BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — One thing that's been proven in the past three years is that Indiana has a very good secondary when everyone is healthy. And it looks like we'll see more of that in 2022.
Cornerback Jaylin Williams and safety Devon Matthews announced on Monday that they were returning to Indiana for another go-round. The good news came a day after All-American cornerback Tiawan Mullen said he was waiting a year to chase his NFL dreams, and that he would return for his senior season as well.
The trio returning is huge news for Indiana coach Tom Allen and defensive coordinator Charlton Warren, who are looking forward to bouncing back from a brutal 2-10 season in 2021 after going 8-5 and 6-2 the two previous seasons.
Williams, a senior from Memphis, Tenn., had to carry a huge load in 2021 with Mullen and fellow corner Reese Taylor missing half of the season with injuries. He has six career interceptions, and was a second-team All-Big Ten selection by both the coaches and the media in 2020.
"First I want to thank God for giving me the opportunity and blessing me to be able to continue to do what I love. I want to thank my family and my coaches for being supportive and always being in my corner. Also, I want to thank the fans because without y'all, there is no Hoosier Nation and appreciate y'all's support even though this past season did not go as planned and y'all stay strong through it all.
"I would not change a thing about my career here at Indiana except that it is not done! I came here to build a program to the best of its abilities.
"After talking and praying with family, friends and my coaches, I have another year of eligibility and I will use my final year to finish what we started. I'm excited to have another year with my brothers. The sky is the limit! #LEO''
Matthews, a senior from Jacksonville, Fla., has played four seasons at Indiana and is using his COVID year to stick around in 2022. He was a third-team All-Big Ten selection in 2020 and earned the team’s Ted Verlihay “Mental Attitude” Award.
"First, I would like to start off by thanking God for everything he has done for me in my life. Without him nothing would even be possible. I would also like to thank my family, coaches, friends and fans for their strong and encouraging support through it all.
"Even though this past season didn't go as planned and had many ups and downs, I still cherish every moment of it with this team and I have zero regrets. Nobody said it was going to be easy. I am going to do everything in my power to help this program.
"So after talking it over with friends and coaches, I have been granted another year of eligibility and I plan on using it and return for another year at IU. We definitely have unfinished business and things we want to accomplish as a team and I want to continue to be a part of it and be a better leader on and off the field for this team. My work here at IU isn't done and I am thrilled to come back and work with my brothers. Let's work!''
Related stories on Indiana football
- MULLEN BACK FOR 2022: All-American cornerback Tiawan Mullen is coming back for the 2022 season, where he'll get to spend a season with his younger brother, Trevell Mullen, who will be signing with the Hoosiers next week. CLICK HERE
- BOWL SCHEDULE: Here is the complete schedule for the 2021-22 bowl games coming up in the next few weeks, with dates, game times, TV and point spread information where available. CLICK HERE
- SHERIDAN FIRED: Offensive coordinator Nick Sheridan was fired after two seasons at the helm of Indiana's offense. CLICK HERE