In the final days and weeks leading up National Signing Day on Wednesday, Indiana was both the beneficiary of players flipping their commitments and others that decided to go elsewhere.
The final score as I tallied it was: Opposing Schools 3, Indiana 2.
In the final three days alone, IU lost two commits, Willie Yarbary and Airius Moore. Yarbary announced Tuesday he would attend Wake Forest, after visiting that campus the weekend before. Perhaps even more of a surprise was when Moore told Scout.com's Dave Berk on the morning of signing day that he would be attending North Carolina State.
Yarbary had been an IU commit since June 23. Moore had committed to IU on Oct. 17.
Indiana was the recipient of a pair of flips, too. Tight end Jordan Fuchs initially committed to Rutgers on Nov. 14 but then changed his mind and picked IU on Dec. 18. A few weeks later he enrolled in classes at IU for the spring semester.
At the signing day press conference on Wednesday, AllHoosiers.com asked IU coach Kevin Wilson his thoughts on flipping and if it made it more difficult for his staff to recruit. Wilson said it definitely did.
"It's real hard,'' Wilson said. "It's the hardest thing. We talk about rules, like one of the comments that's made, we have earlier visit dates. I don't know if we need to have earlier visit dates, because kids are getting around. With technology you can see and make your decisions. But I wish we had that early signing day like basketball did. You've got guys committing in June. And the 12th hour, this weekend, say you don't want to come, you've been holding off people. As a program, if you do that, ‘Hey, I've got you,' I call you as the high school coach and say I can't take you now, this one is a little bit better for me, it's a tough deal. But the kids have to protect themselves. I understand that. You've got coaching changes. So all of a sudden you lose a guy, there's a ripple effect, and the water keeps moving around.''
Wilson admitted though that it really makes for a difficult last few hours wondering if all of the players you have in the fold are actually going to make good on their commitments.
"The last few days have been a free for all, it's been hectic,'' Wilson said. "It's been hanging on for dear life. Some of the stories kids hear. You come back, if you do a good job of recruiting, hope there's enough trust and relationship where you can weather the storm. In the end it always works out and you get probably who you're supposed to coach. And hopefully you do a nice job of evaluating those guys. I don't have a hard time if a guy doesn't want to come, it's his choice. Sometimes you worry about the effect. Sometimes those guys took an opportunity from someone else.''
Wilson told a story about having a kid in his office who wanted to commit. He told him at the time he had a spot but then a week later that spot wasn't there anymore. He said the kid who wanted to commit was a little offended "and went on down the road."
"If you knew how it was going to play out you could have covered your bases,'' Wilson said. "It's tough. But it is what it is. Thank goodness it's two or three weeks after Christmas and not four or five or six. I'd love to get into an early signing day. That way if a kid didn't want to sign you know he's not committed. And now you're not saving a spot for them. There will be teams today having four, five, six commitments for next year already. It seems if we could have an August 1 or September 1 day it might help you. It's a lot of fun. I'm not going to complain about it, because we're recruiting on paper, and we've got to take this paper product and produce on the field.
Follow Terry Hutchens at Twitter.com/Foxsportshutch