Countdown to 2019 IUFB Kickoff: 16 Days (Jamar Johnson)

Countdown to 2019 IUFB Kickoff: 16 Days (Jamar Johnson)

Written by Amanda Pavelka


Height: 6’1”

Weight: 198 pounds

Hometown: Sarasota, Florida (Riverview)

Year: Sophomore

Position: Defensive Back

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Countdown to 2019 IUFB Kickoff: 22 Days (Whop Philyor)


Written by Amanda Pavelka (@amandapavelka3)


Height: 5’11’’

Weight: 178 pounds

Hometown: Tampa, Florida (Plant)

Year: Junior

Position: Wide Receiver

Just over three weeks remain until the 2019 Indiana football season kicks off at Lucas Oil Stadium. The Hoosiers will make their season debut on August 31st at noon as they take on the Ball State Cardinals. Today we wll re-introduce the wide receiver who wore the No.22 jersey in the 2017 and 2018 seasons as No. 1 Whop Philyor.

Whop Philyor is one of Indiana’s first players gained from the Florida recruiting pipeline Tom Allen developed to Bloomington. Philyor joins three of his high school teammates on the Indiana football roster for his junior year—linebacker Thomas Allen, defensive back Juwan Burgess, and linebacker Micah McFadden all hail from Plant High School in Tampa, Florida. 

Philyor had a “whopper” of a freshman season, recording 335 yards and three touchdowns on 33 catches that earned him a slew of honors in 2017. Philyor earned Big Ten Freshman Player of the Week and IU Offensive Player of the Week for his 127 yards and a touchdown on 13 catches against Maryland, just to name a couple. 

The bar was set high for Philyor going into his sophomore year and perhaps one of the largest letdowns on Hoosier offense was that Philyor battled injuries that forced him to sit out for almost half of the 2018 season. A high ankle sprain costed him five games and seven starts, yet he still managed to post 23 receptions for 235 yards and a 65-yard touchdown against nationally-ranked Michigan State. 

Joined by Nick Westbrook, Donovan Hale, and Ty Fryfogle, Philyor is expected to be a key component in Kalen Deboer’s offensive system and will make his speedy comeback with his switch to the No.1 jersey his junior year. 

Countdown to 2019 IUFB Kickoff: 27 Days (Ivory Winters)

Countdown to 2019 IUFB Kickoff: 27 Days (Ivory Winters)

Written by Amanda Pavelka


Height: 6’0’’

Weight: 215 pounds

Hometown: Hayti, Missouri

Class: Freshman

Position: Running Back

Only 27 days remain until the long-awaited 2019 Indiana football season. The Hoosiers will make their season debut at Lucas Oil Stadium where they will take on the Ball State Cardinals on August 31st in a noon game. Today we will introduce a freshman running back who will wear the No. 20 jersey— Ivory Winters. 

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Countdown to 2019 IUFB Kickoff: 33 Days (IU Football 1933-1950)

Countdown to 2019 IUFB Kickoff: 33 Days (IU Football 1933-1950)

Written by Amanda Pavelka

2019 Countdown- #33



The era of Indiana football from 1934-1950 was a stable, record-breaking era and ended up being one of the most memorable times in program history. Coming off the 1933 season, where the Hoosiers went 1-5-2 under head Coach Billy Hayes, yet another change of coaching staff was called for. There is no sugarcoating it— Indiana football desperately needed someone to come in and pick them from near-ground zero.

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Reakwon Jones’ Goal: Instill Confidence as a Leader in Senior Season


Written by Amanda Pavelka

Confidence, confidence, confidence. 

Confidence is what fifth-year senior linebacker Reakwon Jones preaches to himself. Confidence is what he preaches and works to help instill in the young linebacker squad. Confidence is key, and that’s not the first time we have heard confidence is what the Indiana football squad is lacking coming off of back-to-back 5-7, bowl-less seasons.

“Our depth has improved tremendously,” Jones said at Big Ten Media Days, “so the next piece is to be confident. I feel like right now we have 120 confident guys from walk-ons to scholarships and it's motivating to see that. And when somebody’s confident that’s going to rub off on somebody else, so I feel like that’s kind of the next key piece.”

In last season’s losses, like the heartbreaker against Purdue, the Old Oaken Bucket and a bowl birth really came down to one score. And Jones stands by his word that depth and confidence is what the Hoosiers were missing. 

“People kind of undermine confidence as a piece, but confidence is probably the biggest piece to every football player,” Jones explained. “If you don’t have confidence, you’re not the same. You think slower, you react slower.”

Jones himself had a battle with his confidence and won it back last year. This year, he’s helping the younger players do the same. 

“Coach Ballou was really a big part of me getting my confidence back. He came in and pushed us hard,” Jones explained. “When I got my confidence back through the weight room, I just translated it to the field…. That’s what I’ve tried to emphasize in the younger guys. Don’t lose faith in you. I know it gets hard, it’s tough, it’s college, and everyone’s good here. It’s always trusting in what you’ve got, trusting your abilities. You’re not here for no reason— that’s what I tell everybody. You’re here because coaches and everybody thought you were a good player in high school and that you could really come here and help us.”

