Bloomington – The face of the IU football team is back.
IU issued a press release Monday afternoon confirming that quarterback Kellen Lewis was reinstated to the football team effective immediately.
Lewis missed all of spring practice and much of the team's off-season voluntary workouts after being suspended indefinitely in March for an unspecified violation of team rules, but he's now back in the fold for the fall.
"Kellen has worked very hard and reached all the benchmarks we set for him," Lynch said in a prepared statement. "He is committed to this football program and is excited to rejoin his teammates. We are happy to welcome him back."
Lewis' return is huge for a program that has hopes of taking another step forward after last season's 7-6 season and Insight Bowl invitation. The junior quarterback completed 265-of-442 passes for a school-record 3,043 yards last season while also leading the team with 736 rushing yards, earning him second-team All-Big Ten honors. He accounted for 37 touchdowns – including 28 through the air – both of which were also new school marks.
While Lewis won't have last year's top target James Hardy to throw to, he's still expected to lead an Indiana offense that should be one of the program's most formidable in recent memory. Starting tailback Marcus Thigpen (138 carries, 568 yards) is back, while juniors Demetrius McCray and Bryan Payton along with freshman Darius Willis could also compete for playing time. Ray Fisher (52 catches, 482 yards, 4 TDs) will lead a stable of wideouts that will be young but loaded with talent.
According to various sources, Lewis has been working out with his teammates for the last several weeks as he gears up for the start of the 2008 season. He'll make his return to organized practice Aug. 4 when the Hoosiers open fall camp in preparation for the Aug. 30 opener against Western Kentucky.
Lewis Reinstated to Football Team
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