Written By Sammy Jacobs (@sammyj108)
Fall camp is just around the corner and the Hoosier football team is gearing up for the 2014 campaign. Indiana welcomed many changes in the off-season, including the infusion of new talent. In order to introduce some of these new players to Hoosier Nation we are going to pick five freshman, redshirt or true, that will have a significant role on this year’s Hoosier football team.
1. Dominique Booth, WR- The Hoosiers have a huge hole to fill after losing four 1,000-yard receivers in the off-season to graduation and the NFL Draft. Booth, a four-star recruit out of Indianapolis, should add some play making skills and depth to a receiving corps that includes Shane Wynn, Isaiah Roundtree, and Nick Stoner. He enrolled early to take part in spring practice and hauled in four passes for 26 yards in the spring game. The coaches love his willingness to learn and the confidence he has in his game. Booth, who can play both on the outside and in the slot, should get significant playing time in an offense that rotates in as many receivers as humanly possible.
2. Rashard Fant, CB- Fant was part of the vaunted 2013 recruiting class. The highly touted cornerback out of Georgia redshirted in last season due to injury, but is ready to make his mark for the Hoosiers. While Fant may not crack the starting lineup right away in the defensive backfield, he should see plenty of time on the field. He had a great spring game recording six tackles and picking off a pass. Fant also has 4.4 speed and could be used in the return game as well, especially with Wynn and Tevin Coleman taking on bigger roles on offense.
3. Nile Sykes, LB- One of the newest Hoosiers, could have the biggest impact. Sykes was released from his national letter of intent at Notre Dame earlier this summer and decided to enroll with the Hoosiers. After switching the 3-4 defense in the spring Indiana can use as much depth as they can get at the linebacker position. Sykes, the 36th best OLB in the 2013 class, will get to play right away and add the quality depth that the Hoosiers need. He has the size (6’2” 223 lbs.) to be a force in the middle of the field this season. Coach Kevin Wilson is not afraid to start a true freshman at the linebacker position either.
4. Jordan Fuchs, TE- The Hoosiers have big shoes to fill at tight end after the departure of Ted Bolser. Jordan Fuchs, another early enrollee, could play a major role in filling that hole. Fuchs has great size at 6’6” and athleticism, as he was a great basketball player in high school as well, to become a weapon in the passing game. Look for Indiana to rotate in a couple of tight ends with Danny Friend and Anthony Corsaro.