Written by Evan McShane (@veryreasonable)
We are inside of three weeks until the Indiana Hoosiers kickoff their 2019 season against the Ball State Cardinals at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis. Today, we look at running back Cole Gest and defensive back Joseph Daniels Jr.
#20 – Cole Gest (Redshirt Junior)
Weight: 196 Pounds
Hometown: Lyndhurst, Ohio
Position: Running Back
Cole Gest had a disappointing end to his promising redshirt sophomore season. A torn ACL in the opening game sidelined Gest for the rest of the year. Hoosier fans know he’ll bounce back better than ever. Back in 2016, Gest busted his tail to earn playing time as a true freshman. He returned five kickoffs for over a hundred yards and had ten carries for 47 yards before ultimately suffering a season-ending injury. Gest received a medical redshirt and returned the next season to see his production ramped up.
As a redshirt freshman in 2017, Gest came back to the gridiron with something to prove. The 5-foot-8 shifty running back found himself second on the team in rushing yards when it was all said and done. Gest carried the ball 93 times for over 400 yards, good enough for a 4.6 yards-per-carry average. He scored one touchdown and notched his first-career 100-yard game in a win against Rutgers. Gest proved to be a dynamic threat, catching ten passes for 83 yards and a touchdown.
There’s a lot to be excited about this season with the Hoosier backfield rounding into form. The emergence of freshmen Stevie Scott and Ronnie Walker last year lifted the ceiling for this position group. Gest, now an upperclassman, will be one of the more experienced running backs on the roster. As his injury occurred early last season, all signs point toward Gest making a full recovery. Gest will be one of many players to benefit from the addition of offensive coordinator Kalen DeBoer. DeBoer is known to utilize heavy pre-snap motion to confuse defenses. Gest could be particularly effective catching passes in the backfield and running wheel routes to attack downfield. Cole Gest is one of Indiana’s grittiest players, and in 2019 he’ll be looking to have a breakout season.
#20 – Joseph Daniels (Redshirt Freshman)
Weight: 193 Pounds
Hometown: Johns Creek, Georgia
Joseph Daniels joined the Indiana football program as a walk-on in 2018. He then redshirted to prepare for the grueling Big Ten schedule and style of play. Standing 5-foot-8 and just under 200-pounds, Daniels plays with that chip on your shoulder many cornerbacks have. Daniels was a shutdown cornerback in his prep days. He played in the secondary for Roswell, High School near Alpharetta, Georgia where he earned all-state recognition.
Daniels also ran track and field where he was a standout performer in several events. Cornerback depth is always at a premium and Daniels should help fortify the position group. As a redshirt freshman, time will tell how many snaps Daniels will see, but he’s bound to help the program in some way. Whether in pass coverage or on special teams, look for Joseph Daniels to make a name for himself in Bloomington.