Countdown to 2019 IUFB Kickoff: 72 Days (Simon Stepaniak)

Countdown to 2019 IUFB Kickoff: 72 Days (Simon Stepaniak)

Written by Evan McShane (@veryreasonable)

Countdown to IUFB Kickoff: 72 Days (Simon Stepaniak)

#72

The Hoosier Huddle countdown to kickoff has begun. Just 72 days remain until the Hoosiers kickoff the 2019 season in Indianapolis against the Ball State Cardinals. Today we will highlight a senior offensive lineman Simon Stepaniak.

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Seven Hoosiers on Pre-Season All-Big Ten Teams in Preview Magazines

Seven Hoosiers on Pre-Season All-Big Ten Teams in Preview Magazines

Written by Sammy Jacobs (@Hoosier_Huddle)

Every summer around Memorial Day college football fans rifle through magazine stands at their local supermarket or bookstore in search of a pre-season college football preview magazine. I know that every time I hit Kroger or Books-a-Million after May 10th I check just in case they come in early. I consider there to be four big, must buy magazines every year, Athlon Sports, Lindy’s, Phil Steele and Street and Smith’s. Some are better than others, but each have their own strengths. Why buy four magazines? Well, I am crazy, but I like having other perspectives to compile. One of the great tools that these magazines provide is their pre-season All-Big Ten teams. This year, there are seven Hoosiers who earned that honor heading into the 2019 season and eight have been singled out in the magazines. Here they are:

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Countdown to 2018 IUFB Kickoff: 72 Days (Simon Stepaniak)

Stepaniak.jpeg

Written By: Alex Compton

COUNTDOWN TO KICKOFF: #72- SIMON STEPANIAK

Height: 6’4’’
Weight: 303 pounds
Hometown: Hamilton, Ohio
Year: Redshirt Junior
Position: Guard

One of the unquestioned strengths of the 2018 Hoosiers will be the offensive line. They return every major contributor from last season, and now add in a graduate transfer and some talented freshmen to the mix as well. Three of the spots on the line are likely set barring anything unforeseen at this point (Coy Cronk- LT, Wes Martin- LG, Brandon Knight- RT), but right guard should be up for grabs when camp rolls around. Simon Stepaniak is going to be a major factor on the line whether or not he starts week to week, but staying healthy is going to be the key for him. 

Stepaniak only appeared in 6 games for IU last year, and they were all starts. In his absence, redshirt sophomore-to-be Mackenzie Nworah really showed some positive signs, and will be the other guy that battles for that starting spot at right guard. Stepaniak is a very sturdy pass blocker, while Nworah really flashed his potential last year getting out to the second level in the running game. Playing time for these guys could be based on matchups, and that's perfectly fine. Stepaniak is a very solid interior lineman in the Big Ten, and if he gets beat out by Nworah, that means IU is in terrific shape at another spot on the O-Line. However, if I had to make a prediction right now, I would say that Stepaniak opens the season as a starter. I think his combination of experience and skills make him the best option to support the overall direction of the offense, but he'll have to stay healthy and play to expectations to keep his spot. 

Five Things to Pay Attention to as Indiana Starts Spring Football Practice on Saturday

Five Things to Pay Attention to as Indiana Starts Spring Football Practice on Saturday

Written By Dustin Schutte (@SchutteCFB)

Football is returning to Bloomington.

Indiana kicks off its spring practice on Saturday, as it prepares for the 2018 season following a 5-7 (2-7) campaign last fall, coming just one win shy of a third consecutive bowl appearance.

The Hoosiers lose a plethora of talent from its 2017 squad, primarily on the defensive side of the football. As head coach Tom Allen enters his second spring practice, he'll be coaching an IU team with a little more youth and inexperience than he's had in two seasons (one as defensive coordinator) with the program.

With offseason football right around the corner for the Hoosiers, here are five things to watch heading into spring practice.

