A collection of thoughts from yesterday's signing day, the recruiting process, and other subjects:
One player who the IU staff talked about a great deal was Georgia defensive end Fred Jones, who is supposedly up to 253 pounds now. He was in the 220 pound range when I started recruiting him, but has put on another 20-30 since the summer. He's a player that IU Coach Terry Hoeppner says, "passes the eye test…"
O-Line or D-Line?
Eric Thomas is listed as a 6-4, 250-pound defensive end from Glenville, Ohio, but Hoeppner said he's versatile enough to wind up at defensive tackle as well. IU Assistant Coach Bobby Johnson – who recruited Thomas – said Glenville H.S. Coach Ted Ginn told him he thinks Thomas' ultimate position could be offensive line. That sat well with Johnson – who coaches the Hoosier offensive line – but left defensive line coach Brian George shaking his head because he wants to keep him on the defensive side of the ball.
Still Plenty of In-State Success
Despite the loss of Finch, Indiana still wound up with four of Scout.com's top 10 in-state players in tight end Max Dedmond (No. 4), defensive tackle Jeff Boyd (No. 7), wide receiver Matt Ernest (No. 9) and offensive tackle Dennis Zeigler (No. 10). In addition, they also secured a commitment
Which Assistants had the most success on the recruiting trail?
Based strictly on numbers, it was Billy Lynch and Matt Canada. Lynch recruits most of Indiana and was the lead recruiter for Dedmond, Boyd, Zeigler, Chris Adkins, Andrew McDonald and Kevin Burrus, and he was also the point man on Jerimy Finch. Canada, meanwhile, recruits Wisconsin, Missouri and part of Florida, and he brought in Josh Hager, Chris Hagerup, Zach Walker-Davis and Jarrell Drane.
Hoeppner said his initial thought is he'd want to have about four members of this year's signing class see action next fall. He singled out Warren Central defensive lineman Jeff Boyd as a potential candidate to do that, while punter Chris Hagerup is already on campus and is the only scholarship punter on the roster. So he's almost guaranteed to play next year. While Hoeppner didn't single out others as potential contributors, safety Jarrell Drane will probably get a long look due to the loss of a handful of safeties off last year's roster. Linebacker is another spot that could be a possibility – IU returns all of its starters at linebacker, but there are spots on the two-deep that will be up for grabs, and linebackers are excellent candidates to help on special teams.
Interesting Tales to Tell?
Over the last nine months, I've talked with each member of IU's 2007 class. In some cases it was just once after they'd verballed to the Hoosiers, and with others it was multiple times throughout the recruiting process. Some thoughts on some of those conversations…
- Zach Walker-Davis – fun person to talk with a great personality. Joked about how he wanted to make sure I changed his height to 5-8 ½, because he had previously been listed at either 5-7 or 5-8. Also has an interest story about missing most of his junior season because his area was devastated by a hurricane in the fall of 2005…
- Teddy Schell – a really intelligent and humble kid who is genuinely excited about playing for the Hoosiers. He reminded my very much of current IU freshman Jeff Sanders in that regard from my conversations with Jeff (and his writing to journal for the website)…
- Jeff Boyd – a lot of credit goes to the IU staff for being able to get Boyd to Bloomington, because early on it didn't appear as if he was considering the Hoosiers very seriously. Seemed much more interested in going out-of-state, whether it was Kentucky or West Virginia or Louisville or somewhere else. But by the time he committed in mid-January it was clear he thought big things were ahead for the program.
- Tyler Replogle – he's about as no-nonsense as they come…
- Ian Reeves – Ian just surfaced as an IU target yesterday (after his letter of intent arrived at Memorial Stadium) and is still a pretty big unknown. But…can't argue with his measurables and his productivity. He also has a chip on his shoulder for being overlooked by a lot of programs, so IU's has a motivated player. I also have to like him because he called me back as soon as he got out of class, and did so to give me enough time to do the story and get to Hoeppner's press conference…
Signing Day Rewind
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