Written By: Nick Holmes (@HoosierHolmes)
The showdown with the Salukis draws another day nearer, now 78 days until the Hoosiers run out onto the field amid loud cheers and fireworks. Today we will take a look at number 78, senior offensive tackle, Jason Spriggs.
The Elkhart, Indiana native has been tasked with protecting the blindside of Hoosier quarterbacks since first arriving on campus back in 2012 at a wiry, by Big-Ten offensive line standards, 268 pounds. Since then Spriggs has added nearly 40-pounds to his frame and has been an anchor along one of the Hoosiers most consistent units. Now, entering his final season, Spriggs is focused on continuing to develop as player and helping Indiana get to the postseason for the first time in Coach Wilson's tenure.
"I'm on bettering myself as much as I can, tying off my career here and getting as far as we can this season," Spriggs told ESPN's Brian Bennett in March.
|Jason Spriggs -Offensive Tackle|
The Concord High School graduate's presence was immediately felt the moment he stepped onto the gridiron for the Hoosiers, starting in all 12 games at left tackle during his true freshman season, a school record. He gave up just two sacks in 961 snaps and led the team with 80 knockdowns. That year the Hoosiers offensive line was the best in the Big Ten at pass protection, allowing just one sack per 31.8 pass attempts. The Hoosiers offense was first in passing offense, second in total offense, and fourth in scoring offense in the Big Ten. Indiana accomplished all this while having their first-string quarterback Tre Roberson go down in game two of the season, then subsequently rotating between Cam Coffman and Nate Sudfeld. Both of whom were in their first season with the program. Spriggs efforts were duly noted, being named honorable mention All-Big Ten (coaches and media), making the ESPN.com and BTN.com Big Ten All-Freshman teams, among other accolades.
Spriggs was outstanding once again in 2013, starting in all 12 games at left tackle while earning honorable mention All-Big Ten (Coaches and Media) once again. The Hoosiers offense was even more potent, setting multiple single season school records, including total yards, total yards per game, points per game, passing touchdowns, and total touchdowns. Additionally, for the first time ever in school history, the team averaged 300-plus passing yards per game and 200-plus rushing yards per game.
This past season he played in 11 of the Hoosiers 12 games, starting in ten, and allowing just two sacks in 689 snaps. For the third straight season the Hoosiers offense broke school records, this time rushing yards in a season. He also received honorable mention All-Big Ten (Media) for the third straight season.
During the team's offseason conditioning program, Spriggs posted multiple workout numbers that would have bested many of the top offensive tackle prospects at this years NFL combine.
Priority number one for the Hoosiers in 2015 is keeping their quarterback, Nate Sudfeld, healthy and upright, and no player more important to making this happen than Spriggs. Beyond this season, when his career at Indiana comes to a close, there is little debate that Spriggs possesses many of the vital attributes necessary to play offensive tackle at the next level, including size, athleticism, flexibility, and strength. And according to CBSSports.com, he is currently the seventh best senior offensive tackle prospect in the nation. With another solid performance in 2015, Spriggs will likely continue the trend of Hoosier offensive players hearing their named called at the NFL Draft.