Bloomington, Ind. – While Marshall Stickland was knocking down the game-winning free throws to help Indiana's men's basketball team knock off Ohio State he was not just helping the basketball team, he may have also been helping the Hoosier football program.
Over the weekend Indiana football had four recruits come to town, as Florida high school teammates Culmer St. Jean and Wondy Pierre Louis were joined by Texans Mandella Roberts and James Thomas.
"I visited Indiana over the weekend and I just got back home Sunday night," said St. Jean. "I liked it. It was a great trip. I met a lot of nice and interesting people out there and I got to see the Indiana and Ohio State basketball and the atmosphere was unbelievable. Indiana has some great fans."
The trip was the fourth for St. Jean and his teammate Pierre Louis. The 6-1, 215-pound St. Jean and the 6-0, 176-pound Pierre Louis are teammates at Naples Lely H.S.
"Coach (Billy) Lynch invited us up for the trip," said St. Jean. "I went with Wondy (Pierre Louis). We've made all our trips together so far. We're about 90 percent sure we'll pick a school together.
"We've gone to see Wisconsin, Indiana, Minnesota and West Virginia so far. I'm leaning towards the Big Ten, I guess, but I still don't know where I want to go."
While in Bloomington St. Jean was unable to see the football team practice or meet Indiana head coach Terry Hoeppner in person, making the trip a unique for the safety/linebacker.
"It was a lot different than the other trips because those schools were practicing for bowl games so I got to see the players and coaches in action," said St. Jean. "It's hard to tell what I would be up against at Indiana, but it definitely had that feeling like an important recruiting trip. Not seeing them practicing is not a big deal to me.
"I didn't get to meet Coach Hoeppner, either, because of his recent surgery. He was on sick order from the doctor and he was at the hospital. He called us when we got up there and talked to us on the phone. We had a nice chat."
As of right now neither St. Jean nor Pierre Louis appear to be close to a decision and may even be waiting on more offers late in the month.
"Right now everything is pretty even on the schools," said St. Jean. "Every trip we've taken we've gotten an offer and I'm hoping to make a decision before signing day, but if I don't I guess I'll just have to do it on signing day. Pretty much all the Big Ten schools are the same so far. They all have good academic programs and nice facilities. I'm just looking for that edge from one school, just one thing to put it apart from others.
"Ohio State told me they are going to call me next week and let me know where they are and if they're going to offer me or not."
With his 6-1, 215-pound frame, St. Jean can play all over the field and he has in his high school career. St. Jean is being recruited by many programs as a safety, although Indiana also likes him as a linebacker. There is certainly no disputing his athleticism, as he played quarterback this past season for his prep team, throwing for 1,000 yards and running for another 200.
"Most of the schools want me for a safety but IU has been talking to me about playing linebacker," said St. Jean. "I'm more comfortable at safety right now, but I think on the next level I would be better served as a linebacker based on my weight and height. So far all the schools have talked to me about being an athlete and pointed out how being a quarterback for two years can help me on the defensive side of the ball too because I can be a leader."
With the same decision likely coming from the two Florida teammates, it appears as though the resolution may come down to rebuild vs. win early.
"I'm not sure if I want to help build a program or go to a school with a lot of prestige," said St. Jean. "Me and Wondy have been arguing about it because he wants to rebuild a program and I want to kind of go somewhere where I can put the icing on the cake, get them to the next level. I think either one is good for us."
St. Jean Talks About IU Official
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