Bloomington, Ind. – Coach Bill Lynch will welcome two members of his '08 recruiting class early.
Defensive linemen Kyle Kozak and A.J. Thompson are both expected to enroll in classes at IU in January and be available to practice with the team during spring practice.
The 6-3, 295-pound Thompson was one of the Hoosiers' early commits, having pledged in early July. After spending the first couple seasons of his prep career at Marion (Ky.) Crittenden County H.S., Thompson moved to Lakeland, Fla., last summer to live with his father and play with Lakeland Kathleen H.S. Thompson helped his team to an 8-3 record and a berth in the state playoffs, where they lost a heart-breaking 28-27 first-round game to Cocoa (Fla.) H.S.
Kozak, meanwhile, is the team's most recent commit, having pledged after making his official visit last weekend. The 6-3, 258-pound defensive end from Emmaus, Penn., spent the 2007 season at Hargrave Military Academy and received plenty of recruiting interest late after clocking a sub-4.6 in the 40 at a recent combine. But Indiana was on Kozak early, and the fact he was looking to enroll at a Division I program in January all but eliminated most of his other suitors, who didn't have time to get him through their respective admission process.
In effect, this makes Thompson and Kozak "greyshirts" who count against the Hoosiers' 2007 recruiting class scholarship limit of 25. By enrolling early, both Kozak and Thompson will be able to go through the team's off-season conditioning workouts, go through the team's 15 spring practices, and presumably be ahead of the curve when fall camp opens in August.
This marks the second straight year IU has had a pair of players enroll early. Last season, both punter Chris Hagerup and defensive tackle Kevin Burrus started classes in January. Hagerup battled Michael Hines for the punting job and eventually settled for second string and was redshirted, while Burrus played in all 12 games and recorded 11 tackles as a second-string defensive tackle.
Early enrollees are becoming much more common in college football. USA Today reported that 69 players enrolled early at BCS conference schools last year, up from 35 in 2004.
IU Expects Two To Enroll Early
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