Indiana football added a transfer to its roster today in former Mississippi defensive back Jonathan Haynes, who has one year of college eligibility remaining.
The 5-foot-11, 205-pound Haynes played in 21 games in two seasons with the Rebels after transferring from a junior college, starting 17 and totaling 86 tackles, one for loss, two interceptions, three pass breakups and two quarterback hurries. At Ole Miss, Haynes was a teammate of another Indiana transfer, defensive end Ryder Anderson, for two seasons.
"We are excited to add Jonathan Haynes to our football team," Indiana coach Tom Allen said in a statement. "Our staff knows him well and he fits our culture. Jonathan brings a ton of experience to our defense and will be invaluable as a member of our special teams units."
Haynes joins the team a day after Hoosiers running back Sampson James announced he would enter the transfer portal. James has put his name in the transfer portal before and pulled his name out, but Allen confirmed today that this time the move is more permanent.
“He made a decision for what he wanted to do for his future and what we wanted to do,” Allen said. “We have a very strong running back room, a lot of depth, a lot of guys who have had really good practices, and I’m very excited about those guys. He’s made his decision, and so (we) wish him well.”
Haynes, meanwhile, will give IU depth at a position that saw First-Team All-Big Ten safety Jamar Johnson depart early for the NFL, where he was a fifth-round draft pick. As Allen said, Haynes will likely play on special teams, as well.
"Special teams is another area I see him flourishing in,” Allen said. “He’s an extremely physical player and (has) really good speed, so I like his strength and athleticism. We’ll have to figure out where the best need is there to be able to give us the best opportunity for him and for us to maximize his skillset, so we will have to evaluate that. Today was his first practice with us, and he was already out there making plays, and he only was out there one day.”
Haynes is the latest in a series of transfers from Power Five programs that have been added to the program this season. In addition to the pair of Ole Miss transfers, Indiana has brought in players from Florida State (WR D.J. Matthews), Auburn (DE Jaren Handy), USC (running back Stephen Carr) and Michigan (OL Zach Carpenter). All of them have produced with those programs.