Bloomington, Ind. – Indiana doesn't want to just start a pipeline from Indianapolis Warren Central – it wants to open a floodgate.
Coach Terry Hoeppner's program has targeted six players from the three-time defending state champions – running back Darren Evans, offensive lineman Andrew McDonald, tight end Adrien Robinson, defensive end Jeff Boyd, cornerback Chris Atkins and safety Jeremy Finch. Finch, Boyd, Robinson and Atkins were in Bloomington for Indiana's 46-21 win over Michigan State, and all six Warren Central players have been offered scholarships by the IU staff.
Boyd said the IU staff is making a big push to get the teammates to come to Bloomington as a group.
"When we came up for the game, we met with some of the coaches and talked to the president," Boyd said. "When we talked to the president, he talked about how we could change the program.
"They really want to keep the Indiana players in Indiana. They're trying to put Indiana football on the map, and they think we can help make Indiana football bigger than what it is now."
There's little doubt this is a group that could have a significant – and immediate – impact on the IU program. The 6-2, 200-pound Finch is Scout.com's eighth-ranked safety nationally, while the 6-1, 210-pound Evans in Scout's 26th-ranked tailback. Boyd (No. 48 defensive tackle) and Robinson (No. 21 tight end) are also ranked nationally, and that quartet are four of Scout.com's top seven players in the state in this year's class.
While the Hoosiers are making a big push, it won't necessarily be easy. Finch is considered a "soft" verbal to Michigan, while Boyd originally pledged to Kentucky before deciding to re-open his recruitment. Their presence in Bloomington two weeks ago, though, suggests Hoeppner's staff is very much in the running.
The toughest sell might be Evans, the state's leading rusher with 2,116 yards (212 carries) and 47 touchdowns. Evans has verballed to Virginia Tech, and didn't make the trip for the Michigan State game.
But the opportunity for all of them to play together in college is a pitch that Boyd said they are listening to.
"We know IU hasn't had a successful past, but they've been turning it around ever since Coach Hoeppner came in," Boyd said. "And we are going to bring winning wherever we go. We've won 30-some games and lost two altogether in the four years at Warren."
Boyd is also pondering offers from Kentucky, Illinois and Ole Miss, among others, and likely won't make a decision until the conclusion of his senior season. Warren Central is 12-0 and faces Ben Davis H.S. Friday night in the regional.
"I want to decide after my high school season because we want to make history and win four straight," Boyd said. "I'm going to keep an open mind, and wherever I feel I can go and make an impact, I'm going to go there."
IU Trying to Build Warren Pipeline
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