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2016 Indiana Football preview: Offensive Line

Despite losing an All-American from last year’s offensive line, Indiana returns Feeney and a host of talent, giving the Hoosiers one of the top lines in the country.

Indiana v Purdue Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images

There are many things about the Indiana Hoosiers that have yet to live up to expectations during the Kevin Wilson Era. However, that is certainly not the case with the offensive line.

In the last two season, Indiana has produced three separate 1,000-yard rushers. Last year, the Hoosier offensive line had a pair of All-Americans.

Entering 2016, sport one of the best lines in the Big Ten and likely in the country, thanks in large part to the work of offensive line coach Greg Frey.

While Feeney is the most notable member of the unit, the Hoosiers return much of the cast that helped produce two 1,000-yard runners last season in Jordan Howard and Devine Redding.

And while the hole left by Jason Spriggs is a big one, the Hoosiers looked prepped for another big season up front, even recently drawing praise from ESPN.

STARTERS

Dan Feeney - The most recognizable name on this list, Feeney is the biggest name and biggest prospect of the unit. After flirting with the NFL Draft, Feeney returned for his senior season. Feeney has started 37 career games for the Hoosiers and allowed just one career sack, a stat these seems made up.

Feeney will serve as the leader of the offensive line, a group that consists of four redshirt seniors.

Dimitric Camiel - Camiel, who likely will play at right tackle next to Feeney this year after starting all 13 games there last year, is another redshirt senior who has plenty of experience.

Camiel has potential to make a big leap this year. At 6’7” and 320 pounds, he has the make of a NFL-caliber lineman. His continuity next to Feeney should not be understated as a big part of a successful offensive line is chemistry and an understanding. Don’t be surprised if Camiel is a standout player this season on the right side of the line.

Brandon Knight - Knight was thrown into the fire in his freshman year, playing in 11 games as a tight end and an offensive tackle, earning an honorable mention for the BTN.com All-Freshman team. This year as a sophomore, Knight will likely play a role in the offensive line once again and, with Spriggs’ leaving a hole at left tackle, will likely be the starter to protect his quarterback’s blindside.

Jacob Bailey - The third redshirt senior on this line, Bailey likely has the left guard position locked in after starting there over the final seven games for the Hoosiers. While not the best lineman, Bailey is more than capable, and as stated before, brings continuity and experience.

Wes Rogers - The biggest question mark on the offensive line comes at center where there is no logical replacement waiting in the wings. However, as the fourth (and final) redshirt senior, Rogers is likely the leader in the clubhouse. Rogers appeared in five games last year and would give the Hoosiers a host of experience up front.

Names To Know

Wes Martin - Martin was named to the BTN.com All-Freshman team and, as a redshirt sophomore, is one of the few non-starters with experience for the Hoosiers.

Delroy Baker - Baker only made one appearance in 2015, coming in the win vs. Maryland. But as a 6’6 redshirt sophomore, Baker will likely be one of the first guys off the bench this season.

Simon Stepaniak - Stepaniak is a redshirt freshman who spent last year on the scout team and was a two-time scout team Player of the Week.

Hunter Littlejohn - Littlejohn redshirted in 2015 and was the scout team Player of the Week in the build-up to Purdue.

DaVondre Love - Love redshirted in 2015 and enters 2016 as a redshirt freshman. Has the physical tools to be an impact player as he’s listed at 6’7”, 305 pounds.

Conclusion

There are certainly question marks for the Hoosiers offensively next season, but there is no question the offensive line will be dominant once again this year. With loads of experience players like Feeney and Camiel leading the way, the Hoosiers won’t lose many battles in the trenches. Even more importantly, the Hoosiers have the depth to absorb an injury or two, should they happen, while also being able to rotate players enough to hopefully avoid said injuries.