Truth be told, Cody Faulkner was pretty well sold on the IU program the first time he met Coach Terry Hoeppner and his coaching staff.
That was this summer, when he trekked to Bloomington from his Cicero, Ind., home to participate in a one-day camp and meet the new Hoosier coach and his staff. The 6-5, 306-pound from Hamilton Heights H.S. came away impressed with what he saw from the staff as well as the players.
"Indiana was definitely my No. 1," said Faulkner.
But with seven scholarship offers arriving over the summer and phone calls from a potpourri of other college football powers, the All-State offensive lineman decided he needed to wait before making a college decision.
"I felt I needed to go and experience the recruiting process a little bit before I committed to making my decision," said Faulkner.
"I wanted to make sure I was making the right choice not just off of one visit to IU – I wanted to look and see if I wasn't playing football, where would I want to go to school for five years? I think I found that place in IU."
With that, Faulkner let the Indiana coaching staff know that he planned on playing his college football for the Hoosiers, becoming the ninth player to commit for the 2006 class. Faulkner is also the fifth offensive lineman in the '06 group, and the second top-10 in-state player to pledge, along with Bloomington South quarterback Ben Chappell.
Faulkner, who plays on both sides of the ball for 4-3 Hamilton Heights, is expected to play either offensive tackle or guard at IU.
"I'm not positive how they want to use me, but when I went to camp they had me working out at offensive tackle," said Faulkner.
There's no question about Faulkner's versatility, though, making him a valuable commodity on the offensive line. He's proven so versatile at the high school level that he recently found out that he'll be trying his hand at a new position on the football field beginning this weekend – linebacker.
"I didn't see that coming," said Faulkner. "It's not like I'm starting there, but we're putting in a new defensive set, called ‘Big People' – and I'm SAM linebacker.
"It surprised me when I saw my number was written up – I thought it was a joke they were playing on me. But I'm looking forward to it – it should be fun."
He's also looking forward to trying to help Hamilton Heights make a run in the state playoffs that are just around the corner. He's pleased that with his college choice out of the way, he can turn his full attention to his prep team before beginning preparation for his college career in Bloomington.
"It's a really big relief to have this out of the way," said Faulkner. "I don't have to worry about recruiting anymore. Now I can work on doing my best for my Huskies and then going on to being an Indiana Hoosier."
Faulkner got a hint of what it will be like to be a Hoosier during a recent trip to Bloomington, when he watched the Hoosiers hammer Kentucky 38-14 in front of 40,240 fans – IU's largest non-conference turnout since 1997.
"I hadn't been to an IU game yet this year – it was my first one," said Faulkner. "Coach Hep links arms with the whole team and they ran out with the Crimson Crew flag and the American flag, and everyone was going crazy.
"Coach Hep has brought a lot of that with him to IU. I think it's just going to get better for here. The atmosphere great at IU games is great right now, and it's just going to skyrocket from here. I want to be a part of that."
Faulkner Well Worth the Wait
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