DECKER: IU Having Its Way with Purdue

Indiana bested Purdue by a field goal last November, but Coach Bill Lynch's program has been whipping the Boilers as of late when it comes to recruiting. Scout.com analyst Allen Trieu talks about IU's run of success, and what he's been hearing from other talented prospects...

Indiana's success has been Purdue's failure.

Coach Bill Lynch and staff have enjoyed a great start to their 2009 football recruiting class, securing nine commitments to date. Included among those commits are three of the state's top in-state players in quarterback Edward Wright-Baker, athlete Nick Zachery and most recently wide receiver Duwyce Wilson.

While Carmel quarterback Morgan Newton figures to be the state's No. 1 recruit this season, Wilson isn't too far behind.

"Duwyce Wilson, to me, is as good a recruit as they've picked up the last few years," said Scout.com recruiting analyst Allen Trieu.

It's the start of a group of players that has a chance to be IU's highest-ranked recruiting class in more than a decade. While it will be months before the class is complete, Trieu said there's reason to believe the rest of the class will include equally-impressive prospects.

"Throw out the stars right now when you look at Indiana's class – they've picked up some excellent football players who for various reasons have flown under the radar," Trieu said. "But the talent they've brought in so far is excellent.

"The main thing Hoosier fans should be excited about is not just the kids they've already brought in, but I've been impressed with the number of recruits who have mentioned IU."

While the Hoosiers have been flourishing, Purdue has been floundering, particularly with their in-state efforts. The Boilermakers offered both Wright-Baker and Wilson but were bested by their arch-rivals. They also recently lost out on tight end and legacy recruit Tyler Eifert to Notre Dame, while Jordan Barnes (Michigan) and Dakotah Tyler (Cincinnati) are among the other homegrown standouts who have said no thanks to outgoing coach Joe Tiller and coach-in-waiting Danny Hope.

While Scout.com's state rankings have yet to be released it appears likely that Purdue will go 0-for-10 with the state's top 10 recruits. Likely top-10 recruits Zach Martin and Montez Robinson have already eliminated Purdue, while fellow elite recruits Kyle Koehne and Morgan Newton appear to be leaning elsewhere despite having the Boilers among their group of finalists.

It hasn't been due to a lack of effort. Purdue has hit the state of Indiana hard and brought in Hope one year before Tiller's departure in an effort to give recruits some security about who would be coaching them in West Lafayette. It was a move that worked well on the basketball side with Matt Painter, but it's done little on the football side of things thus far.

The Boilermakers have only two verbals to date - Floridians Gary Bush and Ishmael Aristide. Neither was heavily recruited by other programs before pledging in the last several weeks. Aristide is a talented athlete but is recovering from a torn ACL suffered in the spring. Bush, meanwhile, had only the offer from Purdue due in large part to the fact his academic situation originally scared off some programs (he's since earned a qualifying score on the ACT).

While Ohio State (24 verbal commits), Penn State (15), Michigan (12), Wisconsin (10), Michigan State (10) and Indiana (10) are at least halfway done with their 2009 classes, Purdue's commit total ranks tied for last in the conference along with Iowa.

These are good times for Indiana, and tough times for Purdue. Maybe it's just the ebb and flow of recruiting or perhaps it's a reflection of the challenges recruiting with an outgoing coach. But as IU's recruiting success translates into more success on the field, Lynch and staff will continue to make things even more difficult for Purdue going forward.

"Coach Lynch and his staff are not only setting themselves up for a great 2009 class, but also are building inroads for the future," Trieu said.


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