All didn't go according to plan when Matt Mayberry made his college choice public on a Chicago area TV station Wednesday night.
The 6-2, 200-pounder from Hinsdale (Ill.) South High School had hoped to call his future college coaches during the airing of the Preps Plus TV show to let them know he intends to sign a national letter of intent to play for IU. Mayberry wanted to call IU Assistant Head Coach Bill Lynch to give him the news, but there was just one problem.
"I didn't have his number," said Mayberry.
Instead, Mayberry broke the news on live television by donning an Indiana cap he bought at the IU Bookstore during a recent unofficial visit, and then had to wait until he returned home to inform Lynch.
By then, Lynch had already received word that one of the Hoosiers' top 2006 recruiting priorities would in fact be joining the squad next fall.
"By the time I called him, he had already heard the news on the Internet," said Mayberry. "But he was still pretty excited."
Lynch and the rest of the Hoosier staff has good reason to be excited about the eighth member of the '06 class. A versatile athlete that plays fullback and middle linebacker on his prep team, Mayberry is expected to play either outside linebacker or strong safety in college.
He's a three-star player according to Scout.com, someone who wowed college coaches and recruiting analysts at a series of combines this summer. He combines strength with 4.57 speed in the 40 to give the Hoosiers a player that emerged as a national recruiting target.
That is another reason the IU coaching staff is excited about Mayberry's decision. Mayberry wound up receiving 13 scholarship offers, and eventually picked the Hoosiers over Oklahoma State, Georgia and Northwestern.
That's a quartet of programs that Indiana hasn't won many recruiting battles with in recent years, but Mayberry was won over by the coaching staff as well as the staff's vision for the future.
"Basically it was a comfort level that led me to Indiana," said Mayberry. "I took an unofficial visit to Indiana about a week ago, and that unofficial visit really sparked things up for me."
Mayberry made the recent trip to Bloomington with his parents, taking the opportunity to spend time with the academic counseling staff as well. He determined that the combination of academics and athletics that IU offered was too good to pass up.
"Coach Hoeppner is a great guy, he's one of the main reasons that I'm going to Indiana, along with Bill Lynch, my recruiting coach," said Mayberry.
"I didn't put their losing record into it when I was making my decision. It was basically just a comfort level that made me go there."
Indiana was also one of the first programs to show interest in him, and that interest only intensified during the recent weeks and months.
"All these other schools, all 13 that I had offers from, they'd send me mail everyday and stuff – everyone wanted me the same, but Indiana would do that little extra and that really caught my eye," said Mayberry.
Those factors eventually convinced him that Bloomington was the place for him, and he let his parents know of his intentions on the morning of his announcement. While he's relieved to have made his choice public, he also knows that this won't completely end things on the recruiting front.
"It's a pretty big relief (to have decided), but I know it's not going to change anything – I know tons of coaches are still going to call in September," said Mayberry. "I know that's going to happen. Even after I made my decision I had coaches text messaging me on my phone saying ‘we're going to keep trying to get you' and stuff.
"I'll have to deal with that and I'll probably talk to the coaches and be nice and everything and be respectful, but I'm pretty set on IU."
Mayberry Excited About Commitment
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