Dan Feeney is used to being patient. From working meticulously on his footwork and hands to making sure quarterback Nate Sudfeld has plenty of time in the pocket, it's only natural for the junior right guard.
So he deliberated and weighed his options as long as possible - the deadline this past Monday, to be exact - before deciding to return to Indiana for his fifth and final season of eligibility.
"Kind of got it all the way down to the last minute," Feeney said, laughing. "I tried to weigh out every option. I was thinking pros and cons and everything, got as much information as I possibly could, so I'm positive I made the right decision."
The decision made Indiana head coach Kevin Wilson and Greg Frey both very happy, as each tweeted out their support of Feeney returning to the program. However, Feeney said the pair would've been supportive no matter what decision he made.
"They were huge on information as well," Feeney said. "They were non-biased, they were giving pros and cons of both staying and leaving, so I can't thank them enough either for their help."
Feeney's return brings size, stability and consistency back to the Hoosiers for 2016. The 6-foot-4, 310 pound redshirt junior right guard has allowed just one sack across 2,719 career snaps. This past season alone, he did not allow a single sack in 475 called pass attempts (37 starts).
His play in 2015 earned him first team All-American honors from ESPN. He also received All-America recognition from CBS Sports, the Associated Press and Sports Illustrated.
As he earned national attention, so did the Hoosiers after a tough 44-41 Pinstripe Bowl loss to Duke before a nationally-televised audience on ABC. In a way, he had some unfinished business at Indiana he wanted to take care of.
"I came into Indiana trying to turn the program around," Feeney said. "I don't think we've gotten it quite there yet. I mean, we've definitely got the work aspect and the standards raised, but we need to get the wins now. I think this year is the year."
In returning, Feeney said he hopes his teammates help him become a better football player. One of those teammates from this past season did that just recently.
Senior left tackle Jason Spriggs, a fellow starter on the Indiana offensive line, has been preparing for the NFL Draft. Feeney sought his feedback, and the two
"Jason was definitely a big help," Feeney said. "He sat down with me, gave me a bunch of pros and cons to my game, and I really can't thank him enough. He just kept giving me information - he asked agents and stuff like that. Definitely a big help and he was definitely and big influence."
When asked what feedback he was given about improving his draft prospects, Feeney said he would work on fundamentals such as his hand play and head ducking.
He's played right guard almost exclusively at Indiana but wouldn't mind trying out other spots along the offensive line, either.
"I'm definitely open for that, I'll play wherever they need me," Feeney said. "I think it would be fun to get out at tackle or play a little center."
After finalizing his decision to return to school, now he can set his sights on the 2016 season with plenty of time to decide if he wants to move around on the offensive line.
"Feels good," Feeney said. "Now I can just focus on this season, helping lead the team into bigger dreams as Big Ten champions. Just want to keep grinding, keep pushing."