Indiana Football: Tiawan Mullen named a top breakout player for 2020

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

The Indiana football program is heading into 2020 with high expectations and one of the reasons why is the potential of Tiawan Mullen.

Not too often is it a true freshman on the football field that raises heads with his play but that is exactly what Indiana football defensive back Tiawan Mullen did in 2019. Now, he’s looking for an even bigger 2020 season to follow.

After not making much of an impact through the first few weeks, it was a sort of coming-out party against Michigan State. Despite the loss, Mullen put on a show. He deflected four passes and added in two tackles, always in the action.

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Mullen’s playing time not only soared following that performance but so did his confidence.

Now coming into this offseason, the rising sophomore is expected to take a big step forward. Because of that, Athlon Sports named Mullen as one of the top breakout candidates in 2020.

"“The Florida native recorded 29 tackles (3.5 for a loss), two forced fumbles and 13 pass breakups over 13 contests. After grading out as one of the top cornerbacks in the Big Ten by Pro Football Focus and earning honorable mention all-conference honors, Mullen seems poised to jump into the mix as one of the top defensive backs in the conference next fall.”"

The emergence and development that Mullen showed throughout all of last season gives a lot of NFL scouts and front offices great confidence in what he could become. The younger brother of Raiders defensive back Trayvon Mullen, Tiawan looks to be the next member of the family taking his talents to the next level.

Mullen’s freshman campaign led him to being named a top-10 returning player in the Big Ten earlier this offseason.

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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The Hoosiers missed having a big name cover corner over the past few seasons, but with Mullen’s emergence, that is in the past and the ceiling for the Florida native is as high as any of the former players to come through the Indiana program.