Indiana Ohio St Football

Indiana defensive back Jamar Johnson returns an interception against Ohio State and on Nov. 21 in Columbus, Ohio.

BLOOMINGTON – Indiana junior safety Jamar Johnson declared for the NFL Draft on Monday night, leaving a hole to fill in IU’s secondary.

Johnson made the announcement on his Twitter account.

“I can truly say that I’ve grown as a man and as a player during my time in Bloomington,” Johnson wrote. “I am forever grateful to have gained lifelong friends and brothers in the process.”

In moving from husky to safety to start the 2020 season, Johnson flourished, earning All-Big Ten honors this season. He tied cornerback Jaylin Williams for the team-lead in interceptions with four, while finishing the year with 43 tackles, one sack and four pass breakups.

The 6-foot-1, 197-pound Johnson finished his IU career with four sacks, two forced fumbles and seven interceptions, including an interception returned 63 yards for a touchdown against Tennessee in the 2020 Gator Bowl.

With Johnson’s departure, IU could move Devon Matthews from strong safety back to free safety, or turn to Raheem Layne, who is returning after sitting out last season with a knee injury. Defensive back Marcelino Ball also announced he’s coming back next season to play husky, which should help bolster IU’s secondary. With Ball’s return, Bryant Fitzgerald could move back from husky to the strong safety spot, with either Layne or Matthews at free safety. Redshirt freshman Bryson Bonds is another promising young safety who could see more playing time next season.

In addition, IU announced the addition of defensive lineman Ryder Anderson, a 6-6, 275-pound grad transfer from Ole Miss who has posted seven career sacks.

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