A new Indiana football season opens Friday against Illinois. Over the past two years, the Hoosiers have seen the highs and lows of college football, and are looking to get back towards the highs in 2022.
For a team with many unanswered questions ahead of its opener, the Hoosier Network football beat tried to make predictions for the season.
Most Valuable Player
Carlo Barone: The pick has to be Tiawan Mullen here. Mullen is a former All-American, and with newcomers on defense — including his brother, Terrell — Indiana’s defense as a whole will bounce back and have a strong year in 2022. Mullen will look to show much of his older self after a tough year of injuries that hindered him for most of 2021. I think Mullen will have a standout swan song season, improving his draft stock and boosting the team around him.
Evan Gerike: While MVP predictions have been all about the quarterbacks the past two years, neither potential starter seems to have enough ability to carry this team by himself. I’ll switch sides of the ball and pick IU’s best player going into the season in Mullen. He had a down year in 2021, but his breakout in 2019 and strong 2020 (where he earned first-team All-American honors) still show what he can be. He’s come back in 2022 because he said there’s unfinished business at Indiana, so expect him to have a resurgence.
Max Parker: Let’s switch it up. Throughout this offseason, the team has continuously been putting Cam Jones in front of the media, and he comes off as a leader. He seems confident, poised and ready to prove himself this season. I think he really steps into the leadership position well, and establishes himself as an anchor for this defense and team as a whole.