Gainer Goes In-Depth About IU Pledge

A hamstring injury kept Jeremy Gainer from making a slew of Senior Day camp appearances, but it didn't keep him from getting some big-time offers. Gainer talks in-depth about why he picked the Hoosiers, and about how he might be able to make an immediate impact as a freshman...

Bloomington – Indiana didn't need to wait very long to know it wanted Jeremy Gainer as part of its 2009 recruiting class.

That's why the 6-2, 210-pound outside linebacker from Livonia (Mich.) Clarenceville H.S. received an IU offer back in February, just one week after the 2008 signing day. And it's also why the Hoosiers were so excited Saturday when they found out that Gainer had decided to accept.

"Coach (George) Ric(umstrict) was really excited," Gainer said. "I had texted him earlier in the day to let him know I had something important to tell him. When I told him he was really excited because he said all along I've been their No. 1 guy, and he said that again today. They weren't just blowing that at me."

Gainer is a big get for the Hoosiers. An athletic outside linebacker with great sideline-to-sideline speed, Gainer totaled 97 tackles, eight interceptions, seven forced fumbles and four fumble recoveries as a junior, which helped him secure offers from Indiana, Colorado, Kansas State and Cincinnati, among others.

Gainer might have had even more big-time offers, but he opted to not attend any one-day camps at college campuses earlier this month. He said he had originally intended to make the rounds, but a tender hamstring injury kept him from getting out early, and ultimately he decided that he was happy with the programs that had already offered him scholarships.

"There were other colleges that wanted me to come so they could see me, but I was satisfied with the options I had and I decided to base it off that," Gainer said.

While Gainer was satisfied with his college options, he appears ecstatic with his ultimate choice. Ricumstrict has told him that he sees him as a player who will have a chance to compete for playing time as a true freshman, and that he's someone who has a very bright future in an IU uniform.

"He has very high expectations for me, and I like to hear that," Gainer said. "Someday, I want to go to the NFL, and I feel like Coach Ric is the kind of coach who can help me accomplish that."

Gainer appears to have the physical tools to make that happen. While he projects as an outside linebacker in college, he's played plenty of safety at the high school level and has shown he's equally adept at rushing the quarterback or dropping back into coverage.

"I think it's my lateral quickness is one of my biggest strengths," Gainer said. "At linebacker, you have to have lateral quickness so you can get past linemen and get to the ball. Another one of my strengths is when they put me on a wideout, I can cover them. I'm also not afraid to hit people, and that got a lot of coaches' attention."

Indiana was one of the first to take notice. Ricumstrict first became familiar with Jeremy when he was recruiting his older brother, Jermaine, who wound up at Southern Illinois. That helped pave the way for the Hoosiers, who appear to be finished recruiting the outside linebacker position after Saturday's two commitments.

Now, Gainer is looking forward helping the Hoosiers take another step up the Big Ten ladder.

"My whole family was talking about how it's a program on the rise, they have new facilities, and that's going to help them get better players," Gainer said. "But I looked past that and I see Indiana as a school I can fit in perfectly. I want to be a part of bringing in great players. I want to be a person that can build a great foundation here." Top Stories