Written By Sammy Jacobs (@Hoosier_Huddle)
Countdown to Kickoff: #51 – Mike Barwick and Mackenzie Nworah
Mike Barwick Jr.
Weight: 305 pounds
Hometown: Cincinnati, OH (Summit Country Day)
Class/Position: RS SR/DL
Mike Barwick Jr. has cemented himself as an important cog in the defensive line machine at IU. After redshirting in 2014 and not seeing the field in 2015 (two-time Scout Team Player of the Week), Barwick played in all 13 games as a redshirt sophomore in 2016. He became a nice defensive tackle off the bench posting 22 tackles including 2.5 sacks and two pass break ups. His best came that year came at Northwestern when he recorded three stops including a sack.
Barwick got his first start against Charleston Southern in 2017 and played in all 12 games. He increased his production making 24 tackles including two more sacks and three tackles for loss. He tallied a career-high five tackles when IU took on fourth-ranked Penn State.
With the Hoosiers losing the services of Nate Hoff and Juan Harris, Barwick’s role should increase. He has become a load in the middle of the defense and along with Jacob Robinson, Jerome Johnson, LeShaun Minor and Kayton Samuels should be part of a strong rotation along the interior Hoosier defensive line.
Weight: 298 pounds
Hometown: Houston, TX (Manvel)
Class/Position: RS SO/OL
Mackenzie Nworah is the 51 on the offensive side of the ball and he came to IU with a ton of potential that has not been fully tapped yet. Good thing for the Hoosiers, he is only a redshirt sophomore.
After redshirting in 2016, Nworah played in 10 games with six starts at right guard in 2017. The mission in 2018 is for Nworah to be more consistent and stay healthy for the entire season. At 6’4” and 298 pounds he has the size to be a terrific interior lineman and he has shown some flashes. He did earn Offensive Player of the Week in IU’s 41-0 win over Rutgers. Nworah will have to battle it out with Simon Stepaniak and potentially Harry Crider for the starting right guard position but even if he finds himself in a reserve role, Nworah can give IU the depth and talent needed to help return the ground game to where it was in 2015.
The Hoosier Huddle Countdown to Kickoff continues each and every day so be sure to check back often for the latest profile piece!