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Indiana Football: Three more Hoosiers hit the Transfer Portal

The Exodus Continues

Syndication: Lansing State Journal Nick King/Lansing State Journal / USA TODAY NETWORK

A.J. Barner, Malachi Holt-Bennett, and Chris Keys have all announced via their Twitter that they would be entering the transfer portal today. Indiana now has seven players in the transfer portal, five from the offensive side of the ball, one special teams player, and one defensive player.

A.J. Barner had been with the Hoosiers since 2020 and made big jumps in production every year at Indiana. He appeared in all eight games of the 2020 season as a freshman, but almost exclusively on special teams.

Barner got his first start at tight end in 2021, though he saw action in all 12 games at the position, cementing his place in the lineup with his first multiple reception game in Indiana’s 38-3 loss to Rutgers. He finished 2021 with 14 catches for 162 yards and a touchdown.

Barner was one of Indiana’s team captains in 2022 and started every game at tight end. He ended his most productive season in Bloomington with 28 catches for 199 yards and three touchdowns as one of the favorite targets for the rotating cast of quarterbacks at Indiana.

He joins fellow captain Jack Tuttle in the transfer portal.

Malachi Holt-Bennett joined Indiana in 2021 as a three-star recruit out of Fairfield, Alabama. He was the third highest-rated player in Tom Allen’s class of 2021, behind only Donaven McCulley and Jaquez Smith.

Holt-Bennett saw limited action in his first season with Indiana, but made that time count. His only reception of the season was a 29-yard touchdown catch in Indiana’s 35-14 loss to Minnesota.

In 2022, Holt-Bennett finished with six receptions for 90 yards, but did not find the end zone. He was seventh among wide receivers in yards this season, with five of the six players ahead of him currently set to return to Indiana next year.

Chris Keys was a three-star defensive back recruit from the class of 2020, but redshirted that season after only appearing in three games. He saw action in each of Indiana’s first two games in the 2021 season before going down with a season ending injury.

In his first full season with Indiana, Keys recorded fourteen total tackles and defended one pass. He got his first career start in Indiana’s 31-10 loss to Michigan, when he recorded three tackles and the aforementioned defended pass.