The Indiana staff is looking to add a couple tight ends in the 2018 class, and one of the top targets on their recruiting board is T.J. Ivy. The 6-foot-4, 218-pound standout from Chicago (IL) Marist H.S. spoke to Peegs.com about his recruiting, and about where things stand with him and the Hoosiers.
IU has been a top school for Ivy for quite some time, and he said that is still the case as he communicates regularly with the staff.
“Indiana definitely still stands very high on my list,” he said. “I definitely have a very strong bond with them. They have really been on me ever since I got that offer, and I have been staying in touch with them and they have been staying in touch with me. I talk to Coach (Tom) Allen and Coach (Mike) DeBord all the time. They are always checking in to see how things are so it’s going good with them. I am on a very personal level with Coach DeBord, and I am starting to get that way with Coach Allen.”
The three-star recruit was down in Bloomington the last week of spring ball for a visit, and he said that another visit to IU is a strong possibility.
“I could see myself taking another visit to Indiana,” Ivy said. “I’ve been there twice and loved it both times.”
Indiana sees Ivy being used in much the same way that the staff plans on using current tight end Ian Thomas.
“They have talked about they see me playing like Ian Thomas, the tight end they have there now,” he said about the message from IU. “They think I could step in and replace him after this season when he leaves. They see me as a playmaker for them, and they believe I can come in and do damage for them right away.”
Ivy has spent some time visiting with Thomas about playing tight end at Indiana, and he has been impressed with what the current Hoosier has told him.
“I have talked to him and I like him,” Ivy said about Thomas. “He is really honest about things. He has told me that I need to make a decision based on what’s best for me, and he thinks Indiana really couldn’t be a better fit. He doesn’t think I could put myself in a better situation, especially with the coaching staff and the support they have there.”
This offseason the Chicago native has been working on improving his strength and his hands as he gets ready for his final season of high school football.
“I was doing track but now I’m just focused on football,” he said about his offseason. “I have been working on getting stronger and on improving my footwork. I have also been running routes and working on catching the ball.”
Ivy currently has offers from Indiana, Illinois, Purdue, Rutgers, West Virginia, Iowa State, Syracuse, Cincinnati, UConn, Ball State, Bowling Green, Central Florida, Colorado State, Eastern Michigan, Miami (OH), New Mexico, Northern Illinois, Toledo, Tulane, Western Michigan, Wyoming and Illinois State. He said that he hasn’t officially narrowed his list down, but he does know what schools are standing out above the rest.
“I haven’t made a list or anything like that yet, but there are some schools I have filtered out,” he said. “It is mostly the MAC schools and the smaller ones. I am focused on the power five schools, and the ones that I would say have a little more to offer.”
The athletic tight end said his plan is to have his decision over with before the upcoming season gets started, but he is not entirely sure when he will commit.
“I will be committed before my senior season,” Ivy said. “I was thinking about deciding at the end of the spring recruiting period, but we’ll see how it goes and how many more schools come into the picture. It could be early summer but no timetable has been set.”