He has not seen any game action up to this point and he is now competing with fellow kickers Jared Smolar and Nathaniel Snyder for the job vacated by the graduation of Griffin Oakes. The favorite to win the starting position is incoming freshman, All-American Charles Campbell. However, Campbell is not on campus and it will be an open competition until one of these players proves they are the best for the job.
Justus is an exercise science major with two years of eligibility remaining so the chance for some playing time is certainly still there for the Indiana-native.
The Hoosier Huddle Countdown to Kickoff continues