Camp Effort Sells IU Staff on Thompson

Crittenden County (Ky.) offensive linemen A.J. Thompson convinced the IU staff he was worthy of a scholarship offer during the Hoosiers' one-day Offensive Line/Defensive Line Camp, and it didn't take him long to add his name to the Hoosiers' commitment list...

Bloomington, Ind. – Things are lining up well for the Hoosiers with their 2008 recruiting class.

Coach Bill Lynch's staff added two more verbal commitments to bring their total to 12 verbals for the 2008 class. The latest duo to pledge were two more linemen, as Crittenden City (Ky.) H.S. standout A.J. Thompson and Ft. Wayne Dwenger's Mick Mentzer pledged this week.

It's a class that's heavy on linemen. The latest pledges give IU seven linemen among the 12, including four offensive linemen and three defensive linemen.

While the 6-3, 295-pound Thompson is a standout on both the offensive and defensive lines at the high school level, he said he expects to play either offensive guard or center at IU. He worked out for IU offensive line coach Bobby Johnson during IU's one-day offensive line/defensive line coach, and came away with a scholarship offer to play for the Hoosiers.

Ultimately he decided IU was the best fit, as he picked Indiana over Marshall (offer), Kentucky, Louisville, Western Kentucky and Purdue.

"Going to their individual camp was the most beneficial thing I did because I got the offer," said Thompson. "Coach Johnson is a great coach, and he's really what made my decision. I felt he was a really cool guy right off the bat. He's someone I could see myself being around for the next four or five years."

In addition to Johnson, Thompson said he was also impressed by the Bloomington campus, the academic opportunities and the Memorial Stadium renovations that are now in the works.

"I've been able to research their program a lot and they've got a nice tradition and they're getting better," Thompson said. "Really, I can't wait to get up there."

Thompson said the IU staff talked about needing to bring in four good offensive linemen in this year's class. He is the fourth true offensive linemen to pledge, joining Marc Damisch, Justin Pagan and Will Matte.

With the decision now behind him, he said he'll turn his attention to leading his prep team to a solid season this fall, while also trying to get himself ready to the fall of 2008 when he joins the IU roster.

"Before I get there I'd like to get a little faster, a little more aggressive, and you can always get a little meaner," Thompson said.

While Thompson is projected as an interior linemen, Mentzer will most likely wind up on the defensive side of the ball. He's a 6-3 1/2, 290-pounder who plays fullback and linebacker on his high school team, but will play on the line at the collegiate level.

Mentzer also had offers from Northern Illinois and Ball State.

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