Monday, May 14, 2012
Most indispensible players: Indiana
By Brian Bennett
It's a new week, and it's time to delve back into our series looking at the most indispensable players on each Big Ten squad entering the 2012 season.
Once again, this is not necessarily a listing of the best players on each team, but ones whose absence would be toughest to absorb because of their particular value or a lack of depth behind them. Let's take a look now at the Indiana Hoosiers:
Will Matte, C, Sr.
The Hoosiers have some replacement options for several key players on offense. For example, if quarterback Tre Roberson were unavailable, junior college import Cameron Coffman showed this spring that he could run the offense. Leading rusher Stephen Houston has solid backups in Isaiah Roundtree and Matt Perez. It wouldn't be nearly as easy to replace Matte, a fifth-year senior who has started 32 career games on what is otherwise a pretty young offensive line. Indiana had to scramble when Matte got hurt last season and would not want to be without his leadership again this year.
Adam Replogle, DT, Sr.
The Indiana defense was pretty brutal last year, but Replogle wasn't to blame. He led the team with four sacks, while adding seven tackles for loss and 49 stops overall, which was the most on the team's defensive line. He enters 2012 as the Hoosiers' active career leader in tackles, sacks and tackles for loss (tied in that last category with fellow defensive lineman Larry Black Jr., who's pretty indispensable himself). Replogle was a team captain last season, providing leadership to an extremely young team. He'll need to do that again, along with making plays up front to help this defense get better.