It’s good to be Indiana’s Dan Feeney these days.
For Tom Allen, it’s even better to coach him.
Feeney, a senior offensive lineman, made AP’s first-team America for the second straight year. Only three other Hoosiers have done that – tailback Anthony Thompson (1988-89), quarterback John Isenbarger (1967-68) and receiver Pete Pihos (1943 and ’45).
Pihos missed a season because of World War II.
Anyway, Feeney more than made up for missing games this season because of a concussion. To help with IU’s battered offensive line, he started the final four weeks of the regular season at right tackle after 41 starts at right guard.
During the season he had 51 knockdowns and allowed one sack.
In 45 career games and 3,278 offensive snaps, Feeney has allowed just two sacks.
He figures to make a major impact in the upcoming Foster Farms Bowl. The Hoosiers will face Utah in California.
That’s big for Allen, who will be making his college head coaching debut in the game. He spent the last season as defensive coordinator, and from the moment he saw Feeney, he said he knew he was looking at a special player.
“I’d heard about him, but once we started practice, he stuck out,” Allen said. “I’ll never forget the effort he gave every day, the blocks he made down field, the hustle he showed, in every drill and play, even in special teams drills.
“He’s a tremendous leader. He embodies the toughness of the program. He’ll do down as one of the greatest players in the history of the program.”
Before the season Feeney was rated as the nation’s No. 37 overall player by ESPN. NFL.com listed him as the 10th best senior. Four publications – Phil Steele, Lindy’s, USA Today and 247Sports, rated him as the nation’s No. 1 guard.
During the off-season, Feeney was recognized as the 37th-best player in country by ESPN, the 10th-best senior by NFL.com and the top guard in the country by Phil Steele, Lindy's, USA Today and 247Sports. He has 51 knockdowns and one sack allowed in 270 called pass attempts and 559 snaps in 30 quarters this season.
Feeney also got All-America honors from the Walter Camp Foundation and first-team All-Big Ten recognition this season. He’s set to participate in the upcoming Senior Bowl.