The Indiana Hoosiers had one of the biggest playmakers in college football last season in running back Tevin Coleman, and are going to miss him in a big way during the 2015 season. Jordan Howard decided to transfer to to the Hoosiers due to the void left by Coleman, and he has extremely big shoes to fill.
During the 2014 season with the UAB Blazers, Howard was an absolute star. He carried the football 306 times for 1,587 yards and 13 touchdowns. They asked him to be a workhorse running back, and he was more than capable of shouldering that type of a load and making the Blazers’ offense much more dangerous than it would have been.
Howard is going to be asked to play the same type of role during the upcoming 2015 season for the Hoosiers.
Nate Sudfeld is more than capable of making plays through the air, but he has been lucky enough to have a running back like Coleman throughout the past couple seasons. He threw for 1,151 yards, six touchdowns and three interceptions last year before going down with an injury. Indiana is going to look to throw the football a lot with him back under center, but they aren’t going to get away from the ground game either.
At 6-foot-1 and 225 pounds, Howard possesses the ability to break big plays as well as pick up tough yardage. He is the ideal size to be an every down running back, and is without question capable of taking his game to a new level for the Hoosiers.
Indiana head coach Kevin Wilson has been building the Hoosiers’ football program over the past couple of seasons. They are still nowhere near being a legitimate big bowl contender, but they are taking small steps forward. Howard is heading into his junior season, which gives the Hoosiers two seasons of being set at the running back position.
Offensively, the Hoosiers should be just fine moving forward and likely won’t have too many issues. It is on the defensive side of the football that they have to take a big step forward in 2015 if they want to make a run at finishing the season with a winning record.
Coming off of a 4-8 season last year and a 1-7 record in the Big Ten, Indiana is in desperate need of taking another step forward and making some improvements. They have added the necessary talent to win a couple more games, and excitement is beginning to grow around Bloomington, Indiana. If the Hoosiers can live up to their potential on paper, there is a good chance that they could finish the season with an even record and make a bowl game.
Expect to see Howard live up to the hype and become a workhorse running back for the Hoosiers immediately. He has the potential to work his way into being an NFL Draft pick, but it all starts with proving himself in the Big Ten conference as a big-time playmaker for Indiana.
*Featured Photo (above) credit to USA TODAY Sports