BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — Former Indiana All-American offensive lineman Dan Feeney has been selected to the Big Ten’s All-Decade team.
Feeney played at Indiana from 2012 to 2016 and was a two-time team captain and a first-team All-American selection in 2015 and 2016. Feeney is considered by many as the best offensive lineman in school history.
During the 2015 and 2016 seasons, Feeney became just the fourth player in program history to earn first team All-American status twice, and was just the third player in Indiana history to earn the honor in consecutive years. He’s the only Indiana lineman to ever be honored twice.
“Here’s what made Feeney so good,” said Big Ten analyst J Leman, who was part of the 24-person selection committee. “They used to pull a lot of linemen and demand that their linemen also get up to the second level. And the reason that Tevin Coleman exploded for 2,000 yards, the reason that Jordan Howard had such a great year when he was there was because of not only the scheme of Kevin Wilson, it was guys like Dan Feeney.
“Feeney was an old school enforcer. What’s that mean? It means a guy that’s going to lead with his hat in his hands, and he will take you to the ground by any means necessary.”
As a freshman, he started all 12 games and played 935 snaps without allowing a sack. After missing the 2013 season with an injury, he returned in 2014 and helped running back Tevin Coleman have a 2,036-yard rushing season, the only Indiana running back to ever top the 2,000-yard mark. Feeney was a big reason why.
The Big Ten rolled out its All-Decade basketball team a week ago, and started the football team on Monday, first with running backs and linebackers. There were no Hoosiers in that group — the league panel chose running backs Saquon Barkley of Penn State and Jonathan Taylor of Wisconsin, plus linebackers Devin Bush of Michigan, Chris Borland of Wisconsin and Josey Jewell of Iowa.
The other lineman chosen Tuesday with Feeney were Brandon Scherff of Iowa, Taylor Lewan of Michigan and Bill Price of Ohio State. There were six linemen chosen, and the rest will be announced throughout the day.
“It’s a huge honor,” Feeney told Big Ten Network analyst Rick Pizzo. “Obviously, it wasn’t just me. We had a great O-line during my time in Indiana, and a great coaching staff, so it’s definitely not just me winning this award.
Coleman had that big year, and Jordan Howard and Devine Redding followed it up with a 1,00-yard seasons a year later.
“We definitely took pride in running our zone play and we had Tevin Coleman, who had the speed to break through holes. We had a good unit,” Feeney said. “The running back sets up O-line blocks, and we got used to where he was going to be and where he was going to hit a hole. We got in that groove and he was hard to stop.”
Feeney was drafted by the Los Angeles Chargers in the third round of the 2017 NFL Draft and he’s about to start his fourth season with them. He’s played both guard and center in the NFL.
Tight ends and defensive backs will be announced on Wednesday, and wide receivers and defensive linemen will be announced on Thursday. The final group on Friday will be quarterback, kicker, punter, all-purpose player and coach of the decade.
The 24 voting members of the football panel include Big Ten Network anchors and analysts Lisa Byington, Gerry DiNardo, Howard Griffith, Mike Hall, Stanley Jackson, James Laurinaitis, J Leman, Chuck Long, Glen Mason, Urban Meyer, Matt Millen, Joshua Perry, Rick Pizzo, Dave Revsine, Alex Roux, Harold Shelton, and Brent Yarina.
Others include Nicole Auerbach of The Athletic, author John U. Bacon, Charles Davis o CBS Sports, Pat Forde of Sports Illustrated, Bruce Feldman and Joel Klatt of FOX Sports and Teddy Greenstein of the Chicago Tribune.