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Collin Rahrig heading to Pittsburgh #iufb

Collin Rahrig is heading to Pittsburgh.

Rahrig told The Herald-Times in a text message Saturday that he signed a free agent contract with the Steelers, becoming the third Hoosier to find a professional home. The South Bend native started 36 of the 40 career games he played at Indiana, making 19 of those starts at center, 12 at left guard and five at right guard. As a senior, Rahrig was named a All-Big Ten honorable mention selection by both coaches and meida. He was also a nominee for the Rimington and Burlsworth trophies.

Rahrig started the first six games of last season before moving to left guard for the final six. NFL teams like him at center in a zone blocking scheme, which the Steelers have used since 2013. He was second among Indiana linemen with 56 knockdowns last season.

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Shane Wynn and Tevin Coleman to be reunited in Atlanta #iufb

Shane Wynn and Tevin Coleman won’t be separated.

One day after Coleman went to Atlanta in the third round of the NFL Draft, the Falcons reached out to Wynn with a free agent contract after the IU receiver went undrafted on Saturday. Wynn’s agent, Ed Wasielewski, confirmed his destination on Saturday evening.

Wynn ran a 4.29 40-yard dash at Indiana’s Pro Day in late March, a time that would have been the second-fastest mark at the NFL Combine. He could profile as a return man in the NFL.

Wynn finished his four-year career at Indiana tied for second in receptions (189), third in kick return yardage (1,854) and tied for third in receiving touchdowns (20) on the Hoosiers’ career leaderaboards. Wynn started the final 36 games of his career and appeared in all 48, standing as the only player in IU history with a receiving, rushing, kick return and punt return touchdown in his career. He is also the eighth Indiana player to record 100 catches and 1,000 yards for his career.

Now he’ll try to latch on and keep his partnership with Coleman going for a few more years.

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PG Harrison Niego commits to Indiana as preferred walk-on #iubb

As an eighth-grader, Harrison Niego remembers watching Nick Zeisloft lead Lyons Township High School to back-to-back regional championships in Illinois.

Now, the two are set to become teammates at Indiana.

Niego, a 6-foot-2 point guard from Zeisloft’s alma mater, committed to IU on Friday night as a preferred walk-on for the 2015-16 season. He, like Zeisloft, will add another knockdown shooter to Indiana’s bench.

“This team has a lot of potential to make a great run this year,” Niego said. “(I liked) the culture of winning, and it starts from the top and goes all the way to the bottom. It was irresistible and it’s how I work, too. That was really attractive.”

Niego’s father, Joe, a former fourth-round draft pick of the Houston Rockets in 1987, said Indiana has shown interest since his son’s sophomore season. North Dakota State, Illinois-Chicago and Northern Illinois each offered Niego, who was also considering Ivy League schools Yale, Dartmouth and Cornell.

IU coach Tom Crean and assistant Tim Buckley were both involved in Niego’s recruitment. Peegs.com’s Jeff Rabjohns was first to report Niego’s commitment.

“Harrison got the call from coach Crean asking us to come to campus and to visit with the coaches again,” Joe Niego said. “We sat down and looked at film, and coach laid down his plan on how he saw Harrison fitting in. We got there, and after talking to coach Crean and the players and seeing the history there and what they’re continuing to build on, he just got excited for the opportunity. He came home and we did the pros and the cons of the other opportunities.”

Niego joins an IU roster that currently has only four guards, including Yogi Ferrell, Robert Johnson, James Blackmon Jr. and Zeisloft. That supporting cast, along with a deep backcourt, made it an easy sell.

“He’s a guy that shoots the ball extremely well,” Niego’s father said. “He has a real high basketball IQ. One thing he’s never really had a chance to do in his basketball career is really play with athletic players around him. He’s a guy that feels he can use the talent around him and there’s a lot of athleticism there that he’s excited to get going with.”

He’s excited to team with Zeisloft, too. As Niego weighed his college options and considered the possibilities of accepting a basketball scholarship at a mid-major, playing in the Ivy League or walking on at Indiana, he leaned on Zeisloft for advice.

Those conversations, and all the other factors, including the chance to play for a Big Ten championship contender, led Niego to Bloomington.

“I’ve been in contact with Nick a lot over this recruiting process as Indiana became more and more one of the possibilities for me in walking on,” Niego said. “Nick’s a great guy. He’s been awesome to me. I grew up watching him. It’s really cool to now be on the same team as him.”

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Atlanta drafts Tevin Coleman in third round #iufb

It was Tevin Coleman’s dream to be a first-round pick, to be the first running back taken in this weekend’s NFL Draft.

Instead, he fell further than anyone thought.

The former Indiana running back slid to the third round Friday, going to the Atlanta Falcons with the No. 73 overall pick.

Coleman watched four running backs, including two from his own conference, selected ahead of him before going early in the third round. The Falcons were one of five teams Coleman visited.

“Me and Tevin talked about this years ago,” IU running backs coach Deland McCullough said at Coleman’s Pro Day on April 15. “Me and his dad and his mom talking about what opportunities could be there if he comes in and does the things he should do. He put confidence in me, our system.”

The consensus All-American finished seventh in the Heisman Trophy voting after rushing for Indiana single-season records of 2,036 yards, 7.5 yards per rush and four 200-yard games. One of three finalists for the Doak Walker Award, Coleman did it all while spending half a season running on a broken toe. He finished second nationally in rushing yards, rushing yards per game (169.7), all-purpose yards per game (181.4) and yards from scrimmage per game (181.4).

