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Wednesday, June 24, 2009
Three fresh faces for Indiana in 2009

By ESPN.com staff
ESPN.com

Posted by ESPN.com's Adam Rittenberg

The fresh faces series continues with the Indiana Hoosiers.

OFFENSE -- Darius Willis, RB, Fr.

Willis came to Indiana as the team's most heralded recruit in quite some time but redshirted last fall. With Marcus Thigpen graduating, Indiana's running back spot is open entering the summer and Willis should get plenty of touches. At 6-foot, 219 pounds, Willis boasts excellent size for a back and gives Indiana a different look than the smallish Thigpen. He was named co-offensive scout team player of the year last fall and showed promise late this spring after battling through several minor injuries.

DEFENSE -- Damon Sims, LB, Fr.

Head coach Bill Lynch and his staff really liked what they saw from Sims during the recruiting process, and Indiana's extensive struggles on defense should give young players opportunities to contribute. Sims played both defensive back and linebacker in high school and could help at multiple positions. West Virginia made a late push for him, but he stuck with the Hoosiers.

SPECIAL TEAMS -- Mitch Ewald, K, Fr.

Indiana needs to replace former All-Big Ten kicker Austin Starr, and it will turn to Ewald as a likely option this season. Ewald ranked as the nation's fourth best kicker by ESPN's Scouts Inc. despite getting limited work on field goals the last few seasons. He has a big leg and connected on a 47-yard attempt as a high school senior. He'll compete for the starting job in preseason camp alongside Nick Ford and Nick Freeland.