This is the last installment of a Big Ten-wide series. The other teams’ MVPs of the past decade: Buckeyes, Wolverines, Spartans, Nittany Lions, Terrapins, Scarlet Knights, Badgers, Hawkeyes, Boilermakers, Golden Gophers, Wildcats, Cornhuskers, Fighting Illini.

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The last 10 years of Indiana football has been weighted toward the more recent past, when the Hoosiers took a step forward under coach Tom Allen by making back-to-back bowl trips in 2019 and 2020.

Granted, IU hit a major bump last season, when it won only 2 games and was winless in the Big Ten, but that doesn’t erase the successes. Whether the Hoosiers can bounce back this season is the big question, as training camps across the Big Ten open this week.

But as we get ready for 2022, let’s take a look back at the 10 most valuable Hoosiers from the past decade (dating to the 2012 season), perhaps not always the most talented players — although some are — but the most influential.

10. Jordan Howard, RB (2015)

Jordan Howard played only 1 season in Bloomington, but it was a great one.

Left in the cold after the announcement that UAB would shut down its football program, Howard transferred to Bloomington for his junior season before being selected in the 5th round of the 2016 NFL Draft. In 2015, Howard played in 9 games for the Hoosiers, rushing for 1,213 yards (on 6.2 per carry) and 9 touchdowns.

Although he didn’t play in the Pinstripes Bowl, where IU lost to Duke, Howard did help the Hoosiers get to 6 wins and qualify for the postseason. He also nearly helped the Hoosiers to an upset vs. Michigan, rushing for 238 yards and 2 TDs in a double-overtime home loss.

9. Ty Fryfogle, WR (2017-21)

During his career, Ty Fryfogle was a very good receiver for Indiana.

For one season, he was great. In the Covid-shortened 2020 season, Fryfogle was the Big Ten’s Receiver of the Year after hauling in 37 receptions for 721 yards and 7 touchdowns, while being named a third-team All-American. As the Hoosiers marched to a 6-1 Big Ten season, challenging Ohio State for supremacy in the Big Ten East, Fryfogle was great in some of IU’s greatest games, like when he caught 7 passes for 142 yards and a touchdown in the Memorial Stadium win over Michigan or the 11-catch, 200-yard, 2-TD performance at Michigan State.

8. Dan Feeney, OL (2012-16)

Dan Feeney was great from Day 1 in Bloomington, doing something rare for a true freshman offensive lineman by starting all 12 games for the Hoosiers at right guard and becoming an honorable mention All-Big Ten member.

He wasn’t done. Although he missed the next season with a foot injury, Feeney returned to become one of the great offensive lineman in Indiana history — during a time when IU had assembled very good O-lines — and was named first-team All-Big Ten and second-team All-America. In 2014, after returning from the injury, he led a line that blocked for an Indiana single-season program-record 3,163 rushing yards, including 2,036 yards for running back Tevin Coleman.

Feeney went on to be selected in the 3rd round of the 2017 NFL Draft by the Chargers.

7. Jason Spriggs, OL (2012-15)

Speaking of offensive lineman, Jason Spriggs was great.

An All-American, Spriggs made 47 starts at left tackle for the Hoosiers from 2012 (when he was a true freshman) to 2015, then became a 2nd-round pick of Green Bay in ’16.

According to Indiana, the school’s first Outland Trophy semifinalist allowed just 2 sacks in 475 called pass attempts during his career, an incredible rate of efficiency.

6. Tegray Scales, LB (2014-17)

One of Indiana’s greatest linebackers, Tegray Scales played a ton for the Hoosiers, appearing in 48 games in 4 seasons and making 26 starts.

During that time (from 2014-2017), he finished 3rd on IU’s charts with 46 career tackles for loss (152 yards), 6th with 18 career sacks (104 yards) and 10th with 325 tackles. He was highly decorated, becoming a first-team All-Big Ten member in 2017, Indiana’s first linebacker to do so since 1988, and a first-team All-American. Scales seemed to always be a thorn in the side of IU’s biggest rival, Purdue, combining for 16 tackles, 5 for a loss (including 2 sacks) and a fumble recovery during his last 2 games vs. the Boilermakers.

