The Hoosiers added commit number 11 to the 2017 class today when Derrius Mullins committed to the IU program. The 6-foot-5, 315-pound standout from St. Francis DeSales H.S. in Columbus, Ohio is listed as a defensive lineman, but he has the ability to also play offensive line when he gets to college. Peegs.com spoke with the head coach at St. Francis DeSales, Coach Ryan Wiggins, about his standout player and why he was such a coveted prospect for so many big time programs.
Coach Wiggins said the combination of size and athletic ability that Mullins possesses is rare and it is what made him such a highly recruited player.
“I think his athletic ability for a guy his size,” Coach Wiggins said when asked what stands out for him about Mullins. “It’s a little bit rare I think to be that big and to move that well and have really good feet and those types of things. They are hard to find because a lot of times big guys are projects. They either have to become a lot more athletic, or they have to grow up a lot. In this case he has a lot of that going for him. So he is just a big person but he is also a very athletic person. We’re excited for him.”
Mullins is listed as a defensive lineman and that is what most schools are recruiting him to play, but Coach Wiggins believes he could easily play on the offensive side of the ball in college if he was asked to do so.
“I think he is very versatile,” Coach Wiggins said. “There has been differing opinions on that, but most people can see him doing either one. I think right now his love is defense, but that is ultimately up to the coaches in terms of what’s best for the team and where they need him. But he is a versatile guys. One of the reasons he was so highly recruited is because he has that sort of athleticism at that size.”
At. St. Francis DeSales the three-star recruit is used in the middle of the D-line in a 4-3 scheme, and he is someone the opposing offense has to account for on every play.
“We’re a 4-3 defense and we use him on the interior of the defensive line,” Coach Wiggins said about Mullins. “He can play as a nose guard or he can play as a defensive tackle. He’s hard to handle in there because of his size and athleticism makes the offense try to decide how they’re going account for him, and it usually frees someone else up too. He’s a nice weapon to have.”
Off the field the St. Francis DeSales head coach said Mullins is a very friendly young man that gets along with everyone.
“I think he gets along pretty well with everybody,” Coach Wiggins said. “He’s a caring guy and a gentile guy. I don’t mean he isn’t a tough guy because when he gets on the field he can really dominate, but off the field he is a personable guy and he has a lot of friends, and not just from the football team but from other sports as well. He is a good person. I think it became apparent a few years ago that he would have some opportunities in football, but I think he has done a nice job of staying focused and humble and trying to be a good teammate. This is our big year for him coming up, his senior year, so to be able to get this out of the way and focus on having a great senior year and knowing what the future is going to hold will be good for him.”
Coach Wiggins said that he has been very impressed with the job the Indiana coaches have done recruiting not only Mullins, but also his program overall since Kevin Wilson and his staff have been in Bloomington.
“I think they have done a great job,” Coach Wiggins said about the Hoosiers. “Coach (Kevin) Johns is the main guy that recruits our area, and he is always friendly and he is always organized, and he does a great job following up. He is also a guy that will talk football with you. He has just been a great guy and we always look forward to Coach Johns coming in our building. We have also had the opportunity to meet Coach (Greg) Frey and Coach (Kevin) Wilson and the new defensive line coach (Mark Hagen) this spring and it is a good group of guys. We’re real excited about what they’re doing at Indiana. We enjoy it when they’re around.”