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Indiana football: The value of Bob Bostad

Another Good Move

Photo by: Andrew Mascharka/Indiana University

Despite clearing out most of Tom Allen’s staff, Curt Cignetti has decided to retain offensive line coach Bob Bostad, as reported by Adam Rittenberg of ESPN.

As we wrote when he was hired, Bostad spent a lot of time with the Wisconsin Badgers in various roles. He also spent a few years as an offensive line coach in the NFL, which should appeal to recruits.

His first recruiting assignment will be to convince Carter Smith to stick around in Bloomington. Smith was Indiana’s best blocker this season by a healthy margin and will be a key player for rebuilding Indiana’s offense under the new coaching staff.

If he can keep Smith, it should make it easier for Cignetti to keep the skill players he needs, like Jaylin Lucas, and attract more offensive talent from James Madison, as those players have begun to hit the portal as well.

Last year, Indiana’s pass blocking as a team earned a PFF grade of 45.3 and a run block grade of 47.0, which led to the third fewest total yards of offense in the conference. This year, Indiana was eighth in yards gained behind PFF grades of 56 and and 59.5 in pass and run blocking, respectively.

While Cignetti will obviously strive to be higher than middle of the pack, seeing the change that Bostad was able to make with the offensive line in just one made him worth keeping around. Especially since he did it with the same players that Darren Hiller had failed with the year before.

Bostad was probably the only Allen hire worth keeping around at this point and Cignetti did well to keep him around. He has two days now to convince whichever of his starters he wants to keep to stay at Indiana before other coaches can begin to recruit them.

Each starter seemed to improve immensely under Bostad, but there’s probably not a ton of depth there if some do leave in the portal. Indiana’s 2024 recruiting class only has three offensive lineman at this point, none of whom are ranked nationally.

In the late Tom Allen era, Indiana failed to attract offensive linemen in the transfer portal, landing just three players from other power five programs in the last three classes. Two of those signed after Bostad was hired.

With the excitement that the Cignetti hiring brings, it wouldn’t be surprising if Indiana became a more attractive destination for talented offensive linemen in the portal. Mike Katic’s departure for the NFL draft will be a nice recruiting piece for Bostad, alongside stats like these:

Simply put, Bostad is a guy who has shown that he can get the most out of any players he has, so Cignetti did extremely well to retain him on the staff going forward. It should go a long way in establishing Indiana as the offensive threat it once was.