Tevin Coleman was within 42 yards of the 1,000 yard rushing mark last year when a severe ankle injury cost him the final three games of the season.
Fast forward to Spring Football and Coleman is just now finally feeling confident again running the football.
"The first practice we had out here with no pads I just had to kind of get out here and get a feel for it,'' Coleman said Tuesday. "I was kind of hesitant. I was scared to cut hard but now I'm confident in my ankle again. I feel like it's 100 percent.''
Indiana will be counting heavily on Coleman to be its featured running back in the fall. With Stephen Houston having used up his eligibility, IU's running game will be led by Coleman, D'Angelo Roberts and Laray Smith.
Coleman injured his ankle late in the game against Illinois at Memorial Stadium, a game where he ran for 215 yards on 15 carries including touchdown runs of 64 and 75 yards. The following Monday Coleman learned he had been named Big Ten offensive player of the week. He also learned, however, that it was likely he wouldn't play again in 2013.
Coleman gained 958 yards which ranked third among Big Ten running backs at the time of his injury. He also averaged 106.4 rushing yards per game and 7.3 yards per carry. Coleman had eight runs a year ago of 40 yards or more.
"I've come back real motivated this spring and I'm just lucky the injury wasn't any more serious than it was,'' Coleman said. "I spent a lot of time working on my ankle and just trying to get bigger and stronger and getting my agility back.''
This spring, Coleman and Roberts have been used sparingly as the IU coaching staff has been trying to get some of the unproven running backs up to speed.
Follow Terry Hutchens at Twitter.com/Foxsportshutch