IU Gets Down to Business With 19th-Ranked DE

Bloomington –Indiana is trying to parlay its recent success with some bigger name football recruits, and they don't come much bigger than Davon Custis. The Hoosiers are in the top five for the nation's No. 19 defensive end, and they've done a better job than anyone at one thing...

Bloomington –Indiana is trying to parlay its recent success with some bigger name football recruits, and they don't come much bigger than Davon Custis.

The 6-5, 220-pound defensive end from St. Francis DeSales H.S. in Columbus, Ohio, is the nation's 19th-ranked defensive end according to Scout.com. An explosive pass rusher with 4.58 speed in the 40, Custis is a four-star recruit who has more than 20 scholarship offers from teams around the country.

While it might be easy for a team to get lost in the shuffle with that sort of attention, that hasn't happened to the Hoosiers. In fact, Custis has IU in his top five along with Boston College, Northwestern, Michigan State and Wisconsin.

"Indiana has been coming after me a lot, really hard," said Custis. "They're probably the No. 1 school as far as getting personal, hand-written letters."

The Hoosiers have talked to Custis about the program's renovations to the football stadium as well as about being a program on the rise, but their biggest selling point has been the Kelley School of Business. A 3.7 student who scored 24 on the ACT, Custis has maintained that academics will be his No. 1 criteria when it comes time to pick a school, and he plans on majoring in business.

When the recruiting calendar allows for contact Custis said he talks to the IU staff about once every two weeks, and he generally talks to either IU defensive line coach Brian George or head coach Bill Lynch. He's also made an unofficial visit to the program, having come to Bloomington in late March.

"It's a nice place, a nice college town," Custis said.

Indiana has clearly made Custis a top priority for the '09 class, and it's paid off by landing the Hoosiers in elite company amongst his favorites. But Custis said he's still a long way from making a decision. He's thinking about making a commitment sometime after Christmas, so Indiana will have to wait.

Between now and then, more programs figure to try to get involved with Custis. One possibility is Ohio State, which was the only Senior Day camp he attended last month. He said when he first arrived the Buckeye coaches didn't know his name, but his performance caught their attention and the staff is now talking about evaluating him over the next several months.

"They were saying they wanted to recruit me, so that's probably the biggest thing I got out of (the camp)," Custis said.

Once programs like Ohio State decide whether or not to offer, Custis will be able to sit down and evaluate his college options. While his decision might be months away, he already has a good feel for what will go into it.

"The top three things will be academics, how the team performs athletically, and am I going to fit in there socially – am I going to have a good time there, will I be treated right," Custis said.

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