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2019 Indiana Football Preview: Potential Impact Freshmen

IU’s recruiting class of 2019 was rated as its best of the 247 era which means there has to be at least a few players in the bunch who can make things happen on the field right away

Tiawan Mullen (23) returns a punt during the All-American Bowl on January 05, 2019 at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas.
Photo by Daniel Dunn/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Editor’s Note: This article has been updated to show that 247 Sports started “rating” recruits in 2000, not “eating” them. We do not know the dietary habits of that outlet.

With each new season comes a new group of incoming players, fresh faces on campus that some fans may have no familiarity with unless they’re tapped into the world of FOOTBALL CROOTIN’, complete with ratings from 247 Sports, Rivals and ESPN as well as Hudl videos and perhaps, if the player is local, they’ve seen them play a time or two in high school.

These things can only give you so much insight into how good a player is or could be, but they’re all that we have until those players actually suit up and take the field for whichever school they’ve chosen to play for. Once those players step on the field, some of them progress quickly, developing into important players before they even finish their first semester of college. This year in Bloomington there are a few players who could do just that, the perks of one of the best recruiting classes in program history.

Beau Robbins, DL - One of three (3) four-star recruits to sign with IU, Robbins is one of the highest-rated signees in program history. Since 247 Sports started rating recruits in 2000 just five IU signees have been rated better than he was coming out of high school. Robbins should play on the edge for the Hoosiers, likely as a strong-side defensive end, and has the potential to be the anchor of Tom Allen’s defensive line in the future. As many freshmen do, he has upperclassmen who he’ll have to contend with for playing time. Gavin Everett and Allen Stallings should start at the end spots this year, but IU defensive line coach Mark Hagen will rotate guys in and out so don’t be surprised to see plenty of Robbins this fall.

Tiawan Mullen, DB - If nothing else, Mullen has been the most vocal ambassador among these freshmen since committing to IU last September. His Twitter activity aside, he has real skills. The cornerback played in the Army All-American Bowl back in January and despite being ranked 547th in the country as a three-star recruit he appears to be better than that. He’s also the brother of former Clemson Tiger and current Oakland Raiders Trayvon Mullen. There are a few upperclassmen ahead of him on the depth chart, but the younger Mullen should be a starter for the Hoosiers someday and that could start with him being a part of a rotation this season.

Larry Tracy III, DB - Another in-state star, Tracy is another key pick-up in this recruiting class. The former Decatur Central HS star was one of the best seniors coming out of Indiana last year and should provide good depth at the cornerback position this year. Just like with Mullen there are some upperclassmen ahead of him who should make up the core of the group at corner, but he’s got the talent to make plays for IU.

Sampson James, RB - Ahead of last season the Hoosiers signed their highest rated running back in the history of the program in Ronnie Walker, then they did it again. James is the biggest recruit in this class and the only recruit in IU history to be rated higher than him is Stephen Williams back in the class of 2000. The Avon, Indiana native was initially committed to Ohio State before flipping to IU last October. Despite Stevie Scott’s status as the lead horse in IU’s stable, James should be able to work his way on the field and could make an impact when he gets there by utilizing his big play ability.

Cameron Williams, LB - There might be a bit of a theme here but Williams is, as James and Robbins are, one of the top recruits in IU history. The Merrillville, Indiana native could possibly have trouble getting on the field with Reakwon Jones, Thomas Allen, James Miller and Micah McFadden all vying for playing time at linebacker as well. His talent could potentially allow him to be a factor on special teams if he doesn’t get extensive time on defense this season.

Sean Wracher, LS - The easiest way to make an impact is to just be on the field. Despite being the lowest-rated member of IU’s 2019 recruiting class, he’ll be able to get on the field right away. Wracher is expected to replace the now-departed Dan Godsil as IU’s long snapper which might not seem terribly important, but once the long snapper makes a mistake that tends to change. The Cleveland native was the seventh-ranked long snapper in the class of 2019 nationally and received a rating just south of three stars.