Bloomington, Ind. – When it came time for Dane Conwell to make his college decision, it was one he got defensive about.
The 6-1, 185-pound two-way standout from Pittsburgh's Upper St. Clair H.S. was being recruited by Indiana to play outside linebacker, but by one of his other finalists, Pitt, to play fullback. That made his decision to pick the Hoosiers that much easier.
"I had a top three of Pitt, West Virginia and Indiana, and Pitt and West Virginia were about to offer me scholarships," Conwell said. "But Pitt wanted me play fullback and I wanted to play linebacker. So I decided to go with the Big Ten, and Indiana was my favorite school. So I went with it."
Conwell pledged to the Hoosiers on Friday, becoming the first member of Coach Terry Hoeppner's 2007 recruiting class. Two days later he was joined by Warren, Ohio, safety Sidney Glover, giving the Hoosiers a pair of athletic defenders who figure to be impact players in Bloomington.
Conwell, who also plays tailback on his high school team, made his second trip to Bloomington late last week to commit to Hoeppner. Earlier this spring, he was also in town for the Hoosiers' Cream and Crimson spring game. He said those two trips was all he needed to sell him on the program as well as the university.
"A couple of big factors that went into my decision were the fact it's Big Ten football, and it's a great college town atmosphere," Conwell said. "I've been down there twice and I thought it was the most beautiful campus I'd seen, and that was a big factor. Also, the coaches have been recruit to me throughout the recruiting process."
IU co-defensive coordinator Brian George handled Conwell's recruitment, but once he arrives he in town he'll be turned over to linebackers coach George Ricumstrict. With linebacker being one of the most important positions in the Hoosiers' '07 recruiting efforts, Conwell knows there will be a chance to compete for playing time quickly.
"(Coach George) told me he never promises anyone playing time, but he said you'll either play as a freshman or you'll get redshirted – they won't waste a year of eligibility," Conwell said. "And they said if you're good enough, you'll play as a freshman. So hopefully that will be the case."
Conwell is coming off a big junior season, totaling eight sacks on defense while earning All-Quad honors. On offense he added 817 yards on 94 carries (8.7/carry) and 10 touchdowns. He's also a solid basketball player, starting on Upper St. Clair's squad this past winter.
He said he's glad to have the decision out of the way so that he can turn his attention to being the anchor of his prep squad this fall.
"It's a tremendous relief," Conwell said. "I don't have to worry about the recruiting process at all. I can just focus on my season and then about going to Indiana next fall."
Now see Dane Conwell in action...
See Dane Conwell In Action
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