2019 Indiana Football Positional Preview: Specialists

2019 Indiana Football Positional Preview: Specialists

Written by Sammy Jacobs (@Hoosier_Huddle)

The 2018 Indiana Hoosiers special teams unit had its highs (J-Shun Harris and Logan Justus) and lows (kickoff coverage and kick return). In 2019, the Hoosiers need to have a more consistent performance on special teams if they want to be playing football in December. They have the pieces to do so, but the execution has to be there. Here is what Indiana’s special teams will probably look like in 2019.

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

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Written by Amanda Pavelka (@amandapavelka3)

COUNTDOWN TO KICKOFF: 22 DAYS (#1 WHOP PHILYOR)

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. 

Needing More: Hoosier Wideouts Look to Step Up

Needing More: Hoosier Wideouts Look to Step Up

Written by T.J. Inman (@TJHoosierHuddle)

The 2018 season was a frustrating one for Indiana football. There were several positives but things did not quite click and IU came up just short of a bowl game. One of the primary reasons for that was a lack of production and explosion in the passing game. The Hoosiers did not have a receiver with more than 46 catches (Luke Timian led the way with 46) and no IU player was able to average even 50 yards receiving per contest. The Hoosiers have turned to a new offensive coordinator with hopes of igniting the offensive attack, the quarterback room is talented and there are a number of wide receivers ready to prove they can get the job done.

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Indiana Football Positional Preview: Finding the Next Wide Receiver Playmaker

Indiana Football Positional Preview: Finding the Next Wide Receiver Playmaker

Written By Nathan Comp

When Indiana was struggling in the passing game last year, an always reliable target came in the form of Simmie Cobbs. Now, Simmie Cobbs has moved on to the NFL and the Hoosiers must find a new playmaker in the receiving corps. Some up and comers, along with some proven players coming back from injury, will serve as the most likely targets for whoever ends up winning the right to line up behind center in the fall.

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Spring Practice 2018 Positional Preview: Wide Receivers

Spring Practice 2018 Positional Preview: Wide Receivers

Written By Rylie Kyhn 

Throughout the 2017 season, injuries were a problem for the wide receiver group which lead to
adjustments in the passing game and forced young players to step up. When three experienced
receivers suffered season-ending injuries early in the season, the Hoosiers needed to find
production and consistency in the group that remained healthy. Redshirt junior J-Shun Harris II
and junior Nick Westbrook both suffered from season-ending ACL tears and junior Donavan
Hale suffered a season ending injury in the third game of the season. The Hoosiers worked a
number of players into the offense at the receiver position and worked to figure out the right
combination but it was something they seemed to struggle with all season.

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Spring Practice 2018 Position Battle: Kick Returner

Spring Practice 2018 Position Battle: Kick Returner

Written By Sammy Jacobs (@Hoosier_Huddle)

Our next installment of the Spring Practice Preview is the position battle at kick returner. While some may scoff at this and say that kick return is just not that important or we are reaching here, there is immense value in these “hidden” yards.  According to Bill Connelly’s book Study Hall which chronicled the 2012 college football season teams that held a significant starting field position advantage tended to win the game more often than not.

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Top Five: Indiana Players (Current) We Love To Watch

Top Five: Indiana Players (Current) We Love To Watch

Written By Alex Compton (@alexncompton)

These top five lists have been so much fun to go through in the offseason so far, and this list is no exception. The staff at Hoosier Huddle pooled together to come up with this one, and I think this is a pretty enjoyable list. What’s your top five? Drop it down in the comments and let’s see what everyone thinks!

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Indiana's 2017 Receivers Could be It's Deepest and Most Talented Group Ever

Indiana's 2017 Receivers Could be It's Deepest and Most Talented Group Ever

Written By David Sugarman (@David_Sugarman2)

Indiana’s best receiver went down in his first game of the season in 2016. Indiana had the second best passing offense in the Big Ten in 2016. Those two sentences look odd next to each other, but it’s true. Despite losing Simmie Cobbs to an ankle injury for the season on the opening series of an early season game with Ball State, Indiana was able to put together a very formidable receiving core. Nick Westbrook was able to step out of the shadow of Cobbs for a big season, going for nearly 1,000 yards after being used sparingly in 2015. Complimentary receivers like Mitchell Paige and Luke Timian proved to be consistent targets all season long for Richard Lagow as well. With a now healthy Cobbs and young talent waiting in the wings, the Indiana receiving core has a chance to be one of the best in the Big Ten, but will also have the tall task of replacing the production of Paige and Ricky Jones.

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Countdown to IUFB Kickoff: 58 Days (Whop Philyor)

Countdown to IUFB Kickoff: 58 Days (Whop Philyor)

Written by: TJ Inman (@TJHoosierHuddle)

#58

The Hoosier Huddle Countdown to Kick-off is roaring towards the halfway point! The season opener against the Ohio State Buckeyes is now less than two months away! Today’s article focuses on a player that doesn’t have an assigned number yet so the vacant #58 has been assigned to him for the purpose of our countdown. Let’s meet incoming freshman Whop Philyor!

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