Coleman’s selection comes one year after receiver Cody Latimer was taken in the second round by the Denver Broncos with the No. 56 overall pick. Offensive lineman Rodger Saffold went No. 33 overall to the St. Louis Rams in the second round of the 2010 draft.​

Indiana has not had a player taken in the first round since 1994, when receiver Thomas Lewis went to the New York Giants with the No. 24 overall pick. No Big Ten team has a longer current drought between first-round picks.

Perhaps due to durability and value concerns, NFL teams shied away from taking a running back in the first round in each of the last two drafts before St. Louis picked Georgia’s Todd Gurley with the No. 10 overall pick on Thursday. San Diego later traded up two picks to get Wisconsin’s Melvin Gordon at No. 15. On Friday, Coleman wasn’t even the first running back taken. Jacksonville selected Alabama’s T.J. Yeldon with the No. 36 overall pick and Detroit took Nebraska’s Ameer Abdullah with the No. 54 overall pick.

After Dallas, another one of the teams Coleman visited, selected Nebraska linebacker Randy Gregory with the No. 60 overall pick, Coleman posted a series of tweets to his Twitter account.

“It’s in Gods hands,” Coleman wrote. “No words to be said, just watch me on the field.”

Aside from the Cowboys and Falcons, Coleman visited Baltimore, Carolina and Detroit.

The NFL will stage rounds four through seven of the draft beginning Saturday at noon. Indiana defensive lineman Bobby Richardson is also expected to be drafted at some point during the middle rounds. Receiver Shane Wynn and center Collin Rahrig are also possible late-round picks.

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April will transfer, IU back at scholarship limit #iubb

Indiana announced Friday afternoon that freshman center Jeremiah April has requested a release and plans to transfer from the school at the conclusion of the spring semester.

April, a 6-foot-11 center from Westwind Prep in Arizona, appeared in only four games for the Hoosiers and never became the low post reserve option that IU coaches hoped he could be when they offered him a scholarship late last spring.

Indiana, which was oversigned by one after the addition of five-star center Thomas Bryant, is now at the NCAA scholarship limit of 13 for the 2015-16 season.

“Jeremiah informed us earlier of his desire to seek a different situation for himself,” IU coach Tom Crean said in a statement. “He would like an increased role and we are not able to ensure him this would happen. Our hope is that he will reach his potential wherever he chooses to go.”

April missed all five games of IU’s trip to Canada in August while he dealt with an ankle injury. The injury lingered into preseason workouts and April never carved out a niche in a thin Indiana frontcourt.

When starting center Hanner Mosquera-Perea went down with a knee injury in mid-January, a door was opened for April to potentially see more minutes as the Hoosiers marched into the heart of Big Ten play. But April saw only three minutes of action during conference season, the entirety of which came during a rout at Rutgers on Feb. 22.

In January, Crean called April’s lack of playing time an issue of work ethic.

“Jeremiah’s got to work harder,” Crean said in response to a caller’s question on one of his weekly radio shows. “He’s got to work harder on his own. He’s gotta work harder in building his skills. That’s the bottom line, but he’s getting better, and anytime you have the ability to get better like that and make those strides, then you want to see that work ethic pick up even more.”

All told, April played a total of 17 minutes at IU. Prior to committing, April also received interest from Marquette, Washington State and Arizona State.

“I want to thank coach Crean and his staff for the opportunity and support and for helping me improve my game,” April said in a statement. “My goal is to go somewhere I can have a bigger role. I’ll miss my teammates. They are a great group of guys.”

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Friday’s live chat transcript

QUESTION: MODERATOR: Good morning, and welcome to today’s IU sports chat. Thanks for being here. Let’s get this first chat in May under way, shall we?
Mike, Andy, Jeremy: How are you tonight? Are you ready to get started?

JEREMY: The first of May, huh? Let’s take a break from dancing around the Maypole for a little chat on this May Day.

MIKE: Morning, everybody. Not much on the schedule today, aside from draft stuff later. Tevin Coleman is expected to be picked tonight, and I wouldn’t be shocked to see Bobby Richardson go, either. Let’s chat.

ANDY: May day! (not a distress signal, in this instance) And time to chat.

QUESTION: Why are we not knowing where the scholarship is coming from for recruit Bryant ? IU is a public institution and taxpayer supported. I personally want transparency in everything, including my sports teams. Plus, is there a date the rosters have to be settled ? NCAA mandated.
Thank you.
Terry H., Bloomington

JEREMY: Terry,
Recalling from the Ron Patterson situation a few years back, the rosters simply have to be at the scholarship limit by the time school starts in August, so there is plenty of time to sort this one out, and with the end of the semester around the corner, it will probably be sooner than later.
While I’m thinking out loud, I suppose the situation with Devin Davis bears watching too, because if doctors aren’t satisfied with where he is at the end of the summer, he could be a medical hardship waiver candidate. (more…)


Tevin Coleman still on the board after first round #iufb

Tevin Coleman’s wish didn’t come true.

When he announced in December his intentions to enter the 2015 NFL Draft, the former Indiana running back did so with the goal of being among the first 32 picks. After round one concluded late Thursday night, Coleman remained on the board.

Indiana has not had a player taken in the first round since 1994, when the New York Giants selected receiver Thomas Lewis with the No. 24 overall pick. No Big Ten team has had a longer drought.

Perhaps due to durability and value concerns, NFL teams shied away from taking a running back in the first round in each of the last two drafts before St. Louis picked Georgia’s Todd Gurley with the No. 10 overall pick on Thursday. San Diego later traded up two picks to get Wisconsin’s Melvin Gordon at No. 15.

Coleman, who visited Dallas, Baltimore, Carolina, Detroit and Atlanta, is expected to be picked Friday, when the NFL stages rounds two and three.



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