Bloomington, Ind. – The IU football program received one verbal commitment Sunday, and it's hoping to make it a perfect weekend by securing a verbal commitment from its other official visitor as well.
At the close of his official visit, Hargrave Military Academy defensive end Kyle Kozak committed to the Hoosiers, becoming the 19th player to verbally pledge to the Hoosiers. Unlike the other 18 commits, this 6-4, 238-pounder will be enrolling at IU in January and will be eligible to go through spring practice in a couple of months.
Since he committed, Kozak was lobbying the Hoosiers' other official visitor, Columbus, Ohio, running back Isaiah Pead to join him on the IU roster next fall.
"He was pushing me," Pead said Sunday night. "We already knew each other because he went to Pickerington H.S. (in Ohio) last year, so we were able to bond on our visit."
Despite Kozak's best efforts, Indiana will have to wait for word from the 5-11, 180-pounder from Eastmoor Academy H.S. While Pead said he had a great visit to Bloomington, he still intends to make officials to both Pitt and West Virginia in January. Unless one-time suitor Illinois rekindles its interest in Pead, he said his decision will likely come down to those three programs.
But after being hosted by IU wide receiver Chris Banks and spending plenty of time with Banks, Kozak, and the IU coaching staff, Pead was impressed with what Indiana had to offer.
"The visit went well," Pead said. "The campus seemed great. There's a lot there, and everything is close where you're able to walk. It's a small town, but it's right around the corner from Indianapolis so that's good."
While the IU staff had to spend its time bouncing around amongst 14 official visitors last weekend, this time around they were able to devote all of their time to Pead and Kozak. That smaller setting gave both players more one-on-one time with the coaching staff and players.
Pead said the biggest thing the IU staff stressed to him was the opportunity he'd have academically if he decides to come to Bloomington.
"They really stressed the academics there, and how they have 42 players that had a 3.0 grade point average or better," Pead said. "They said I'd have a designated tutor and would have a great opportunity academically."
Pead would also figure to have a great chance on the football field as well. He's coming off a huge senior season, earning Ohio Division III Player of the Year honors after leading Eastmoor Academy to a 9-1 record by rushing for 2,204 yards and 39 touchdowns as a tailback.
Despite those impressive numbers, many recruiting services project him as a cornerback at the next level. Scout.com has him tabbed as the 34th ranked cornerback in the nation, thanks in large part to his athleticism and his 4.4 speed in the 40.
But Pead said Indiana is looking at him for his offensive skills.
"Indiana wants me at running back," Pead said.
Pead admits his preference is offense, whether it's as a running back, receiver, or even a return specialist. But if he gets that chance and the coaching staff decides he's better off on defense, he's not adverse to making the switch.
"I want to play offense, but if I get to a school and they think I'd be better on defense and I'd touch the field faster on defense, then so be it," Pead said.
Hoosiers Land One Commit, Hope for a Second
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