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Indiana football: Assessing the wide receivers

Meet the new guys

Syndication: Akron Beacon Journal Phil Masturzo/ Beacon Journal / USA TODAY NETWORK

Curt Cignetti has hit the ground running in building his roster for Indiana football, including keeping some big talent in the receiver room with Donaven McCulley withdrawing from the transfer portal.

There are some new faces though, bringing a lot of college football experience and some familiarity with quarterback Kurtis Rourke, who joins Indiana from Ohio University.

The portal is still open for another week or so, but as of now, Indiana has added three players at wide receiver so far: Ke’Shawn Williams from Wake Forest, Myles Price from Texas Tech, and Miles Cross from Ohio University.

Before getting into their stats, the first thing that jumps out about this trio is that they all have very similar physical profiles. Both Price and Cross are listed at 5’10” and 190 lbs. while Williams stands at 6’1” and 195 pounds.

Keeping McCulley shows that he isn’t opposed to receivers with bigger frames, but it’s too early to tell whether these guys will be competing for the same snap counts or if Cignetti prefers smaller, speedier receivers.

Williams comes after playing four seasons with Wake Forest, where he averaged at least 10 yards per reception in each season. Williams also carried the ball occasionally and returned punts at Wake Forest.

With return specialist Jaylin Lucas still in the portal, getting somebody who can return kicks and punts is a good move no matter what his offensive impact will be.

Price is another guy coming to Bloomington with four years of college experience. He caught at least 25 passes in each of his four years at Texas Tech, scoring a career-high five touchdowns in his last season with the Red Raiders.

Price is another guy who has seen some time on special teams in his career, though he’s more of a punt returner than kick returner. He’s also rushed for two touchdowns in his career and attempted a pass in 2022.

Cross is coming with three years of experience, all of which he played with Kurtis Rourke. He’s somebody Rourke appears to be very comfortable and familiar with, as he was second in receptions for the Bobcats in each of the last two years.

Alongside these transfers, Indiana should have Omar Cooper Jr. and E.J. Williams Jr., who each made big plays for Indiana as the season went on. Those two also bring some more size to the room, giving Cignetti some flexibility for how he can use these guys going forward.

Incoming freshman Charlie Becker is going to have a few names ahead of him in his first year on campus and could redshirt as a result. Something to keep an eye on.

Either way, there’s plenty of reasons for optimism from Cignetti’s actions building the room to his plan for a more complex, dynamic offense than the simple concepts Indiana was working with last year under Walt Bell and Rod Carey.