Earlier today Indiana picked up commitment number 14 when Harry Crider from Columbus (IN) Columbus East H.S. flipped his commitment from Virginia to the Hoosiers. Peegs.com spoke with Coach Bob Gaddis at Columbus East about his 6-foot-4, 260-pound standout offensive lineman and what makes him such an intriguing prospect for the IU program.
Coach Gaddis believes Crider’s upside is very high because of his athleticism and because he is young for his grade.
“I think he has several good qualities but the big thing is that he is a very versatile athlete,” Gaddis said about Crider. “The potential that Harry has both physically and mentally is pretty high. He is only 17-years-old as he just turned 17 back in the spring so he’s going to be a young graduating senior and he’ll be a young freshmen in college. I think one of the questions about him was is he big enough to play in the Big Ten and at that level, and right now he is over 6’4 at around 6’4 and a half and around 265 pounds. Last spring he was only in the high 240’s.”
Crider started his career at East as a skill player, but the summer before his sophomore year the Olympian coaches decided to try him on the O-line at center and it has worked out very well.
“For us he is a center and very, very athletic,” Coach Gaddis said. “He looks kind of like a tight end or an H-back or a D-end, but his versatility and his athletic ability are not typical of a lineman. He moves his feet very well. He could be a guy that could do several things and that is the thing he brings to the table. We moved him to center when he was a sophomore. He had never played on the line before that because he had always been a skill guy. He was kind of a tall, lanky kid at that point and we had graduated a center off of a pretty good football team and needed another guy to fill in and we asked him to do it in June of that year and he just took off with it. If we played him defensively which we do some even though none of our guys start both ways, he would be a middle linebacker. That gives you an idea of how well he can move his feet.”
Off the field Coach Gaddis said the three-star recruit is an excellent student and a tremendous young man that works hard to do things for others.
“He is a straight A student so he is off the charts when it comes to academics,” Coach Gaddis said. “He would’ve had a very good chance to qualify to get in Ivy League schools, and he talked to several Ivy League schools, so academically he’s great. He is very active in our school. His senior project this Friday is he is hosting a Riley Hospital Night at our football game. That is his senior project and he has been working on for probably four or five months. He is a guy that wants to give back so his morals and his character and those types of things are impeccable. He’s just a great kid and he is going to be successful.”
Crider was a basketball player at East until last year when he decided it would be more beneficial for his football career if he tried competing in a different sport.
“He played basketball all the way up until his junior year, and probably would’ve been in the mix with basketball, but he told me that he thought that wrestling would make him a better football player so he wrestled,” Coach Gaddis said.
Coach Gaddis said that Crider really had no intention of looking at other schools after he committed to Virginia, but the opportunity at Indiana was not something he could pass up.
“I know all along that Harry preferred to stay in the Midwest and play in the Big Ten, but he just didn’t have those offers at that time when he committed to Virginia,” Coach Gaddis said. “After he came back from his visit to IU last weekend he told me that they had offered him. We talked then about what it meant to recommit, but I have been around this long enough to know that the recruiting process is brutal. It’s brutal on coaches, it’s brutal on kids, and it’s brutal on families. I have always told our guys that I want them to take care of themselves, so what they really need to look at is if football was out of the equation where would you be going as a student. That was the talk that Harry and I had when he came back from that trip to IU and he said that he thought IU fit him very well. He wants to get into the business school there because his Dad is in business. He likes IU and he likes IU football and he likes the Big Ten so he switched when he had that opportunity. I know it is something he didn’t plan on doing, it was just an opportunity that he was given and he felt like he couldn’t pass it up.”