Faulkner Positioned To Help Hoosiers

Hamilton Heights (Ind.) lineman Cody Faulkner talks about his official visit to IU last weekend, what position the coaches have talked to him about playing, and whether or not there's a possibility he could waver on his IU commitment.

Cody Faulkner knows he'll be playing his college football in Bloomington, and he also has a good feeling where he'll be playing on the field once he suits up for the Hoosiers next fall.

The 6-5, 305-pounder from Hamilton Heights (Ind.) High School took his Indiana official visit last weekend, one of seven verbally committed recruits who was in town. He spent plenty of time with his host, junior Justin Frye, and the rest of the recruits who were on campus, but he also had a chance to talk with IU offensive line coach Bobby Johnson, who will be overseeing Faulkner's development beginning in the fall.

"I'll probably play guard there," said Faulkner, who was recently named to the AP's first-team All-State squad as an offensive lineman. "Wherever they need me. I'm a team player, so wherever they think I can help the team the most, I'm ready to play there."

There had been some speculation Faulkner could play on the defensive side of the ball at the collegiate level, but he said there's been no such talk from the IU coaching staff.

"I can't speak specifically for them, and once I get there they might decide to move me, but I haven't heard anything about playing defense," said Faulkner. "That's not anything they've talked to me about."

One thing Faulkner said won't change is his commitment to the Hoosiers. One of the state's most heavily-recruited players, Faulkner pledged to Indiana in late September. He has since received the sporadic piece of mail from other schools, but he says the possibility of going in another direction is nil.

"My heart is with IU," said Faulkner. "There's no way I'm changing. I gave them my word, and my word is my bond."

Faulkner is one of six offensive linemen who has already committed to the Hoosiers. The offensive line unquestionably has been the No. 1 priority for Coach Terry Hoeppner's staff this recruiting season, as he tries to address the loss of three senior starters while also bringing in the sort of linemen who fit his offensive scheme.

Faulkner is a big part of that, and he'll make his contributions in the middle of the line.

"They definitely like my drive blocking," said Faulkner. "At the point of attack I'm able to move people around, and I think that's why they want me at guard. They like my strength off the ball, right off the bat. I'm not as rangy as say James (Brewer) is, who probably has 2-3 inches on me. That's why they like me at guard."

While Faulkner's strength is one of his biggest assets, he's hoping to be even bigger and stronger by the time he arrives on campus next fall. He knows that there's a possibility that a freshman could wind up contributing, and he wants to be ready if called upon.

"I think there is a possibility (a freshman could play)," said Faulkner. "They have talked about there being a possibility, but they've also said that they aren't going to put us in if we're not ready. If they call on me to play some, I want to be physically ready. I don't want it to be that I'm not strong enough to play yet. I don't want that to be my weak point."

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