When Tom Allen goes on the recruiting chase, he has a certain type, and his player pursuits have to do with everything but the amount of stars they’ve been given. 

“These past couple classes Coach Allen has brought in— they’ve come in hungry. They came ready to learn, eager to learn, competitive. That’s a common thing with Coach Allen,” Jones said. “He knows the guys to get, the guys that will fit in with his team, guys that want the same thing as his team. Some guys were probably underdogs before or whatever, but they come in and they all want the same thing we want.”

As Reakwon Jones flips the page to a new chapter in his senior year at Indiana, he takes lessons learned from former teammate and Pittsburgh Steeler Tegray Scales to lead the young linebacker group.

“(Scales) really just taught me to be relentless and taught me to bring people with me. You don’t go to work alone, you find two, three, four, five other people to go to work. That’s how you get to be where you want to be. You’re going to get where you want to be individually by bringing this team with you. You have a great team, you’re going to have great players,” Jones explained at Media days last week.

Jones has taken it as his responsibility as veteran linebacker of the group to lead, and it’s created an atmosphere of hunger and growth in the offseason for guys like Micah McFadden, James Miller, Cam Jones, Khalil Bryant and Marcelino Ball. 

“They’re eager, they want to come out. They’ll hit my phone saying ‘Hey big bro, when are we going out to the field?,” Jones said. 

Jones, like Scales, has been a part of the start of something great he’ll get the opportunity to watch blossom over the next few years as an alumni. 

“It’s the reason I came here. I wanted to change this program. I didn’t want to change it single-handedly, but I wanted to be a part of the change.”

The Goal is Clear Entering Tom Allen’s Third Year

The Goal is Clear Entering Tom Allen’s Third Year

Written by Amanda Pavelka (@amandapavelka3)

Tom Allen did not hesitate when he talked about expectations going into his third year of coaching at Indiana during Big Ten Media Days in Chicago. Allen’s words could not have been more clear-cut on Thursday—“We’re going to win a bowl game. That’s what we’re shooting for.”

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Countdown to IUFB Kickoff: 47 Days (Micah McFadden)

Written by Amanda Pavelka (@AmandaPavelka3)


Height: 6’2”

Weight: 230 pounds

Hometown: Tampa, Florida (Plant)

Year: Sophomore

Position: LB

Only six more Indiana football-less Saturdays remain until the season kicks off against the Ball State Cardinals at Lucas Oil Stadium. The August 31st noon matchup is 47 days away, so today we will feature the guy representing the Hoosiers’ No. 47 jersey— none other than Micah McFadden.

Even a season of nameless jerseys did not make a difference when it comes to recognizing sophomore linebacker Micah McFadden. A true freshman, the Florida native played in all 12 games in the 2018 season. His stat line for last season read 20 tackles, 14 solo, with one for loss, a single forced fumble, and a pair of quarterback hurries.

As far as his performance in the off-season, no news was confirmed good news in the press conference before the spring game: “I haven’t mentioned him in a little bit, but the growth from last fall to right now is pretty intense in a good way,” Coach Tom Allen said.

With big shoes to fill with the departure of Dameon Willis, McFadden has proven himself a top contestant, along with former high school teammate and redshirt sophomore Thomas Allen and redshirt freshman James Miller.

Countdown to 2019 IUFB Kickoff: 51 Days (Mackenzie Nworah)

Written by Amanda Pavelka


Height: 6’4”

Weight: 310 pounds

Hometown: Houston, Texas (Manvel)

Year: Redshirt Junior

Position: OL

Less than two months remain until the long-awaited 2019 Indiana football season. The Hoosiers will make their season debut at Lucas Oil Stadium where they will take on the Ball State Cardinals on August 31st in a noon game. With 51 days remaining, it is only appropriate to talk about the man who will represent the Hoosiers’ No. 51 jersey— Mackenzie Nworah.

You’ve heard his name before, but it’s been a while. In 2017, he started six games and played in ten at right guard. Indiana’s offensive player of the game in their 41-0 win over Rutgers was none other than Nworah.

Nworah’s had a knock-down, drag-out fight with injuries since then, and unfortunately had to sit out most of the 2018 season to recover. For a guy with the perfect size and frame for the offensive guard job, he was one of the most painful sights on the Hoosier bench. He traded time on the field for time in the books and ended up contributing to the IU football program’s record, being one of 29 guys to earn Academic All-Big Ten Honors in 2018.

Although no official word, Nworah’s comeback is hopeful and he’ll likely be called upon as next man up at offensive guard.

Countdown to IUFB Kickoff: 36 Days (Johnny Albomonte)

Countdown to IUFB Kickoff: 36 Days (Johnny Albomonte)

By David Sugarman (@David_Sugarman2)


The countdown to kickoff keeps rolling along. With Big Ten media days now wrapped up, we’ve got all the quotes, storylines and pictures of football players in suits instead of pads that we need. With opening night against Ohio State a little over a month away, today we take a look at the number 36 spot in our countdown, Johnny Albomonte.

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