Football Welcoming Slew of Recruits This Week

Bloomington - After assembling its best recruiting class on paper in 15 years in the off-season, IU begins the process of re-selling the program to its recruits this weekend. Soft verbals Jeremy Gainer (pictured) and Kenny Watkins are among those who will be in town this weekend for official visits...

Bloomington – The IU football program's recruiting efforts move to phase II this weekend.

Over the summer, Indiana identified the players it wanted in its 2009 recruiting class and secured 15 verbal commitments in June and July. Now, after a disappointing and injury-riddled 3-9 football season, the IU staff begins hosting those same players for official visits this weekend with the goal of re-selling them on the idea of playing at IU next fall.

It's an important time for the Hoosiers, who generally wait until the season is over before hosting players for official visits.

"When we bring them on campus for the official visits, that's when we have a chance to have them and their families on campus and get back to selling them the whole product we have, which is Indiana University, the academics, and the facilities and all the positive things we have going," IU Coach Bill Lynch said.

Indiana will welcome at least eight of the 16 players who have already verbally committed this weekend. The list includes the two players who have recently re-opened their recruitment in Livonia, Mich., linebacker Jeremy Gainer and his cousin, Birmingham, Mich., cornerback Kenny Watkins.

HoosierNation.com has confirmed that Gainer and Watkins will also be joined on campus this weekend by quarterback Dusty Kiel, athlete Nick Zachery, wide receiver Jamonne Chester, defensive tackle Adam Replogle and offensive linemen Charles Chapman and Pat McShane.

The weekend of Dec. 13-15 also figures to be an important one for IU, as Duwyce Wilson, Edward Wright-Baker, Lawrence Barnett, Mitch Ewald, Colin Rodkey and Josh Keyt are among those expected to make officials then.

Gainer and Watkins originally committed to IU June 28, and each cited the opportunity to play together for an up-and-coming program. But the Hoosiers' struggles this season prompted both to at least consider other offers and opportunities. The duo both made officials to Minnesota the weekend of Nov. 21 and were offered scholarships, and each is looking at additional possibilities as well.

Watkins recently told Scout.com's Allen Trieu he was down to IU, Iowa and Minnesota, while Gainer has drawn interest from Penn State, Michigan State, Michigan State and Michigan, among others, since he decided to re-consider his decision.

Both are big recruits in IU's 2009 class, one that has a chance to be the programs best in 10-15 years if everyone sticks with their commitments. Gainer is probably the second-highest ranked commit in IU's class behind Columbus, Ind., wide receiver Duwyce Wilson and is ranked as the No. 22 drop linebacker in the class by Scout.com. Watkins, meanwhile, is the 103rd ranked cornerback nationally according to Scout.com and has the flexibility to play safety as well.


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