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Indiana football: Transfer portal positions of need on offense

The Hoosiers have plenty of holes on the roster following the 2022 season.

Syndication: The Herald-Times Rich Janzaruk/Herald-Times / USA TODAY NETWORK

Indiana football’s season came to an end with a 4-8 record following a loss to rival Purdue in the annual Old Oaken Bucket game.

What Indiana football fans have dreaded for months finally ensued: the offseason. With the transfer portal, plenty of NFL draft entries and a weird few days where Tom Allen was tapped as a candidate for the Liberty job, fans have already had their fill before December.

Indiana is losing talent. This is a natural part of every offseason, not every portal entry is made equal, but the Hoosiers are losing guys they definitely would rather have as part of the future in Bloomington.

Unfortunate as it sounds, Indiana has holes literally everywhere on the roster and will likely look to the transfer portal to fill some. The highest-rated class in program history, that of 2022, is still in town, but you simply can’t be certain they’ll be ready to fill some massive shoes.

That being said, well, here we go!


Likely Depth Chart:

  • Dexter Williams II (out)
  • Brendan Sorsby
  • Broc Lowry

Yeah, Indiana has a lot of work to do here. Previous starters Connor Bazelak and Jack Tuttle entered the portal, though neither has found a new home yet. Dexter Williams II would be the presumptive starter after some showing promise in the last few weeks of the season, but he suffered a knee injury against Purdue that required surgery and his status is in question.

As of right now, Brendan Sorsby sits atop Indiana’s depth chart with an intact redshirt thanks to limited playing time this season. Behind him is incoming freshman Broc Lowry, a 3-star out of Ohio.

Moving forward, Tom Allen said he would look for mobility at the quarterback position. This is a change from guys like Michael Penix Jr. and Bazelak, who did their damage from the pocket. And it makes sense because Williams II got the most out of Walt Bell’s offense despite a rough year from the offensive line, why it took that long to utilize quarterback mobility to counteract that is anyone’s guess.

Indiana needs something, anything from the portal right now. Two viable quarterbacks just isn’t enough. Maybe an experienced transfer who wants to get into coaching or someone to compete for the full-time job. Or Jack Tuttle coming back. Literally anything.

Running Back

Likely Depth Chart

  • Josh Henderson
  • Jaylin Lucas
  • (definitely someone!)

This is a weird one. Indiana has pretty much entirely relied on the transfer portal for running backs since Stevie Scott left for the NFL following the 2020 season.

Deland McCullough brought in Stephen Carr, a talented back he worked with at USC, last season before his departure for Notre Dame. Indiana rebuilt the room with Shaun Shivers and Josh Henderson while simultaneously hiring Craig Johnson to replace McCullough. Now Shivers is gone and Henderson looks to be The Guy moving forward.

Henderson brings an ability to generate yardage through contact and is reliable as a receiver for whoever ends up at quarterback next season, but there’s not much behind him. Restricting Jaylin Lucas to being a generic back would be a gross misuse of his talent and didn’t seem to be what Walt Bell was going for with him.

I’d expect Indiana to once again look to the portal to find a full-time Robin for Henderson’s Batman. Henderson more than proved his worth throughout 2022, he’ll definitely be The Guy but Indiana needs someone behind him as they look to use Lucas around the field.

Wide Receiver

Likely Depth Chart

  • Emery Simmons
  • Cam Camper (questionable)
  • Andison Coby
  • Donaven McCulley
  • David Baker
  • Redshirt Freshmen: Jaquez Smith, Omar Cooper, Kamryn Perry

Yeah, we’ve got another weird one. Cam Camper would absolutely lead this group were he not recovering from a torn ACL. At this moment, Indiana’s top receiver is Emery Simmons. Andison Coby hauled in a few receptions last year, so he’d likely be No. 2.

Right now, the room is highly dependent on the development of guys like Donaven McCulley, Jaquez Smith, Omar Cooper and Kamryn Perry. McCulley being the former quarterback, Smith and Cooper being former 4-star recruit and Perry bringing some speed.

Wide receivers coach Adam Henry will have his hands full as that group looks to contribute in 2023, and I wouldn’t be surprised if Indiana looks to add some experience to the room to help guys like Simmons and Coby while serving as mentors for the future of the position.

Offensive Line

Likely Starters

  • LT Matthew Bedford
  • LG/C Mike Katic/Zach Carpenter
  • RG Tim Weaver/Kahlil Benson
  • RT Joshua Sales (maybe Parker Hanna)


Indiana has a full-time offensive line coach not named Darren Hiller for the first time since Tom Allen was hired as head coach. There’s no way to know what Bob Bostad will do to shape the line until we hear from him for the first time, but he’s got his work cut out for him as he looks to rebuild the position group.

That being said, you cannot build a Big Ten offensive line out of the transfer portal. You can patch a hole or two with a high-level starter if you’re a program like Michigan, but it’s not possible to build an entirely new line. Bostad’s hands are tied with this current group, he’s simply gotta find a way to make it work. They could, and likely will, bring in some depth, but I’d expect Bostad to focus on developing the team’s freshmen and sophomores.