We thought he was probably gone.
But the Big Ten’s best receiver made it known on Friday night: he’s not going anywhere. In a message posted to Twitter, Ty Fryfogle announced he will return to Indiana for his final year of eligibility in 2021, giving IU’s offense a jolt heading into next season.
“First, I would like to thank God for an opportunity to play football and earn a degree from Indiana University,” Fryfogle said. “This year has been filled with many unknowns and ups and downs, but I found a way to make the best of it.
“I have been presented with the opportunity to declare for the NFL Draft. However, after long talks with my mom, family, friends and coaches, I have decided to return for my last year of eligibility at Indiana University. My work here at Indiana University is not yet finished. There are many great things in store for this football team in 2021. The future is very bright and I am excited to be a part of it.”
Fryfogle is taking advantage of an NCAA waiver that granted fall athletes the option to play an extra season due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Already, several of his classmates have made similar announcements on Twitter.
But this is the biggest of the bunch.
The Big Ten’s Richter-Howard Receiver of the Year, Fryfogle caught 37 passes for 721 yards and seven scores in eight games this past season. After catching 11 balls for 200 yards against Michigan State on Nov. 14, he followed with seven receptions for 218 yards at No. 3 Ohio State a week later. In doing so, Fryfogle became the first player in Big Ten history to post back-to-back, 200-yard receiving games.
For a deeper dive on Fryfogle’s breakout season, Andy Wittry did an interesting statistical breakdown last month. It’s worth a read.
For now, we can say this: the road to the 2022 Rose Bowl run through Bloomington. We’re hearing it more and more.