As Indiana looks to replace the production of running back Jordan Howard, don't sleep on sophomore Mike Majette.
Last season as a true freshman, Majette appeared in 12 games, rushing for 181 yards on 37 carries. His 4.9 yards per carry average is best among all the returning running backs who saw 12 or more carries last season.
In the Rutgers game he ran for 83 yards on just 11 carries. He also had 33 receiving yards in the game, including a 17-yard touchdown reception.
It was some time after that midseason game that Majette was injured, preventing him from finishing his first season in Bloomington.
"Last year he looked really good (but) he had a sport hernia and we had to shut him down as the season went on," Indiana coach Kevin Wilson confided last week in Chicago at Big Ten Media Day.
"It was a procedure that was done over the bowl game period, lost the last few games of the year," Wilson added. "He was back for spring ball and he was one of the most impressive players we had in spring ball. Ricky Brookins has been solid, Alex Rodriguez has been solid. Devonte Williams is coming over there. You have Devine (Redding), that makes five, you throw (freshman) Cole Gest in the mix. You have Kiante Enis, now we're talking (former LB) Clyde Newton, Tyler Natee at 280 pounds. You have nine guys at that running back position."
At Woodbridge Senior High in Virginia, Majette played quarterback and defensive back and dabbled some at wide receiver, but never played the running back position.
Now with a year of playing the position and 12 more pounds of muscle to put him at 5-foot-10 and 207 pounds, Majette could be the guy to most push Devine Redding. Or at least take the backup role that Redding thrived in last year when he ran for over 1,000 yards.
"Mike is one of the upper level guys and he's very skilled," Wilson said. "He's a wildcat quarterback. He is stronger and more than anything, he is healthy, because he wasn't healthy last year."
Watch IU head coach Kevin Wilson talk about Mike Majette in his Big Ten Media breakout session: