Bloomington – Indiana's coaching staff isn't so concerned where Blake Lueders plays, just so long as he decides to do it in Bloomington.
The 6-5, 245-pound Zionsville (Ind.) standout has played middle linebacker, fullback, tight end and a little bit of defensive tackle on his high school team during the last three seasons. Many college coaches project another position – defensive end – as his best fit at the next level.
Coach Bill Lynch's staff appears willing to let the highly-coveted Lueders make the call on where he plays if he's willing to do it for the Hoosiers.
"They say I can come there and play wherever I want to play," said Lueders.
If it's left to Lueders, he said he'd opt to play on the defensive side of the ball. After playing fullback as a freshman and sophomore he switched to middle linebacker this past season and totaled 128 tackles, nine tackles for loss and three sacks on a Zionsville team that went 8-5. He'll line up at middle linebacker again as a senior for Coach Larry McWhorter's team.
"I love the crazy mentality that defensive players have," Lueders said. "I love to go out and hit people and be the aggressor."
College coaches are noticing. Lueders is rapidly emerging as one of the top in-state prospects in the 2010 class, and thus a very high priority for Lynch. He already has 10 scholarship offers, with Indiana, Purdue, Northwestern, Iowa, Illinois, Stanford, Boston College, Wake Forest, North Carolina and Vanderbilt being the first to offer.
Everyone has been impressed with not only Lueders' productivity but his potential.
"All the coaches say they love my frame and size, and the combination of that with my athleticism and quickness," Lueders said. "They say it's hard to find a guy who has all that."
The Indiana coaching staff has seen Lueders' abilities first hand. Lueders was on campus last summer for one of IU's summer camps, one of four stops that he made along with trips to Northwestern, Boston College and Vanderbilt. He was also one of 17 in-state players who was on campus for one of IU's Junior Days a couple of weeks ago.
"They're always saying they want to win a Big Ten championship with Indiana football players," Lueders said.
While that's an appealing thought to Lueders, he admits that playing close to home won't be a huge factor in his decision. Academics (he plans to major in business) and playing time will be more important.
"I guess it would be nice to stay in state, but I'm not going to make that a big factor," Lueders said.
Hoosiers Hope to Lure Lueders to Bloomington
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