Bloomington, Ind. – There's good news for IU in the Darius Willis recruiting sweepstakes.
According to Willis' Franklin Central Coach, Lance Scheib, the 6-1, 215-pound tailback is still weighing his college options and isn't any closer to making a decision. In fact, Scheib said it's now a certainty that Willis will wait until after his senior season comes to an end to make his college choice.
While that might appear to be described as no news, Scheib thinks it's good news for Indiana that Willis wants to wait.
"I think it helps Indiana," Scheib said. "First of all, Indiana has a great start to a great recruiting class. Secondly, it gives Darius some clarity about what Indiana is going to do. That's probably the biggest thing in his mind. Until Indiana decides to name an official coach, I told him you need to keep everything open and he's done that."
Bill Lynch has been named as Terry Hoeppner's replacement for the 2007 season, but it's unclear what will happen at season's end. Most believe that if IU gets to a bowl game Lynch will be given a multi-year deal, which would give Willis some comfort in knowing who the coach was going to be if he chose the Hoosiers.
It's been 14 years since Indiana last went to a bowl game, but count Scheib among those who think good things are on the horizon for the Hoosiers.
"(Darius) understands if IU wins the staff is probably going to stay," Scheib said. "And I really feel they will. Everything I've seen, everything I witnessed during spring ball, I think they are going to have a really special year. I hope that's the case."
While Willis plans on waiting to make his decision, that hasn't kept him from being very proactive in surveying his options. He was in Bloomington for an unofficial visit the two and half weeks ago, and has also been to Virginia, North Carolina State, Illinois and Maryland this month for unofficials. Next up is a trip to Purdue this weekend for an academic day.
The ACC schools have been added to the likes of IU, Purdue, Illinois, Penn State, Wisconsin, Minnesota and Notre Dame, among others, who are all possibilities for Scout.com's 22nd-ranked tailback nationally. Scheib said Willis' list remains fluid and it will be some time before the situation sorts itself out.
If at all possible, though, Scheib is among those who is hopeful that Willis will wind up staying in-state.
"I've told him from day one, if you can find a school in-state that you like, stay in-state," Scheib said. "Whether it's IU, Purdue, ball state, Notre dame, stay in state. I like that idea."
Scheib thinks Willis does as well.
"I think down deep he'd like to stay close to home," Scheib said.
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