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Indiana football: Donaven McCulley withdraws from transfer portal

Another piece of the puzzle

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

Indiana football landed another huge recommitment today in Donaven McCulley, who led the team in receiving yards, receptions, and touchdowns last year.

McCulley announced his intent to return to Indiana earlier today via Twitter:

His announcement follows the commitment of quarterback Kurtis Rourke, reigning MAC offensive player of the year, and Carter Smith’s decision to withdraw from the transfer portal. It remains to be seen how many of McCulley and Smith’s teammates will return, but the bones of a talented offense are starting to emerge.

The most encouraging thing about Indiana’s ability to retain McCulley is the way he only appeared to be reaching his potential as a wide receiver towards the end of last season.

Through the first seven games, McCulley had just one touchdown. He ended up scoring a touchdown in four of Indiana’s last five games with a two touchdown, 137 yard game against Illinois.

McCulley had offers from the likes of Michigan, Penn State, and Kentucky, each of which had plenty of national visibility, playing time, and NIL money to offer. That he chose to stay at Indiana is a good sign of the new staff’s ability to identify and recruit elite talent.

Over that final stretch of the season, McCulley established himself as a bonafide NFL prospect with his size, athleticism, and ability to get up and win contested balls. The former quarterback has also completed passes in each of the last season, one for a touchdown last year.