Bloomington – Aaron Price is going be staying home after all.
The 6-4, 285-pound Bloomington (Ind.) South H.S. offensive lineman had long hoped he'd have a chance to play football for the hometown Indiana Hoosiers. But when it didn't appear he'd have that opportunity in the fall he instead committed to play at Miami (Ohio).
But changes at both schools prompted Price to reconsider, and now he's slated to sign with Indiana in February.
In the fall, Redhawks' Coach Shane Montgomery resigned after going 17-31 in his four seasons, creating some doubt about who he'd be playing for and whether or not he'd still be welcomed by the new staff. At Indiana, meanwhile, some of the Hoosiers' struggles on the offensive line this season suggested a need to bring in some additional help at the position.
Price had been on IU's recruiting board before he'd pledged to Miami, and the changes at both schools presented an opportunity that was too good for either side to pass up.
"IU was his first choice all along," said South Coach Drew Wood. "That's where he wanted to go."
The change at Miami (Ohio) is what opened the door for the IU staff, which didn't begin showing interest in Price until after Montgomery departed along with Price's recruiting coach. Their departures created some uncertainty for the first-team IFCA All-State offensive lineman about how he'd figure in to the new coach's plans.
"You'd like to think you have a sure thing when you've been recruited by a school and committed before, but you never know," Wood said. "As a player, he was a little nervous. He didn't know who his offensive line coach was going to be."
At Indiana, Price was already very familiar with Hoosier offensive line coach Bobby Johnson. Bloomington South regularly participates in IU's summer team camp, which gave Price a chance to work extensively with Johnson. So when IU offered a scholarship at the start of the holiday break late last month, it didn't take Price long to accept.
"It was an emotional deal for him," Wood said. "He weighed his options for quite a few days to figure out what he should do. But it's a chance to play in the Big Ten, and that's a great deal. Plus being a Bloomington kid and having a chance to play in front of your hometown, that's a pretty neat deal."
Wood thinks Indiana is a getting a good one. He earned first-team All-State honors as an offensive tackle, but Wood expects Indiana will play Price at either center or guard. He was a standout as a junior while playing at 250 pounds, but has since grown to 290 pounds as he prepares to embark on a college career.
"Size-wise, he has what you're looking for," Wood said. "He also grew up with a tremendous work ethic, he's great in the weight room, great with speed and agility. He really dedicated himself to learning the technique and being a great offensive lineman."
Price Decides to Play for Hometown Hoosiers
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