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Indiana football OL Carter Smith among top-graded PFF freshman lineman from 2023



Indiana football OL Carter Smith
Indiana football sophomore offensive lineman Carter Smith was among the top players at his position as a freshman last year. (Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports)

The Indiana football program had an inconsistent offensive line over the past few years, including last year. But progress was clearly made in year one under offensive line coach Bob Bostad.

That translated into one of the best power five freshman in the country. Carter Smith played all 12 games at left tackle for the Hoosiers this past season and was the highest-rated lineman for Indiana according to Pro Football Focus.

He was also ranked 15th among all 2026 draft eligible offensive tackles in the country.

And, it also translated into the fifth highest-graded freshman lineman at the power five level. He was the only Big Ten player on the list.

Following the season, Smith had entered the transfer portal following the change in coaching staff. After Curt Cignetti was announced as the next head coach and it was known Bostad would be returning, Smith was a high priority for both to retain.

The redshirt sophomore took visits to Virginia Tech, Ole Miss and Florida State over the course of December. After all of that, a return to Indiana was the move as he announced he would be returning to Bloomington — a massive portal win for the new staff.

Coming out of high school, Smith was a four-star prospect and one of the top-10 players in Ohio. He picked the Indiana football program over offers from Tennessee, Northwestern, Virginia, Auburn, Duke, Georgia Tech and numerous others.

“His athleticism and approach should allow him to be an impact college player and a potential Sunday player beyond that,” 247Sports National Recruiting Analyst Allen Trieu said of Smith coming out of high school.

SEE ALSO: ‘We have to get rid of this softness in order to stalk complacency’: Curt Cignetti details offseason plan for Indiana football

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Alec Lasley is the owner of Hoosier Illustrated, a comprehensive site covering news, updates and recruiting for Indiana University athletics. Alec has covered Indiana for six years and is a credentialed media member. He has previously worked for both Rivals and 247Sports.