EDITOR'S NOTE: AJCuster is our newest contributor who will primarily be covering football recruiting. We now have two Kyles and two AJs, so if anyone knows a Ben who wants to write for us, that'd be great.
What a year it's been for Hoosier Football. Tevin Coleman is closing in on 2000 yards rushing for the season and....I believe a few more things were supposed to happen alongside Coleman's ludicrous season, but I can't recall. Oh yes! We were supposed to be one of the most dynamic offenses in the country no longer hindered by a two-quarterback system and, helped out by an improved defense, make a bowl game for the first time since 2007. Things didn't go exactly as planned.
Fond memories of a season with so much promise, gone awry with one shoulder injury to QB Nate Sudfeld, shouldn't get Indiana down. Coleman's season isn't the only positive takeaway for this team. They got to see fun, new places (insert New Jersey joke here), hung tough for 3+ quarters against the Buckeyes, helped Tevin Coleman to an amazing season on the ground, and still have a chance to send Purdue to rock bottom in the Big Ten standings.
With the annual Bucket Bowl as the de facto postseason game for both the Hoosiers and the Boilermakers, it doesn't hurt to take a look into the future and see who is coming to Bloomington next season. Now, let's look at the 3 biggest personnel losses for the Hoosiers followed by 3 recruits that could potentially replace their production on the field:
1. Tevin Coleman - RB
Let's face it Hoosier fans: Tevin is going to the NFL, and no amount of kicking and screaming can make him stay in Bloomington. He has nothing left to prove here after rushing for over 1900 yards and 15 touchdowns in 2014 (with a game to go), and 3100 career yards and 28 touchdowns. Go get your money, young fella.
Potential Replacement: N/A
The Hoosiers have no new running backs signed for 2015. Indiana's current roster is loaded with running backs, and they are only losing Coleman (NFL) and D'Angelo Roberts (graduation). Look for Kevin Wilson to promote someone in-house to be the starter, with one or two others joining the running back committee. If current freshman Devine Redding [118 yds, 4.1 average, 1 TD] can make a splash early next season, look for him to get a majority of the snaps at RB.
2. Shane Wynn - WR
The senior season Wynn could have had... man, what a shame. With Kofi Hughes, Ted Bolser, and Cody Latimer gone, Wynn was Sudfeld's number one target and on track for a monster year. He still had a good year, sitting now at 50 catches for 661 yards and 3 touchdowns. He has a total of 183 catches, 2151 yards, and 20 touchdowns at Indiana. While the rest of IU's receivers had an epidemic of the drops this season, Wynn was the most reliable pass catcher.
Potential Replacement: Leon Thornton - WR - Montini Catholic HS - Lombard, IL
The Hoosiers' highest rated committed recruit (ESPN 4-star, #69 WR 247Composite, 5.7 Rivals) is also the recruit that might see the most playing time in 2015 with the departure of three senior wide receivers. His size (6' 1", 196lbs) along with his great ability to put moves on would-be tacklers will give the returning Nate Sudfeld a reliable target on bubble screens and short routes that require a juke or a stiff arm to pick up yards after the catch.
3. Bobby Richardson - DT
One of the few bright spots of the Hoosiers' defense this season, he is the team sack leader by a wide margin and was disruptive up front.
Potential Replacement: Jacob Robinson - DE - Westfield HS - Westfield, IN
The 19th ranked player in Indiana according to Rivals was an early 2015 commit. This tall defensive end relies on his speed and quick moves to burst around offensive lineman for sacks and tackles. More of a Dwight Freeney type to Richardson's Haloti Ngata. He has big upside as a sack artist, but must hit the weight room first.
Note: Football recruiting board coming soon.