The first thing that jumps out at you when you look at Indiana’s football recruiting class of 2015 is the ATH designation on the list of signed players.
It stands for ‘Athlete’ and IU has five players listed in that way among the 24 players that were signed on Wednesday.
That’s the most that I can ever remember seeing in an IU recruiting class in the 17 seasons that I’ve covered Indiana football.
When you see that Athlete designation next to the name of Donavan Hale, for example, you find that it means that even though he will begin his stint at IU this summer at the quarterback position that before all is said and done he could play outside linebacker or even some place like tight end. He has good size at 6-4, 205 and will give the IU coaching staff some options.
When you see that Athlete designation next to the name of Mike Majette, you see a player that could play either offense of defense, as a DB or a wide receiver. He is also a player that will be used in special teams as a punt or kick returner, too.
The same is true for Isaac James. The Athlete designation next to his name is for the same reasons as Majette. James will start out at wide receiver and Kevin Wilson said Wednesday that he wants both James and Majette on offense, but at the same time their athleticism just makes the options in so many other areas as well.
When you see that Athlete designation next to the names of Andre Brown or Jonathan Crawford, again you see guys that will start out on the defensive side of the ball and could play any of the positions in the secondary. They may even be linebacker candidates.
But what you have is a lot of players that can do a lot of different things in this class.
Need more examples? There are six players in this class that played quarterback in high school. Only two of those, and maybe just one, are expected to play QB at IU.
Up front on the offensive line, you have three players who are listed simply as OL for Offensive Line. Not OT, OG or C. That’s because there are possibilities that those guys could move around, too.
Wilson said that Joe Belden would start out on defense but didn’t rule out that he could play center.
I think sometimes people think that if you’re a jack of all trades then you’re not really good at any one thing. I don’t think that’s the case with this signing class. I think if you have a lot of athletes who are good at a lot of things.
Because of that, I think Indiana has a strong chance to be better in 2015 than it has been in any year under Wilson.
Now, I thought Wilson made a great point at his press conference Wednesday when he said that yes, it’s a good class but Indiana needs more than a good class. Indiana needs a way to transfer that good class standing into more W’s on the football field.
Can that happen? We’ll find out in the fall.
But for right now, Indiana football fans have to be happy with the amount of athleticism that Wilson and his staff just brought to Bloomington.