Bloomington, Ind. – Max Dedmond made Terry Hoeppner's day.
After wrapping up his obligations at the Big Ten Kickoff Luncheon in Chicago Monday night, the second-year Hoosier coach got a phone call from the 6-4, 240-pound Evansville Central H.S. tight end, who informed him he wanted to play for him and the Hoosiers beginning next fall.
"He told me he had been having a good day, and that news made it a great day," Dedmond said.
It was certainly a big day for Indiana, which landed one of the top players in the state in the 2007 class. Dedmond had scholarship offers from a slew of schools, including his three finalists, IU, Purdue and Louisville.
"Toward the end of the last month, Indiana really moved up on my list," Dedmond said. "We went over everything, and it seemed it was the best opportunity for me. The coaches were really nice, I'll have a chance to compete for playing time early, and that all made it seem like it was the best place for me."
His commitment is a huge step for IU, which is trying to once again attract many of the state's top players to Bloomington. A year ago Indiana landed three of the state's top 10, and Dedmond's pledge gives Indiana two of the state's top 10 in '07 along with Crown Point's Matt Ernest.
"The coaches stressed to me how important it is to get in-state people, and how important it was to get me," said Dedmond, whose recruiter was Billy Lynch. "They probably recruited me the hardest of anyone the last couple of months. I got more letters and text messages from IU than anyone."
Dedmond comes with impressive credentials. He earned first-team All-State honors a year ago after totaling a staggering 170 tackles for a team that went 7-4, and was also the team's starting fullback/H-back. Many schools that were recruiting him said it was 50/50 whether he'd wind up on offense or defense, but IU recruited him to play tight end.
The Indiana coaches had a chance to see him up close during this summer's 7-on-7 passing camp, and that's when they were convinced tight end was where he could help IU the most.
"(Hoeppner) talked about the offense and how they needed tight ends in there to run across the field and also be able to block," Dedmond said. "They talked about how they need versatile tight ends. They said they like how I was so big, yet I could still move well."
Dedmond, meanwhile, likes the direction the IU program is headed. Hoeppner has brought an energy to the program that's been lacking for some time, and there's also plenty of talk about new facilities for the Hoosiers, which would include enclosing the north end of Memorial Stadium.
"They really stressed the facilities that they're going to be doing, that are basically going to be new for our class coming in," Dedmond said.
With the decision out of the way, Dedmond can turn his attention to his Evansville Central H.S. team, which is in the middle of two-a-days and has its sights set on winning a sectional title for the first time in nearly 20 years.
"It's good to have the monkey off my back," Dedmond said. "Now I can relax. It's good to have the recruiting process over and think about my senior season.
"I'm excited to get up there and play for the Hoosiers."
Dedmond Talks About IU Pledge
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