Hoosiers lose two returning starters to injury
CHICAGO -- Indiana announced Thursday it will go into the season with two fewer returning starters than previously expected.
Receiver J-Shun Harris is out after suffering a torn ACL during summer workouts while offensive lineman Ralston Evans was granted a medical hardship for an undisclosed injury.
Harris would have been the Hoosiers' leading returning receiver as he caught 18 passes for 168 yards last season, but head coach Kevin Wilson named a slew of players he expects to pick up the slack.
"I think we're going to have a very, very good group," Wilson said. "Ricky Jones is finally healthy, looking very, very good."
Along with Jones, a 5-foot-10, 185-pound junior, Wilson named freshmen Issac James and Mike Majette along with veterans Mitchell Paige and Damon Graham.
"It's a tough break for J-Shun, but I think this is the most skill group we've had," Wilson said. "This is a significantly better skill group than last year."
The loss of Evans leaves Indiana with three returning starters on the line: Jason Spriggs, Dan Feeney and Jake Reed.
"Injuries ended Ralston's final two seasons and limited him this spring," Wilson said in a team release. "He was a great player and is an even better man. Fortunately, Ralston will serve as a student coach this year. His leadership will continue to be invaluable to our team."
The team also announced cornerback Kenny Mullen will not play a fifth season after graduating while defensive lineman Nick Carovillano, receiver Coray Keel and cornerback Laray Smith have left the team.