Written By: Nick Holmes (@HoosierHolmes)
Our countdown to kickoff continues, your first chance of seeing the Hoosiers in action is only 72 days away. The Southern Illinois Salukis will be making the near four hour trip from Carbondale for the contest on September 5th. However, before both teams take the field, we want to ensure that you've had an opportunity to get to know the players who will be donning the Cream and Crimson this fall. Today we take a look at a couple of players who play on opposite sides of the line, Derrian Meminger and Simon Stepaniak.
When signing day 2014 rolled around, the Indiana coaching staff was still hard at work, recruiting talented uncommitted prospects. Defensive lineman Derrian Meminger fit the mold. The Georgia native committed to the Hoosiers on College Football's national holiday in 2014 over offers from Cincinnati and Louisville.
As a senior at Hancock Central High School in Sparta, Georgia, Meminger posted 32 tackles, including five sacks and 15 tackles for loss. The sports-communication broadcast major redshirted his first year in Bloomington and will be in a fierce battle for playing this fall as the Hoosiers return multiple talented and experienced athletes along the defensive line.
While Meminger was one of the last Hoosiers to commit in the 2014 class, Stepaniak was in fact the first player to commit in the 2015 class. Multiple schools attempted to sway the talented interior offensive lineman, including the likes of Penn State and Louisville, but he stayed true to the Cream and Crimson, making his pledge official on National Signing Day 2015.
During his senior season at Ross High School he was named to the Division III All-State Team. Now on campus in Bloomington, Stepaniak is working hard in the weight room to add muscle and strength to his large frame. In an ideal situation, the Hoosiers will redshirt the Ohio native, so he can continue to develop physically. This seems pretty likely as the Hoosiers return multiple starters along the offensive line and add the 2014 class to the mix.