While the recruiting spotlight intensifies on some prominent targets in January, Indianapolis Pike defensive end Greg Middleton is glad that it's no longer on him.
The 6-3, 255-pound defensive lineman found himself in the news on a couple of different occasions in the fall. After originally verballing to Purdue in the summer, he decommitted and pledged to Coach Terry Hoeppner's Hoosiers in October.
As if that wasn't news enough, the issue resurfaced weeks later during Purdue Coach Joe Tiller's weekly call-in show. After a fan called in to inquire why Purdue wasn't having the same sort of success with its in-state recruiting and was losing recruits to programs such as Indiana, Tiller threw a verbal haymaker at Middleton, calling into question his character, among other things.
Tiller's team was in the midst of a six-game losing streak and the Boilermaker coach was rounding criticized for his comments, but that didn't make it any easier for Middleton.
"It surprised me," said Middleton, who totaled 78 tackles and nine sacks as a senior. "When I first read it, I didn't know (about what he had said). I hadn't talked to anybody, so I didn't know what the article was about. I started to read it, and it was pretty shocking."
Middleton's glad to have that all behind him, and he's also glad that he made the decision that he did to play his college football in Bloomington instead of West Lafayette.
"I'm relieved that's all over," said Middleton. "It does a lot to your mind, you don't know where you really want to go and what you want to do, and they tell you different things.
"Everything sounds good, but you still have to be able to make the right decision when it comes down to it, and I'm pretty glad I made the decision I did."
Middleton is now focused on his college football future, and he'll be making a trip to Bloomington in the very near future with that in mind. Middleton was originally scheduled to make his official visit to Bloomington Dec. 6, but was forced to reschedule his trip due to a high school basketball game.
He said he will make his trip Jan. 13, and he's already looking forward to the opportunities he'll have once he arrives in Bloomington for good in the fall.
"I'm pretty excited – I've heard the college life is fun and I'm looking forward to that and getting out on my own," said Middleton. "I'm also excited about playing football and trying to bring the program up. Being a part of the first recruiting class, I feel we can make a difference."
Middleton is hoping to personally make a difference on the defensive line, and he'd like to do so sooner rather than later. In the quest to do just that, he's been working with a personal trainer two to three times per week.
"They say there could be a chance to help early, as long as I get there and work hard and do what I'm supposed to do, I should be able to get some early playing time and make a difference," said Middleton.
Middleton No Longer Caught In the Middle
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