Four Hoosiers Honored by Sporting News
Dec. 17, 2009
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - Indiana defensive tackle Larry Black, Jr., kick returner Ray Fisher, center Will Matte and kicker Nick Freeland each were recognized by Sporting News. Black was named a freshman All-American and secured a spot on the freshman All-Big Ten team with Matte and Freeland, while Fisher garnered All-Big Ten honors.
Black started all 12 games and finished fourth on the team with 7.5 tackles for loss. The redshirt freshman's 7.5 TFLs ranked second among freshman defensive tackles and shared third among all freshman players. Black added 29 tackles, 1.5 sacks, one fumble recovery and two quarterback hurries.
Fisher became the second kick returner in IU history (Marcus Thigpen, three in 2006) to race back two kickoffs in one season when he scampered 93 yards to paydirt at Northwestern. He also returned the opening kickoff 91 yards for a touchdown at Akron, the first by an Indiana player since James Bailey returned one 91 yards at Northwestern in 2007. It was the first time in school history that a Hoosier returned the opening kickoff. Fisher, who suffered a season-ending injury on the opening kick at Iowa, led the nation averaging 37.4 yards per kick return with 635 yards on 17 returns and broke Thipgen's school mark for season average of 30.1 (2006).
In his first year on the offensive line and just his second year playing center, Matte started all 12 games. The redshirt freshman surrendered just two sacks and the Hoosiers allowed only 16 sacks and one sack per 27.5 pass attempts, both of which ranked second in the Big Ten.
Freeland finished the season fifth on IU's single-season list with 14 field goals and sixth on the school's single-season list with 34 extra points in as many attempts. The redshirt freshman led the team with 76 points and finished ninth in the conference in scoring. Freeland became the fourth Hoosier kicker (sixth time) to collect four field goals in a game, tying a school record, at Michigan.
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