IU Football Recruiting Board: Defensive Ends

Defensive end appears to be the biggest priority remaining for the Hoosiers' 2009 recruiting efforts. Who are the players they've targeted? Where do things stand with each of them? HoosierNation.com looks at eight defensive ends on IU's recruiting board...

Montez Robinson (4 stars)
6-4, 230
Avon, Ind. (Avon)
National Rank: 10

Few players have seen their stock rise more this summer than Robinson, who has followed up a productive junior season at Avon with some mind-blowing combine performances to rise to No. 10 in Scout.com's national defensive end rankings. While his 69 tackles and 12 sacks in his first season at Avon caught the attention of schools around the Midwest, it was the 4.43 time in the 40 that wowed programs on a national scale.

Indiana was quick to offer, but Robinson has ruled the Hoosiers and everyone else from the Midwest out. Robinson spent a good portion of his childhood living in Alabama, and is looking to play his college football in the South. He's narrowed his list to Alabama, Auburn and Georgia and has offers from all three.

Davon Custis (4 stars)
6-5, 220
Columbus, Ohio (St. Francis DeSales)
National Rank: 20

This Columbus, Ohio, product is the 20th-ranked defensive end in the nation, and most likely the highest-ranked player at the position who has serious interest in the Hoosiers. He recently told HoosierNation.com his five frontrunners are IU, Boston College, Northwestern, Michigan State and Wisconsin, although Notre Dame has recently emerged as a possibility as well.

Custis has said Indiana has been coming after him the hardest in terms of personal mail, and the Hoosiers are also aided by Custis' desire to study business in college. A 3.7 student who scored 24 on the ACT, Custis said academics will be the biggest factor in his college decision. Custis totaled 10 sacks last season for DeSales H.S., which went 12-1.

Euclid Cummings (3 stars)
6-3, 230
Roswell, Ga. (Centennial)
National Rank: 49

Indiana made an early offer to Cummings and appeared to be a possibility early on in the recruiting process, but his interest appears to have waned in recent months. Cummings recently told HoosierNation.com he hasn't talked to the IU staff in quite some time.

Many elite programs were unaware of Cummings early in the process since last season was his first playing football, but big-time programs have since gotten up to speed on his skills. A terrific athlete with 4.57 speed in the 40, Cummings is ranked 49th at the position nationally has added offers from the likes of Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia Tech. He'll most likely be staying in the south.

Julius Forte (3 stars)
6-2, 235
Gulfport, Fla. (Boca Ciega)
National Rank: 50

A high school teammate of Ohio State freshman Orhian Johnson, Forte first caught the eye of IU assistant coach Billy Lynch when he was in town last year recruiting Johnson. While the Hoosiers lost out for Johnson, they were able to get their foot in the door with Forte.

Another superb athlete, Forte totaled 50 tackles and 11 sacks a year ago at Boca Ciega H.S. He ran a 4.66 in the 40 at Scout.com's combine in Miami and figures to be a focal point of IU's recruiting efforts during the next several months. There will be plenty of competition, as Forte has double-digit offers, including ones from the likes of Iowa, Kentucky, Purdue, South Florida, North Carolina, N.C. State and Florida International.

If Indiana is going to get him it is going to have to continue its pursuit for months, because Forte told HoosierNation.com last month he plans to wait until after his high school season to make a decision. Johnson waited until the final days leading up to the February signing date, so this could take a while to play out.

Dylan Farrington (2 star)
6-5, 230
Adrian, Mich. (Adrian)
National Rank: 87

There's a lot for Indiana and others to like about Farrington, who totaled 90 tackles and eight sacks as a junior at Adrian. That's why Indiana's staff was at the high school a couple of months ago to visit with Adrian's coaching staff, the same thing that coaches from Iowa, Wisconsin, Bowling Green and Central Michigan did as well.

While coaches have been wowed by what they've seen on film from Farrington, they've also been a little concerned by what they've seen from him academically. Farrington admitted he didn't take school seriously early on in high school, which has put him in a hole that he's still trying to get out of. He's been taking summer school classes, retaking other courses, and been prepping for his standardized tests in an effort to be eligible to play Division I. If he can get that done, Indiana figures to be one of many programs that turns up the recruiting heat.

Dan France (2 stars)
6-6, 260
North Royalton, Ohio (North Royalton)
National Rank: 102 (as offensive tackle)

France has a couple of decisions to make. First of all, the Cleveland-area standout has nearly 20 scholarship offers from programs from around the nation, including Indiana. But he also has to figure out which side of the ball he wants to play on. While he's said his preference is to play defensive end, some programs think he's better suited to play on the offensive line in college.

Indiana's staff got to sit down with France this summer when he was in town for an unofficial visit, one of a handful of stops he made along with Notre Dame, Purdue and Iowa. He's listed Indiana, Iowa and Michigan State as his favorites. He's the kind of player a lot of programs are going to like because of his versatility – he plays tight end, outside linebacker and defensive end in high school, and is considered very capable of playing on the offensive or defensive line in college.

Javon Cornley (1 star)
6-5, 210
Columbus, Ohio (Northland)
National Rank: Not Ranked

The younger brother of former Penn State basketball player Jamelle Cornley, Javon is of similar size and stature as his brother. But while his brother made his name with his play on the hardwood, Javon is an athletic defensive end who has flown under the recruiting radar.

Part of that is because he had focused much of his attention on basketball until being convinced to go out for football as a junior. His first season was a success, as he totaled 40 tackles, seven sacks and 12 tackles for loss. That productivity coupled with his upside prompted IU to offer a scholarship. At this point the Hoosiers are the only BCS offer on the table, making them an early favorite.

Malcolm Mitchell (1 star)
6-2, 220
Stone Mountain, Ga. (Dunwoody)
National Rank: Not Ranked

The Atlanta area has been focal point of the IU staff in recent years, with players such as Chris Phillips, Alex Hunt and Fred Jones being lured to Bloomington. For the 2009 recruiting season, Mitchell is among a group of talented athletes the IU staff has targeted this season. He piled up 62 tackles, 16 tackles for loss and eight sacks as a junior, attracting attention from a handful of prominent schools. Indiana is one of those schools, but it will have to overcome an early recruiting deficit to West Virginia, Central Florida and Louisville.

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