Written By: Nick Holmes (@HoosierHolmes)
In light of yesterday’s announcement that Indiana Tight End Jordan Fuchs would be joining the Hoosiers basketball program for the rest of the season, it got me thinking, when next fall rolls around, who should Kevin Wilson be asking Tom Crean to borrow for a few weeks?
Troy Williams might be the most logical choice, as he has the type of raw athleticism that translates to nearly any sport. His size, speed, and jumping ability would make him an absolute nightmare for opposing defenses. Can you imagine a 5-foot 11 defensive back trying to cover the 6-foot 7 Williams and his 40 inch vertical? Let me just give you a preview of the outcome, “TOUCHDOWN HOOSIERS!”
We’ve seen him effortlessly rise up for big dunks, get acrobatic put backs, and complete awe-inspiring alley-oops on tosses from teammates, so it’s really not that hard to imagine him catching lobs from quarterback Nate Sudfeld. His ability to jump and seemingly levitate would make him nearly indefensible inside the 20, the epitome of a red-zone threat.
The one knock on Williams would be his slender build, which could make him susceptible to getting jammed at the line. However, if he could learn how to get a proper release and avoid getting caught up at the line, he’d provide the Hoosiers with the ultimate vertical threat, pun intended.
The Utility Man
In Collin Hartman’s second season with the Hoosiers he’s proven to be somewhat of a jack of all trades. He’s adept at knocking down the trey, great at setting screens, and is good at grabbing offensive rebounds and getting put-backs. So it makes sense that Hartman, like many former basketball players turned football players including Antonio Gates, would project nicely at tight-end.
The versatility demanded at the tight-end position, an ability to stay in and block or split out and run routes, is why someone with Hartman’s wide array of skills would make for a suitable choice at the spot. At 6-foot 7, he also brings ideal height to the position, providing Hoosier quarterbacks with a large target running across the middle of the field or down the seam.
The one thing that could diminish his effectiveness is that he’s about 25 to 30 pounds underweight to play tight-end. However, if there’s anything Hartman has proven in the last four weeks playing out of position at center for the basketball team, it's that size doesn’t matter.
This list would not be complete without the diminutive and agile playmaker, Yogi Ferrell. The talented point guard could line up at tail back, in the slot, or even at wildcat, make that wildbear. Whatever the case, just get the ball into his hands, get out of the way and watch the magic happen. I’m already envisioning Ferrell breaking ankles on the gridiron as easily as he does on the hardwood.
Speaking of making defenders look foolish, does former Quarterback Antwaan Randle El and these highlights come to mind for anyone else? Opposing defenses were absolutely helpless trying to defend Randle El as he would juke and spin, causing the less athletic defenders to continually whiff as they would try to get a hand on him. It’s not hard to believe that Ferrell too would give Big Ten defensive coordinators fits.
What Ferrell might lack in terms of size, he certainly makes up for with his grit, passion, and highly competitive nature. His propensity to make to make big plays at critical times would make him a valuable asset wherever he lines up on the field.
This piece is not meant to imply that any of these guys could come in and have an immediate impact, or even have an impact at all. Playing one sport in college is difficult enough, playing two sports at this level is nearly impossible, which is why there are so few doing it today. However, it still makes for an interesting discussion. But now it’s up to you Hoosier Huddle fans, which star on the hardwood has the potential makings of a star on the gridiron?