Countdown to Kickoff: 64 Days (Collin Rahrig)

 Collin Rahrig leads the Hoosiers out on the field in 2014.  Image: Getty

Collin Rahrig leads the Hoosiers out on the field in 2014. Image: Getty

Written By T.J. Inman (@TJHoosierHuddle)

#64

The Indiana Hoosiers kick off the 2015 season in only 64 days! There are currently no Hoosiers wearing #64 so we are going to look back just one year at a former #64 and one of the best examples of progression and hard work that you will ever find, Collin Rahrig.

Collin Rahrig

-Height: 6’2”

-Weight: 285 pounds

-Hometown: South Bend, Indiana (Marian High School)

-Year/Position: 2010-2014/Center

Occasionally, a player enters a football program as a walk-on and becomes a valuable contributor. A walk-on recruit turning into a team captain and an All-Big Ten player is even more rare. Collin Rahrig was a special player for the Hoosiers and his climb from walk-on to starter to team captain to NFL player is an example of what underrated talent combined with hard work and perseverance can do.

Rahrig entered the IU football family after playing on the offensive line for Marian High School. His play earned him honorable mention All-State honors and all-conference honors. Rahrig wasn't just a football player, he was also a four-year letterwinner and three-time all-state rugby player.

Rahrig redshirted the 2010 season before playing in 10 games (starting in eight of them) as both a guard and center during his redshirt freshman season (2011).

As 2012 spring practice began, Rahrig was beginning to establish himself as a core member of the O-line rotation. He was rewarded for his hard work with a scholarship and played in eight games during his redshirt sophomore season, including starting the final six at left guard.

The versatile lineman’s career really took in 2013 when he made the transition to center. Rahrig started 10 games as the Hoosiers set school records in yards, points and touchdowns. Now established as a starting player, he was named a team captain and started all 12 games during his senior season (the first six at center and the final six at left guard). He proved to be durable and played a team-high 808 snaps while allowing only two sacks. After the season, Rahrig was given honorable mention All-Big Ten and was awarded with the Howard Brown Award for “Dedication to IU Football”.

Rahrig finished his career with 19 starts at center, 12 at left guard and five at right guard. He graduated with a degree in exercise science and was recently signed to the Pittsburgh Steelers 90-man offseason roster. Not bad for a former walk-on.

The Hoosier Huddle Countdown continues tomorrow with #63. Come back to Hoosier Huddle often as we continue our preseason coverage!