Blackmon makes it official, signs LOI

2014 guard James Blackmon Jr. signed with the Hoosiers on Thursday. AllHoosiers.com was there.

MARION, Ind. --- It's official: James Blackmon Jr. is a Hoosier.

The 2014 guard signed his National Letter of Intent on Thursday morning at Marion High School, where he will play his senior season.

"I thought about this day ever since I decommitted," Blackmon Jr. said. "I kept thinking about it, and I feel like I made the right decision. I'm real excited and just ready for my senior season."

Blackmon Jr., accompanied by his parents and two brothers, addressed the assembled media quickly before grabbing the pen and beginning to sign the papers.

"I'm ready to sign," he said.

After Blackmon Jr.'s signature was on all the necessary documents, his father James Blackmon Sr., called Indiana coach Tom Crean to let him know the three-plus year process was over. Then he handed the phone to Blackmon Jr.

Blackmon Jr. repeatedly told Crean, "Yeah, I'm ready." Then he told the Indiana coach he'd talk to him later tonight, and hung up the phone.

"He wishes I was there right now and wishes that they could pick me up right now," Blackmon Jr. said. "That's how I know next year is gonna be a fun and real great season."

Blackmon Jr., the sixth-ranked shooting guard in the 2014 class, is Indiana's top incoming recruit for next year. He committed to the Hoosiers three years ago, and then decommitted in August to give himself the opportunity to look at other schools.

It ultimately came down to Indiana and Kentucky, and Blackmon Jr. recommitted to the Hoosiers in October.

"They made me feel at home," Blackmon Jr. said. "I think that I can do a lot for Indiana and the Indiana fans."

Added Blackmon Sr.: "When he decommitted to give him the opportunity to look at other schools, [the decision] had to come from him. I really think the relationship he built with Indiana early was overwhelming. They embraced him. All those things played a big important role."

Looking back, Blackmon Jr. said he's happy he decided to reopen his recruitment during the summer.

"If I didn't, I never would have known how much I really appreciated Indiana," he said. "I think that they appreciate me a lot too."

Indiana's other two 2014 commits -- Robert Johnson and Max Hoetzel -- are expected to sign their Letters of Intent later this afternoon. Johnson will sign at 3 p.m. and Hoetzel at 3:30 p.m. Crean is also expected to talk to the media about all three recruits later this afternoon.

Blackmon Jr. has only played against Johnson once, but he's impressed by what he's seen of Johnson's game.

"I like Rob's game a lot," Blackmon Jr. said." I played against him in the Global Challenge. That's the only time I got to play against him, but he was one of the guys that was scoring a lot of points on his team, and that's just like me. I think we're both great scorers, and that's what Indiana needs right now."

Blackmon Jr. is listed at 6-foot-3 and classified as a shooting guard, but he said Thursday he believes he can play at both guard spots in college. Johnson is also expected to see time at both the point guard and two-guard positions for Indiana.

"Point guard was my main position growing up," Blackmon Jr. said. "In AAU this season and the past season, I was moved to the two just because I can shoot the ball. I can play both."


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