Written By Sammy Jacobs (@Hoosier_Huddle)
We have reached the conclusion of our Redshirt Preview series. I hope everyone has enjoyed being reintroduced to some players who will play a big role for the Hoosiers in 2016. So we will close this series out with offensive lineman Simon Stepaniak.
6’4”/ 305/ OG from Hamilton, OH
Stepniak was a standout lineman at Ross H.S. for head coach Brian Butts as he was 2014 Division III all-state and all-district selection, as well as a three-time all-city and two-time first team All-Southwest Ohio Conference honoree. He was named the top offensive lineman in Ohio Division III as a junior and senior and was selected to play in the 2015 Ohio North-South Classic. Coming out of high school he was ranked the No. 3 offensive guard in Ohio, the No. 36 prospect in Ohio by 247Sports and the No. 61 offensive guard nationally by Scout. In 2015, Stepaniak was named scout team player of the week twice (vs. FIU, at MSU).
WHY DID HE REDSHIRT?
As with most of the lineman in the class of 2015, Stepaniak was able to redshirt due to the depth and talent the Hoosiers had along the offensive line. It's just that simple sometimes.
WHAT CAN WE EXPECT FROM 2016 AND BEYOND?
Stepaniak figures to be a major player for the Hoosiers down the road, if not in 2016. A redshirt year let him grow into his body and learn the offensive system from All-Americans Jason Spriggs and Dan Feeney.
Stepaniak figures to be in line for playing time at guard. Entering this spring Stepaniak is probably behind Jacob Bailey and Wes Martin, but that could change as he gets more reps in practice. At six-foot-four and 305 pounds, he is more than physically ready to handle the rigors of the Big Ten. At the very least he will provide a capable player who can fill-in incase of an injury or if an older player like Dan Feeney or Jacob Bailey needs a rest.