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Spring Practice 2018 Position Battle: Offensive Line

Spring Practice 2018 Position Battle: Offensive Line

Written By Alex Compton (@alexncompton)

This is one of the most interesting position groups on the team. There are some anchors that have been through the ringer so far in their careers, coupled with some unknowns. That type of combination can be worrisome, or exciting, depending on how you look at the situation. IU isn’t losing much personnel wise for 2018, so the battles for starting spot this year will be very, very interesting. Certain spots on the line (cough, cough, left side) are already locked down, so essentially it’s a three spot position battle for this upcoming season. Second year offensive line coach Darren Hiller has some options to work with, and Coach Allen’s philosophy of having a multitude of bodies up front to rotate in is starting to take shape. 

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Spring Practice 2018 Position Preview: Offensive Line

Spring Practice 2018 Position Preview: Offensive Line

Written By Lauralys Shallow

To win in the Big Ten Conference, you have to dominate in the trenches. When a team controls the line of scrimmage, it dictates the play. A strong offensive line allows the running game to get going, which opens up play action because the defense has to respect the run, which gives receivers a chance to make plays on deeper balls down the field. Without a successful run game, the IU offense will be one dimensional. Remember the 2016 season under former head coach Kevin Wilson when IU’s biggest weakness was their run game…and that was with Devine Redding as running back and Dan Feeney playing guard and tackle for most of the year. IU head coach Tom Allen’s debut season had no seniors and limited experience on his offensive line unit. In Allen’s second season, IU needs to establish a consistent and dominant offensive line.

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Notes and Quotes From Media Monday (Georgia Southern)

Notes and Quotes From Media Monday (Georgia Southern)

By David Sugarman (@David_Sugarman2)

Notes

IU will wear “Hep’s Rock” alternate uniforms this Saturday vs Georgia Southern to honor former IU head coach Terry Hoeppner on the 10-year anniversary of his passing.

It was announced that Indiana’s game against Penn State on September 30th will kickoff at 3:30 on the Big Ten Network.

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The Indiana Offensive Line Has Some Parts to Replace, But it Can Be the Engine That Drives the Offense

The Indiana Offensive Line Has Some Parts to Replace, But it Can Be the Engine That Drives the Offense

Written by: TJ Inman (@TJHoosierHuddle)

The 2017 season is almost here! Hoosier Huddle’s extensive season preview continues today as we take a look at one of the most important units on a football team: the offensive line. The Hoosiers have to replace a couple of starters, including All-American guard Dan Feeney, along with position coach Greg Frey. However, there are a lot of young and talented options ready to step up and become starting lineup fixtures and new line coach Darren Hiller has put nearly two dozen players into the NFL. The offense has lots of potential answers to many questions but the fate of the attack, and possibly the season, may just come down to how well this unit gels. The line had to work through injuries in the spring, something Darren Hiller wasn’t thrilled about but he still had a good look at several of his new players, “there’s never a blessing in disguise when a guy gets banged up a little bit. But at the same time, we had good competition in the spring between Delroy (Baker), Coy (Cronk) and Brandon (Knight). Ideally, you’d like to say you have ten guys. Realistically, I’d say that we have eight guys. That’s the starting five, you got another tackle that can go in there, a swing guy, you got another guard and another center. We got to put the best five out there and after that we got to find a sixth guy, we got to find a seventh guy and we got to find an eighth guy. Doesn’t matter what position you play.”

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Countdown to IUFB Kickoff: 72 Days (Simon Stepaniak)

Countdown to IUFB Kickoff: 72 Days (Simon Stepaniak)

Written by David Sugarman (@David_Sugarman2)

The Hoosier Huddle Countdown rolls along now just 72 days away from opening night against Ohio State. Today we take a look at a new starting face along the offensive line, Simon Stepaniak.

#72

Simon Stepaniak (Redhsirt Sophomore)

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2017 Spring Practice Preview: Offensive Line

2017 Spring Practice Preview: Offensive Line

Written By David Sugarman

While they are often always considered the most important unit on the field you rarely know them all by name. You always hear how games are won and lost in the battle at the line of scrimmage, but for some reason we tend to overlook those names along the offensive line. Today we’re here to change that as we take a look at who’s going to be pushing the pile and protecting whomever the starting quarterback is come August 31st against Ohio State.

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