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Indiana offensive lineman Harry Crider announced Sunday he will pursue a pro career and will not return to the Hoosiers in 2021.

Crider, a fourth-year senior, could have returned for a fifth season because the NCAA extended an additional year of eligibility to all fall athletes. A two-year starter, Crider manned left guard as a junior, and he started all eight games at center as a senior.

“I have decided I am ready for the next step in my life and have chosen to declare for the NFL Draft,” Crider wrote in a statement on Twitter.

The Columbus native and senior captain was invited to the East-West Shrine Bowl’s virtual events, along with redshirt defensive tackle Jerome Johnson. While the annual all-star game has been canceled because of COVID-19 concerns, the event has announced “virtual training sessions” in preparation for the NFL Draft, as well as meetings with NFL scouts.

Crider is IU’s second senior this offseason to pursue the next level. Whop Philyor announced Saturday he has declared for the NFL Draft. On the other hand, many more Hoosiers have chosen to return for 2021, including receiver Ty Fryfogle, safety/linebacker Marcelino Ball, defensive back Raheem Layne, defensive end Mike Ziemba, offensive guard Mackenzie Nworah, tight end Kham Taylor, and kickoff specialist Jared Smolar.

Johnson, a first-team All-Big Ten selection at defensive tackle, is the only Hoosier not to make an announcement at this point.

IU will return four of its five starters on the offensive line. Mike Katic and Dylan Powell both rotated at the guard spot opposite Nworah and both have the ability to play center. Powell is a redshirt junior who grad-transferred from Stanford but arrived with two years of eligibility remaining.

IU also added a transfer from Michigan, redshirt freshman Zach Carpenter, who can play both the guard and center positions, like Katic and Powell. That transfer helps lessen the blow of losing Crider, particularly if transfer rules are changed, as expected, and Carpenter is immediately eligible for 2021.

Crider, a 6-foot-4, 311-pounder, was a consistent performer for the Hoosiers over the years. He appeared in eight games as a true freshman at center, his natural position. He kicked over to guard as a junior, but Crider did make one start at center in 2019 because of an injury to Hunter Littlejohn.

Off the field, Crider graduated midyear as a junior with a degree in criminal justice. He was a semifinalist for the William V. Campbell Trophy, which recognizes an athlete for “academics, community service, and on-field performance.” He was also a nominee for the Wuerffel Trophy, the Senior CLASS Award, and the Allstate AFCA Good Works Team.

“Growing up in Indiana and being able to play for this university is something I dreamt of as a kid,” Crider wrote in his statement. “These past four years have been a blessing and the best years of my life. Being a part of the culture that Coach (Tom) Allen developed has allowed me to grow into the man I am today.”

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