Bloomington, Ind. – Franklin Central (Ind.) H.S. Coach Lance Scheib found himself on Bill Lynch's call list.
While word didn't leak about Lynch's new four-year coaching contract until Monday morning, the IU staff called to alert Scheib to the news Sunday night. That information then made its way from Scheib to his standout player, running back Darius Willis, one day before the Hoosier head coach was slated to do an in-home visit with him and his family.
That was a very positive development for Willis, Scout.com's 42nd ranked running back nationally who rushed for 1,728 yards and 28 touchdowns as a senior. It also figures to enhance Indiana's chance of luring the 6-0, 212-pound running back to Bloomington.
"It gives him the peace of mind that Lynch has signed the contract and it tells him that the coach he'd start with is the one he'd finish with," Scheib said.
The IU staff's newfound job security has solidified the Hoosiers' standing as one of Willis' four finalists. He has already made an official visit to Purdue, and has upcoming trips to Kentucky (Nov. 30), Indiana (Dec. 7) and Boston College (Dec. 14). That would leave him with one allotted official visit remaining, but Scheib said he's pretty well narrowed his decision down to those four schools.
In addition to Monday's in-home visit with Indiana, Willis had an in-home visit with Purdue Assistant Head Coach Mark Hagen on Sunday, and Kentucky's staff will be by his home tomorrow (Nov. 28).
"He's stayed true to what he wanted to do, being patient and taking his visits," said Scheib, who added that Willis' decision will likely come around Christmas. "Eventually, he'll sit down and figure out what's best for Darius."
One thing that is working in the Hoosiers' favor is a message it's consistently delivered ever since the staff started recruiting him. From day one, IU assistant coach Billy Lynch – who recruits the Indianapolis area – has made it clear how badly IU wants to see Willis in an IU uniform.
"The biggest difference with Indiana and the others is he is the guy they want," Scheib said. "Others might have him as their top running back, but he's the No. 1 guy on Indiana's board."
While Scheib has tried stay as neutral as possible during Willis' recruitment, he admits that he's told Willis to look closely at how much of a priority each staff makes him.
"I've told him you want to go where you're most wanted," Scheib said. "IU has said that from day one, and Coach Lynch said it again when he made the in-home visit – he is the guy that they want."
Willis Sets Visits, Down to Four
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