Bloomington, Ind. – The final score might not have been to the Hoosiers' liking, but Saturday's 36-31 loss to Penn State should only help when it comes to recruiting.
On a 70-degree day against a top-flight foe, at least five recruits were among the 41,251 on-lookers at Memorial Stadium. It was not only a game that kept fans on the edge of their seats throughout, but one that came in front of the biggest home crowd of the season, one that didn't have a large sampling of opposing fans like most of Memorial Stadium's 40,000-plus turnouts have had in recent years.
Among the on lookers were a trio of players who have already committed to IU, and a pair of in-state talents who remain uncommitted:
Darius Willis, RB, Indianapolis, Ind. (Franklin Central H.S.) – The 6-0, 200-pound Willis is arguably the team's most coveted recruit. Willis combines plenty of power with 4.4 speed in the 40 to make him one of the more heavily recruited running backs in the Midwest. He was originally scheduled to make an unofficial for the Minnesota game, but came down with food poisoning and instead was in Bloomington over the weekend. Willis' Franklin Central team is 8-2 this season and faces Avon in the second round of sectionals Friday. Thus far, Willis has rushed 231 times for 1,462 yards and 26 touchdowns. Fourteen of those touchdown runs have come from at least 20 yards out.
Robert Martin, LB, Indianapolis, Ind. (Pike) – The 6-2, 225-pound inside linebacker is one of the anchors of a Pike defense that has six of its 10 foes to 10 points or less on its way to a 10-0 start and a No. 1 ranking in Class 5A. Indiana has yet to offer a scholarship to Martin, but he's someone to keep an eye on. Martin has been sidelined in recent weeks with an ankle injury, but will likely be back soon as Pike makes it march toward a state championship.
Adam Follett, QB, Alma, Mich. (Alma) – The 6-5, 210-pounder quarterback made an unofficial the day after his prep team wrapped up a 9-0 regular season with a 19-18 win in its regular season finale. Alma opens its playoffs on Friday against Lansing Catholic (6-3). Follett, who verballed to IU in August, has completed 93-of-189 passes for 1,533 yards and 14 touchdowns this season.
Chad Sherer, LB/S, Arcadia, Ind. (Hamilton Heights) – The 6-1, 195-pound IU commit had an off week, as his Hamilton Heights squad had a first-round sectional bye after wrapping up a 7-2 regular season. While he's expected to be a defensive player at IU, he's been one of the keys to his prep team's offensive success as well. Sherer has scored 19 touchdowns this season, rushing 137 times for 937 yards and 17 scores to go along with one touchdown reception and one kickoff return for a score.
Mick Mentzer, DL/OL, Ft. Wayne, Ind. (Dwenger) – The 6-3, 290-pounder has helped his prep team to a No. 1 ranking in the state and an undefeated 10-0 record, including a 42-8 win over Ft. Wayne Elmhurst in the first round of sectionals on Friday. Mentzer continues to play middle linebacker and fullback for Dwenger, although he'll move to the trenches at IU. Defensive line would appear to be his best fit, although offensive guard is a possibility as well.
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