Written By Sammy Jacobs (@Hoosier_Huddle)
The Early Signing Period for college football came and went the week before Christmas. The Hoosiers signed 23 players during that period, however there are still some holes the Hoosiers will be trying to fill prior to National Signing Day in February. We’ll take a look at positions of need as well as some prospects that Hoosier fans should keep their eye on.
1. Defensive End
When long-time Indiana target Randy Charlton decided to sign with Central Florida, the need for another defensive end become urgent. The Hoosiers signed James Head, who enrolled early, and Madison Norris in December. However, they could use another edge rusher to build depth at the position after losing Greg Gooch and Robert McCray to graduation.
2. Graduate Transfer Quarterback
Quarterbacks coach Nick Sheridan and offensive coordinator Mike DeBord did an amazing job landing four-star quarterback Mike Pinex during the early signing period. While the Hoosiers do have some talent at the position with Pinex, Peyton Ramsey and Nick Tronti, the unit is extremely young. Ramsey is the elder statesman and he will only be a redshirt sophomore. The Hoosiers need to find a quality graduate transfer at this position to add some veteran leadership to the room as well as experienced depth just in case someone gets banged up during the course of the year. Now that the bowl season is over, we could see more players announce they are transferring. However, it may be until after spring practice when you see some bigger names pop-up.
3. Safety (Incoming Commit and Graduate Transfer)
The Hoosiers lost stalwarts Chase Dutra and Tony Fields to graduation and need to build depth both with veteran transfers and by adding another high school prospect to the class. IU will also get help as Bryant Fitzgerald can rejoin the team and Juwan Burgess, a four-star 2017 signee, should be able to join the rotation.
4. Graduate Transfer at Linebacker
Linebacker is the position that has probably been hit the hardest due to graduation and attrition. Standouts Tegray Scales and Chris Covington are gone as is key backup Dameon Willis. That leaves the Hoosiers young and thin at the linebacker spot. Mike McGinnis, who was a JUCO transfer last season, could add a veteran presence for the group, but he didn’t do much his first year on campus, so look for the Hoosiers to go after another veteran to help bring the young talent along.
Prospects to Keep an Eye on
1. Jonathan King, DE- King is a three-star prospect according to 247 Sports Composite Ranking and is ranked the 703rd best player nationally. He is out of Tampa Bay Tech, the same school that incoming IU freshman Mike Penix is from. King had committed to Oregon in June, but de-committed after the staff changes. He is 6’1.5” and 240 pounds and currently is sitting on 20 offers. Hudl Highlights
2. Jamar Johnson, DB- Johnson is a 6’2” 185-pound defensive back out of Riverview H.S. in Sarasota, Florida. He holds 18 offers, including Indiana, Iowa State, Purdue, Virginia Tech, Wake Forest and a host of other Group of Five schools. According to 247 Sports, Johnson runs a 4.52 40-yard dash and has a 38.5-inch vertical leap. Johnson has the frame to add the bulk needed to be a Big Ten safety. He is scheduled to visit Indiana on the weekend of January 19th.
3. Casey Rogers, DE- Rogers in a 6’5” 250-pound defensive end prospect out of Old Farms H.S. in Avon Connecticut. 247 Sports ranks him as a three-star prospect and the sixth best player out of Connecticut. He certainly has the size and frame that the Hoosiers are looking for at the position. Rogers holds 12 offers including Indiana, California, Nebraska, Ole Miss, Oregon State, Pittsburgh, Rutgers, Temple, Virginia and Western Michigan.
4. Kenny Turnier, DE- Turnier is a junior college prospect whop was committed to play at Oregon State before heading to Ventura College (CA). Out of Miami Central H.S. Turnier was a three-star prospect according to 247 Sports Composite rankings. He is scheduled to visit IU on the weekend of January 26th. Here are some of Turnier’s highlights via HUDL.
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