IU Hoops, Football Both Welcoming Top Targets

Everyone knows that Scout.com's 16th-ranked player, Tyler Zeller, will be making his official visit this weekend along with recent IU commit Matt Roth. But another big name is expected in town this weekend as well, and he'll be checking out the IU football program...

Bloomington, Ind. - The two biggest names on IU's wish lists will be in Bloomington this weekend.

It's well known that Washington, Ind., power forward Tyler Zeller will be in Bloomington for his official visit. The 16th-ranked player in the 2007 class, Zeller will arrive in Bloomington Friday to make the second of four planned official visits. He was in Chapel Hill, N.C., last weekend and still has trips to Notre Dame (Oct. 12) and Purdue (Oct. 19) to follow.

But he's not the only big name that will be in town this weekend. On the football side, IU expects to have arguably its most coveted recruit, Indianapolis running back Darius Willis, on campus as well. The 6-0, 200-pounder from Franklin Central H.S. plays in a game against Southport H.S. Friday night, but is expected in Bloomington for the Indiana-Illinois game the following day for an unofficial visit.

The trip makes sense for Willis, who has both programs among his favorites. Purdue, Kentucky and Notre Dame are other frontrunners for Scout.com's 30th-ranked running back nationally. While Willis will be welcomed for the visit, it's not a sign that he's any closer to making a decision.

"From day one, he's wanted (to make his decision) after the season," said his high school coach, Lance Scheib. "It's one of those things, I was trying to persuade him the other way. It's been a situation that's he's set on doing this."

Willis has instead opted to focus most of his attention on his senior season. He's helped Franklin Central to a 4-1 start by rushing for 798 yards on 122 carries, or 159.6 yards/game. He's also scored 14 touchdowns, nine of which have come from at least 20 yards out.

He's coming off his biggest game of the year a week ago, carrying 29 times for 216 yards and five touchdowns in Franklin Central's 41-27 win over Perry Meridian. It was his second 200-yard performance of the season, along with a 24-carry, 266-yard, three-touchdown performance in a season-opening 27-14 win over Decatur Central.

Willis' decision to focus on his senior season could be a very good sign for IU. With a degree of uncertainty about who the head coach will be next year, his preference to wait until December or January should remove any uncertainty about whether the IU staff will return in tact next year.

"He understands if IU wins the staff is going to stay probably," Scheib said. "And I really feel they will. Everything I've seen, everything I've witnessed, I think they are going to have a really special year. I hope that's the case."

Zeller, meanwhile, is one of two basketball recruits who will be making an official visit this weekend. He'll be joined by Washington, Ill., shooting guard Matt Roth, who committed to the Hoosiers last month. Zeller and Roth have been AAU teammates on the Indiana Elite team for the last several years, so Roth's decision to make his official this weekend is anything but a coincidence.

With commitments from Roth, top-15 wing Devin Ebanks, top-35 combo guard Bud Mackey and power forward Tom Pritchard, Zeller could wind up being the final piece to a second-straight top-five recruiting class for Coach Kelvin Sampson.

But as is the case with Willis, IU fans shouldn't expect a decision anytime soon. Zeller will take his other two official visits in mid-October, and he said that he'll remain patient even after his official visits have concluded.

"I'm planning on not committing for at least two weeks after that so I don't go right off what the visit was like," Zeller said earlier this month.

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