Indiana Football: Tiawan Mullen named top-10 returning player in Big Ten

Tiawan Mullen, Indiana Football. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
Tiawan Mullen, Indiana Football. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) /

Indiana football freshman Tiawan Mullen is one of the top returning players in the Big Ten in 2020.

Despite it being the offseason for Indiana football, the program is making a lot of noise publicly about the upcoming 2020 season and the expectations with it. Since the bowl game loss, multiple players have decided to return, but it has also been overshadowed by the departures of Coy Cronk, Peyton Ramsey, and Ronnie Walker. One of those players returning, however, is one of the best in the Big Ten.

Tiawan Mullen took the Big Ten by storm during his true freshman season and is already regarded by many as one of the best defensive backs in the country.

With many team and player rankings coming out over the past few weeks looking ahead to 2020, Mullen landed in the top-10 returning Big Ten players from Pro Football Focus, for any class, landing at No. 10.

"“Tiawan Mullen was a stingy player in coverage as a true freshman in 2019, allowing just 18 of 40 targets to be caught while also recording the second-highest forced incompletion rate at his position at 30%. Mullen appeared in all 13 games for the Hoosiers — starting the last eight — and held his opponent to under 30 receiving yards in every single game but one. Rarely did Mullen allow an open target downfield. In fact, over half of his targets 10 or more yards downfield were a contested target, and just two of those 23 total targets were to a receiver who had open separation….”"

What’s even more notable is that there were just three defensive players on the list, with only Ambry Thomas (Michigan) as the one cornerback listed ahead of Mullen.

Some other recognition that Mullen received following the 2019 season was being named Honorable-mention All-Big Ten (coaches, media), First-Team of The Athletic,  Freshman All-American and First-Team 247Sports.

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Mullen will look to build on one of the best freshman seasons in the entire country and rebuild the Indiana secondary which struggled most of the 2019 season.