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BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — Junior cornerback Tiawan Mullen, one of the key pieces of Indiana's defense, announced late Saturday night that he is returning to the Hoosiers for his senior season. Mullen posted the announcement on Twitter

"I would like to begin with thanking the man above for everything because without him I would be who I am today,'' Mullen said in the tweet. "Also blessing me with the opportunity to earn my degree and play this great game of football at Indiana University.

"I have been presented with the opportunity to declare for the NFL Draft, however, after long talks with my mom, family, friends and coaches, I have decided to return for my last year of eligibility at Indiana University.

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"The season didn't go how we wanted it to go, but my work here at Indiana is not done. The future is bright for the 2022 Indiana Hoosiers. Excited for what's in store.''

Mullen, a speedy 5-foot-10, 180-pound cornerback from Fort Lauderdale, Fla., was a first-time All-American as a sophomore, but he missed much of his junior year with a foot injury suffered in the Sept. 25 win at Western Kentucky. He started the first four games, but then saw action in only two other games, trying to play through the pain. It didn't work.

Mullen's return is the first piece in constructing a solid defense again. He will also get the opportunity to play with his brother, Trevell Mullen, who's one of the top cornerbacks in Florida this season, and will be signing with the Hoosiers in a few weeks.

Mullen has talked a lot since his freshmen year about coming to Indiana to help turn the program around. He's been a key piece in the Hoosiers' rise in 2019 and 2020, where they went 8-4 and 6-1 in the regular season.

The Hoosiers, decimated by injuries much of the year, went 2-10 in 2021. Mullen's return signifies that he thinks things will be different in 2022.