IU football names to know
They’re not quite household names, but perhaps they will be this season.
With Indiana’s fall football camp coming to a close on Saturday afternoon, and with the Hoosiers’ Sept. 1 season opener at Florida International less than two weeks away, here are a handful of players you should know for the upcoming season:
22 Sophomore WR Whop Philyor
The 5-foot-11 sophomore slot man authored a very impressive camp during his first full preseason with the program. As a potent weapon on crossing routes, Philyor appears poised for a true breakout campaign. Philyor emerged as a playmaker during the second half of last season, when he posted 275 of his 335 yards and 25 of his 33 catches across the final five games. From the onset this season, Philyor looks to be on track for a big year.
21 Freshman RB Stevie Scott
The Hoosiers entered camp with an intriguing backfield, led by returnees Morgan Ellison, Cole Gest and Mike Majette. But during the first week of action, Scott asserted himself as yet another option. There was talk that the 6-foot-2, 233-pound freshman might begin his career at linebacker. Instead, he’ll give IU a nice complement to Ellison’s power and Gest’s explosiveness. If Scott’s able to challenge opposing fronts like he did IU’s this month, it will give Indiana yet another set of all-important fresh legs.
69 Junior DE Gavin Everett
The former walk-on is another player who emerged in the second half of last season. After earning regular playing time in IU’s defensive line rotation, Everett was rewarded last week with a scholarship for the upcoming season. Everett garnered the bulk of the first-team reps at strong side end this month, impressing IU’s coaching staff with his toughness and reliability.
83 Junior TE Austin Dorris
With former starter Ian Thomas now with the Carolina Panthers, Indiana’s open competition at tight end featured a mix of veterans and newcomers vying for time. Dorris stepped up this month both as a veteran presence and as a playmaker, catching two touchdown passes during IU’s first scrimmage of the month. Indiana is likely to give a few guys reps at the position this season. Also keep an eye on freshman Matt Bjorson.
35 Senior DE Nile Sykes
Sykes is no stranger to IU’s defensive spotlight. The 6-foot-2, 252-pound former linebacker surfaced as the Hoosiers’ top pass rusher in 2016, when he recorded 18 solo tackles, five sacks and seven tackles for loss. An injury suffered on the eve of last year’s preseason camp prevented Sykes from taking the next step. But with the Hoosiers losing three starters from last season’s D-line, Sykes will provide an immediate boost — and he seems eager to remind the Big Ten that he can be a factor up front.