Written By: Nick Holmes (@HoosierHolmes)
While Tevin Coleman was the lone Hoosier to get drafted this past weekend, he is far from the only Indiana player to get a shot to play on Sundays. Just hours after the draft was completed three Hoosiers were snatched up as priority free agents on Saturday night. The talented speedster Shane Wynn will be joining Coleman down in Atlanta and looks like he will be competing for time as a kick returner and slot receiver. Former walk-on Collin Rahrig will be headed to Pittsburgh to continue his underdog story. And Florida native Bobby Richardson is headed back south, now to Louisiana where he will be joining the Saints.
The diminutive, playmaking Wynn had a stellar career for the Hoosiers both on offense and in the return game. The Ohio native’s 189 receptions is tied for second all-time at Indiana. His 1,854 kick return yards are good for third while his 20 receiving touchdowns are tied for third. Wynn’s 4,429 all-purpose yards, 2,198 receiving yards, and 25 total touchdowns are all top ten in school history. The future Falcon started the final 36 games of his career and played in all 48, clearly demonstrating consistency and stability. In Atlanta Wynn will have the chance to learn from one of the game’s greatest kick and punt returners, Devin Hester. The guidance and instruction provided by Hester should help accelerate Wynn’s acclimation to the position at the pro level.
Rahrig was pretty much a constant along the interior of the offensive line during his career in Bloomington, playing in 40 and starting in 36 games. In 2014 he played a team high 808 snaps while surrendering only two sacks all season and his 56 knockdowns were good for second best on the team. During his last two seasons with the Hoosiers he played a key role in helping the team set single season rushing (2014) and total offense (2013) records. Standing at just 6-foot-2, Rahrig projects as a center in the pros. In Pittsburgh he will have a golden opportunity to learn from one of the league’s best in Maurkice Pouncey, who was First Team All-Pro at the position this past season.
The New Orleans Saints are looking to get more pressure on the quarterback this upcoming season and the team is hopeful that defensive lineman Bobby Richardson can help. The Hoosiers 2014 sack leader joins a Saints team that ranked 25th in the category, getting to the quarterback just 34 times last year. Each of the Saints’ division rivals in the NFC South feature high profile quarterbacks, including Carolina’s Cam Newton, Atlanta’s Matt Ryan, and Tampa Bay’s number one draft pick, Jameis Winston. Richardson finished his career with 129 tackles, 11 sacks, 22 tackles for loss, six pass breakups, three blocked kicks, two forced fumbles, and one fumble recovery.
With Wynn, Rahrig, and Richardson being signed and Coleman getting drafted, all four of the Hoosiers 2014 team captains have been picked up by NFL teams. Something to look for in the future is if these former Hoosiers’ presence in their respective states has a positive impact on recruiting. The Hoosiers have already had a considerable amount of success recruiting the Peach State during Kevin Wilson’s time in Bloomington, but strong performances by Coleman and potentially Wynn for the Falcons could further develop the pipeline into the talent-rich state. Similarly, if Richardson were able to make the Saints’ team and contribute, Coach Wilson and his staff could leverage his success into an effective conversation starter with recruits in Louisiana.
Regardless of what kind of impact these talented athletes have in the NFL, Indiana fans are proud to call each of them Hoosiers.