Feeney chose to stay in Bloomington for his final year of eligibility rather than entering the 2016 NFL Draft.
“I am excited to continue to be a part of this great program,” Feeney said in a statement. “Coach Wilson and Coach Frey were extremely valuable during this process, and I thank them for their assistance. They are great coaches and have taught me so much both on the field and in life. I look forward to continuing to learn from both of them. I am blessed to have great teammates who are like brothers to me.”
Feeney was an All-American selection by ESPN, Associated Press, CBS Sports and Sports Illustrated as a junior this past season. The Orland Park, Illinois, native did not allow a sack in 2015 on 475 called pass attempts. Feeney has allowed only one sack in his 37 career starts and 2,719 snaps at right guard.
He finished with a team-high 102 knockdowns on 1,069 snaps. Feeney was named first team All-Big Ten at the conclusion of last season, as well as an Outland Trophy and Lombardi Award Watch Lister.
“We are not satisfied and are looking to finish what all the coaches and players have started,” Feeney said. “With the commitment this university and administration have made to this program, we are ready to reach a new level and can’t wait to get started.”
The Hoosiers finished 6-7 (2-6) in 2015. The program was invited to a bowl game for the first time since 2007. They lost to Duke 44-41 in the Pinstripe Bowl at Yankee Stadium on an overtime field goal. IU won its final two games against Maryland and Purdue to snap a six-game losing streak and earn bowl eligibility. The Hoosiers claimed the Old Oaken Bucket for the third consecutive season.
Offensively, Feeney helped the Hoosiers lead the Big Ten in total offense, passing offense and scoring offense. IU’s offense was led by a trio of players who will hope to hear their names called at April’s NFL Draft.
Senior quarterback Nate Sudfeld, the program’s all-time passing leader, and All-American senior offensive lineman Jason Spriggs have graduated; both are expected to be drafted this spring. Junior running back Jordan Howard, who ran 1,213 yards and 10 touchdowns in an injury-riddled season, announced he will forego his senior season and join the NFL ranks.
“Dan put a lot of time and thought into this decision,” IU Coach Kevin Wilson said. “We are excited he is returning and really like the direction this program is headed. Dan is one of the best players I have ever been around.”
Feeney’s return will help the transition to a new quarterback. Rising junior Zander Diamont and junior college transfer Richard Lagow are expected to compete for the starting job, among others.
The Hoosiers will return rising junior Devine Redding as running back, who also eclipsed 1,000 yards on the ground in his sophomore season. Feeney will continue to play under Wilson, who signed a six-year contract extension earlier this month.
“He is the total package,” Wilson said. “Not only on the field but in the way he approaches the game and who he is as a person. This is a great opportunity for him to continue to grow as a player, teammate and leader and enhances the value of his football future. By the time he is done, Dan will be one of the best to ever wear an Indiana uniform.”
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