Written by: Nate Comp (@NathanComp1)
Just over a year ago in September of 2018, cornerback Tiawan Mullen committed to Tom Allen and the Indiana Hoosiers. But just like his dedication in continuing to improve his game, recruitment did not stop here.
No, I don’t mean this in the sense that so many football player’s “commitments” flip-flop overnight. Exactly the opposite, actually. Mullen was dedicated to the Indiana Hoosiers and had no intention of flipping his commitment to any other of his 19 scholarship offers. Instead, Mullen continued recruitment by hitting Twitter.
Deemed the “New Wave”, Mullen invested heavily in the recruitment of other top unsigned athletes across the country to join him at Indiana. Locked and loaded with the vision Tom Allen had sold him on, he began tagging players in posts asking them to join him in the pursuit of this New Wave.
“You show everybody it’s not the same Indiana that everybody can just run over,” said Mullen. “We’re not just coming to compete. We want to show everybody that we can win those games.”
And now that he has arrived on campus, Mullen has shown that with or without the best recruits in the nation, he can be a one-man-wave.
“I thought he would be able to, but you really never know how a freshman is going to respond when they actually get to campus,” said Coach Tom Allen.
“You never know how it’s going to transfer on the field. But I think this last game was where it really – he performed at the level that I thought he could.”
So far this season, Mullen has allowed just one catch on twelve targets and has six forced incompletions. He was matched up against fifth year senior wide receiver Darnell Stewart of Michigan State two weekends ago, who entered the matchup ninth in the nation with 7.5 receptions per game.
When targeted against Mullen? 0-6.
“You don’t know how a young player is going to respond on a big stage. Fortunately for us, he’s a player that the big stage comes natural to him,” noted defensive coordinator Kane Wommack.
Mullen comes from a football family and should be no stranger to the bright lights. His brother, Trayvon, played for last year’s national champion Clemson Tigers and earned Defensive MVP honors in the championship game. He was drafted in the 2nd round of last year’s NFL Draft to the Oakland Raiders. His cousin happens to be former Heisman Trophy winner and current Baltimore Ravens QB Lamar Jackson. They’ve all been dreaming of these moments since they were little kids.
For Tiawan, the sky is the limit at the moment. Though the season is still just five games young, he has already begun to draw comparisons to legendary Indiana cornerback of the mid 2000s and Super Bowl savior, Tracy Porter.
But for now, he will continue to quietly and humbly improve his game. He’s not working for the personal accolades, he’s ready for team victories. The New Wave will come.
Heck, if he keeps up these performances, it could be a New Tsunami.