Written By Sammy Jacobs (@Hoosier_Huddle)
Countdown to Kickoff: #83- Austin Dorris
Weight: 252 pounds
Hometown: Shadyshide, OH (Shadyshide)
Class/Position: RS Junior/Tight End
Ever since Austin Dorris has stepped foot in Bloomington, he’s been an intriguing prospect at tight end. The six-foot-five redshirt junior played quarterback in high school where he threw for 1,100 yards and ran for 1,250 more. His athletic ability entices the mind when fans think about how Dorris could be deployed in the fall. However, Dorris has not seen much of the field in his three seasons in Bloomington playing in just 19 games, mostly on special teams. His lack of playing time hasn’t stopped him from earning a scout team player of the week and Academic All-Big Ten honors.
This season the Hoosiers’ starting tight end spot is wide open and Dorris has been putting in the extra work to make sure he can be the impact player he was brought in to be. He does have a lot of competition however, and we have covered several of the other tight ends who could all see the field in 2018.
When Hoosier Huddle talked to Dorris over spring practice, we asked him what about 2018 would be different. “I’ve always wanted to play very badly”, Dorris said, “it just hasn’t worked out, and that’s no one’s fault but mine. This year, I think I did enough, but I have to keep going and keep getting better. Have to keep getting these plays down, working with the team, coming together, keep going.”
He added later in the interview that he has “just gotten faster, overall, completely. Our new strength guys, Coach Ballou, they’re making everyone’s numbers go through the roof. I’m just playing faster and not thinking as much when I’m playing.”
While the tight end may be a relative unknown, Hoosier fans can take some sense of confidence that Dorris will push his way onto the field and if he doesn’t, it just means that the young guy are pretty darn good.
A cool side note. Austin's father, Bob, is the proud owner of the "Hoosier Cruiser", a refurbished school bus that has become an outstanding tailgate venue. I would encourage all Hoosier fans to seek out the white bus in Lot 10/11 at IU home games.