It has been the year of the flip in college football in terms of committed players changing their minds.
And Indiana is right in the middle of it.
With just over one day left before National Signing Day on Wednesday, Indiana has had nine players in its current Class of 2015 flip their commitments either to the Hoosiers or away from IU.
The current score: Flipped in 7, Flipped out 2.
“I think a lot of times athletes will pick a school in the summer time so they feel like they have some place to play,’’ said Majette, a defensive back/wide receiver from Woodbridge, Va. “But then the recruiting process continues. And then in some cases, players are just looking to get a better offer and when they do you see somebody flip.
“It does really feel like there are a lot of kids doing that this year.’’
Scout.com recruiting analyst Dave Berk, who handles Midwest recruiting, said he thinks the problem is that kids are making decisions before they should be.
“Kids just get caught up in all that they see early on,’’ Berk said. “It’s a sudden impulse kind of thing. They make a game day visit or a summer camp visit and they’re getting so much attention and they feel that it’s the right thing to do.
“But then all of a sudden they see a better situation, or what they perceive to be a better situation and they go a different direction.
Another Scout.com national recruiting analyst, Brian Dohn, believes the fault in the current system lies with the coaches.
“Coaches want so much to get ahead in this current system that they really pressure kids to commit early,’’ Dohn said. “And kids are thinking that they’ll take what they can get. But then later, they explore their options and see that there may be a lot better situation out there. They stop and realize that they never really took the time to really look around.
“But I think the coaches created this. A long time ago, when a kid made a commitment, that was it. The recruiting process ended right then and there. That’s not the case anymore.’’
Scout.com national recruiting analyst Allen Trieu said there are a lot of issues in play.
“First of all kids are committing earlier than ever before,’’ Trieu said. “Then they start seeing their friends taking official visits, or coaching changes happen, or sometimes they just change their minds. I think a lot of times coaches are pushing kids to commit early, in some cases so they don’t have to recruit as much during the season. Look at the fact that several schools already have half of their 2016 commits lined up right now and we’re not to signing day for 2015 yet.’’
Indiana’s first two experiences with flips in this class were players going in the other direction. Indianapolis Decatur Central quarterback Tommy Stevens announced on Nov. 10 that he was flipping to Penn State. Five days later, IU lost highly touted running back Titus Booker from Grayslake North (Ill.) when he opted to commit to Wisconsin.
Since then, however, all of the flips have been coming IU’s way.
It started on Dec. 14 when Tyler Green announced he was flipping from Ohio State to Indiana. The next day, IU picked up a quarterback to take the place of Stevens in the class when Austin King announced he was flipping from North Carolina State to the Hoosiers. Majette was next on Dec. 18.
IU has had four more flips since the start of the new year.
Brandon Wilson announced Jan. 4 he was flipping from Virginia to Indiana. Next was Reakwon Jones who flipped from Florida Atlantic. The last two have come the past two days after official visits over the weekend. Jameel Cook flipped from Maryland on Sunday and Devonte Williams from Marshall today.
One thing that is interesting is how much movement in those flips have involved fellow Big Ten schools. IU has picked up two flips from Maryland and one from Ohio State, while former IU commits have flipped to Wisconsin and Penn State.
Another interesting aspect to this is that the flips will likely continue right up until the final minute. Coaches spend so much time right now re-recruiting their commits to make sure they don’t have a 11th hour flip.
Still, IU’s count last year was about half of what it is to this point. Indiana lost three players that flipped the other way and picked up two.
“I think a lot of times it’s a cause and effect situation,’’ Trieu said. “A team will lose a quarterback at the last minute and go find another one quickly. And that other team is forced to look for someone else, too.
“It all trickles down.’’Cooks flips to IU
Notebook: Commits talk about IU’s class of 2015
Williams is IU’s 23rd commit