Written by Sammy Jacobs (@Hoosier_Huddle)
2019 Countdown - #23
Name – Ronnie Walker
Position – Running Back (Sophomore)
Hometown – Hopwell, Virginia (Hopewell)
Height – 5’11”
Weight – 211
Ronnie Walker came to IU as a four-star recruit out of Hopewell, Virginia. He came to Indiana with high expectations and while he was overshadowed by the performance of fellow true freshman Stevie Scott, Walker showed flashes of what makes him special. He only carried the ball 32 times, I expect that number to increase, in nine games. He ran for 141 yards, good for a respectable 4.4 yard per carry average, and two touchdowns.
Earlier this summer head coach Tom Allen addressed the depth of the running backs room.
“Keeping everybody happy is not the objective," he said. "The objective is the success of the team. When you establish a culture of L.E.O. (Love Each Other), it's not about me. That's what I want. Selfishness can kill your team. I get it that if I'm a running back, I want to run the ball. If I'm a receiver, I want to catch the ball. You recruit these guys -- we have a freshman (Winters) who scored 60 touchdowns in a year. That young man is used to carrying the ball a lot” he explained.
"You have to teach and train them to understand their role," Allen said, "yet you want them hungry enough to never be satisfied with that role. Be content within it to be at your best.
"To me, that's the job of our coaching staff to lead and motivate them. As you develop depth, and more position competition, that will be a rising issue. At the same time, you have to have that. It's a challenge. (Running backs coach Mike Hart) has to do a great job of helping the guys understand that if you want to run the ball, you'd better do things right. If you don't, somebody will take your place. That room is indicative of that.”
The running back group the Hoosiers have in 2019 is extremely deep and Walker has a chance to be a regular in the rotation.
Name – Jaylin Williams
Position – Defensive Back (Sophomore)
Hometown – Memphis, Tennessee (Germantown)
Height – 6’0”
Weight – 179
Number 23 on the defensive side of the ball is Jaylin Williams, one of the fastest players on the team. Williams earned his way into major playing time as a true freshman in 2018. He saw the field in all 12 games making 22 tackles including a sack. Williams also notched an interception and two more pass break ups. The Tennessee native is primed for a big sophomore year should he continue he upward trajectory.
IU has a nice rotation at corner and Williams should find himself pretty much in the middle of it all.