Written By Nick Holmes (@HoosierHolmes)
There are now 70 days remaining until the Indiana Hoosiers kick-off the 2016 season in Miami against the Florida International Golden Panthers. Join us each day for each part of our 100-day countdown to the opener! Currently the player assigned to number 70, is fifth-year senior Jacob Bailey
Jacob Bailey (Redshirt Senior)
-Weight: 300 pounds
-Hometown: Carmel, Indiana
Despite the graduation of offensive linemen Jason Spriggs and Jake Reed, the Hoosiers boast a very senior-laden group upfront, including fifth-year man Jacob Bailey. The guard from Carmel has had his career partially hampered by injuries, but that’s not kept him from playing an important role in some program’s greatest offensive efforts.
Bailey was a member of the Hoosiers 2012 recruiting class, choosing Indiana over the likes of Ball State, Miami (OH), Northern Illinois Temple and Toledo. Although never playing a down that first year in Bloomington, Bailey was able to make an impact on the practice field, earning him the distinction of scout team player of the week during the team’s preparations for Ball State.
His redshirt freshman season he saw action six games, starting in three. His play earned him an honorable mention on the CollegeFootballNews.com Freshman All-America team as well as being named to the ESPN.com and BTN.com Big Ten All-Freshman teams. Bailey played a key role in helping the team succeed on offense, despite the team shuffling between multiple quarterbacks throughout the season. In all, the team set single-season records with 508.5 total yards per game, 38.4 points per game, 36 passing touchdowns and 62 total TDs
During his sophomore season he saw action in six games, during what can be referred to as the Tevin Coleman year. With the Hoosiers effectively down to their third string quarterback, not counting transfers, their vaunted passing attack was grounded. As such, Indiana leaned heavily on their rushing attack, and Coleman did not disappoint, toting the rock for a single-season school record 2,036 yards. As good as the current Atlanta Falcon was, he could not have done it without the big guys upfront.
Heading into the 2015 season there was some uncertainty as to what type of impact Bailey would have on the gridiron. After not seeing action in the team’s first six contests, Bailey was named the team’s starter at left guard and remained as such the rest of the way. And as you well know, the Hoosiers offense was again among the nation’s and conference’s best, all in big part to offensive line.
Not only did Indiana lead the conference in scoring for the first time since 1988, the Hoosiers were just the fourth college football team to have a 3,500-yard passer, a pair of 1,000-yard running backs and a 1,000-yard receiver in the same year. Also, Indiana allowed just 13 sacks all season, good for seventh best nationally. Not enough good things can be said about how well Indiana’s offensive line has played since Kevin Wilson and Greg Frey have taken over.
Bailey’s hard work is not limited to the weight room and the gridiron, as he has put in a great deal of effort in the classroom. Having already graduated with dual degrees in finance and technology management from the Kelley School of Business, Bailey is now working on his MS in Information Systems. Did I mention that he has been an Academic All-Big Ten selection all three seasons he’s been an active player for the Hoosiers?
Entering his final season with the Hoosiers, Bailey is currently penciled in as starter at left guard. However, there are plenty of players waiting in the wings, hoping to push Bailey for playing time. Among those are Wes Martin, who started at left guard during the team’s first six games in 2015. Also, sophomore Delroy Baker and redshirt freshman Simon Stepaniak hope to get into the mix as well.
As one of the veteran members of the team, he, along with Dan Feeney and Dimitric Camiel, will be responsible for bringing along some of the younger guys upfront who will be looking to replace them when this season comes to a close.
Share any memories or recollections you have of Jacob Bailey as a player in the comments section (or on the message boards) and be sure to come back to Hoosier Huddle each day during our countdown!