5. Cody Latimer, WR (2011-13)

Cody Latimer’s junior season was a great one, so much so that he skipped his senior season and was a 2nd-round draft pick by the Denver Broncos.

In 2013, Latimer collected 72 catches for 1,096 yards with 9 touchdowns, becoming a second-team All-Big Ten member. Latimer played 3 seasons for the Hoosiers, making at least 1 catch in all 32 of his games, including 24 starts. His best game likely came vs. Illinois during his junior year, when he had career-highs of 11 receptions, 189 yards and 3 touchdowns.

4. Nate Sudfeld, QB (2012-15)

In his first couple years at Indiana, quarterback Nate Sudfeld was forced to battle Cameron Coffman and Tre Roberson for playing time; then, once he won the job, he injured his shoulder halfway through his junior season.

It left him hoping for a big senior season in 2015. And the California native came through with 3,573 yards and 27 touchdowns, against only 7 interceptions, as he helped to guide the Hoosiers to 6 victories and a New York City bowl matchup with Duke. Sudfeld, third-team All-Big Ten in ’15, helped to rally IU to the postseason, beating Maryland and Purdue in back-to-back weeks to end the season.

Against the Boilermakers, Sudfeld threw for 350 yards with 5 touchdowns (4 passing, 1 rushing); it was the 3rd straight victory for IU in the Old Oaken Bucket series.

Sudfeld, a 6th-round draft pick by Philadelphia, is a backup with the 49ers. At the end of his Indiana career, he left the university first in passing touchdowns (61), passing yardage (7,879), 350-yard games (6), 300-yard games (11), 250-yard games (13), 200-yard games (19), 4-touchdown games (5) and 3-touchdown games (10), plus was 3rd in total offense (8,011).

3. Micah McFadden, LB (2018-21)

Micah McFadden was the best defender on the best Indiana defenses in the last decade.

For 3 straight years from 2019-21, the linebacker led the Hoosiers in tackles, finishing with 216 during his career, including 37 for losses. He was a menace to opponents, not only making the routine play but frequently making the extraordinary look basic.

McFadden, who was a 5th-round draft pick by the Giants this spring, was perhaps one of the only bright spots in the lousy ’21 season, when he had 77 tackles, 6.5 sacks, 15.5 for loss and 2 forced fumbles.

2. Michael Penix Jr., QB (2018-21)

Yes, Michael Penix Jr.’s Indiana career will forever be remembered as marred by injury.

But man, when he was healthy and dialed in, the lefty could sling the ball all over the yard. In the magical ’20 season, he became a Davey O’Brien Award semifinalist after passing for 1,645 yard and 14 touchdowns with only 4 interceptions before suffering an ACL injury that — again — cut short his season. No one in Bloomington will forget his dive for the pylon in overtime to deliver Indiana a dramatic overtime victory against Penn State, setting the tone for what would be an incredible run for Tom Allen’s team.

It didn’t quite work out for Penix after the ACL injury vs. Maryland. In ’21, he struggled, as did the rest of his teammates, then was hurt again. After the year, he transferred to Washington to seek a fresh start (and to hopefully put the injuries behind him). But he was a star for a period for the Hoosiers.

1. Tevin Coleman, RB (2012-14)

Sometimes, the numbers speak for themselves.

And they certainly do for former Indiana running back Tevin Coleman. As a junior in 2014, Coleman rushed for a program-record  2,036 yards and 15 touchdowns, becoming the 18th player in NCAA history to reach the 2,000-yard rushing threshold in a season. It’s not as if Coleman rolled up yards against patsies; he had 228 rushing yards and 3 touchdowns vs. Ohio State and 190 and 3 scores vs. Iowa. He was great.

A Doak Walker Award finalist and unanimous All-American, Coleman finished 7th in the Heisman vote in ’14, receiving 2 first-place votes. A New York Jet now, Coleman was a 3rd-round draft pick in ’15 by Atlanta after he left IU a season early.