Bloomington –Leneil Himes might be a new name to many IU football fans, but IU Coach Bill Lynch is well versed on the abilities of the Hoosiers' most recent commit.
In fact, the 6'3", 255-pound defensive end/tight end was among the first players Lynch offered for the 2010 class. Lynch had seen Himes play at one his IU's two-day camps last summer and came away impressed. That ultimately led to a scholarship offer for the Plymouth (Ind.) H.S. standout more than a month ago, and Himes decided to accept when he was in town Wednesday.
"He's a big kid that can run," said Plymouth H.S. Coach John Barron.
At the high school level, Himes plays on both sides of the ball for Barron's northern Indiana team. Playing on a run-oriented team that generally utilizes a two tight end set, Himes caught 15 passes as a tight end. On defense he had a pair of interception returns for touchdowns from his defensive end position, helping Plymouth go 10-1.
Barron said IU is recruiting Himes as an offensive player, where his versatility will come in handy depending on the situation.
"I think Coach Lynch is going to use him as a second tight end, an H-Back as everybody calls them today and maybe as a fullback in short-yardage situations," Barron said.
Indiana wasn't the only one that knew about Himes. He was on plenty of school's radars and had scholarship offers from Toledo, Bowling Green, Western Michigan, Central Michigan, Eastern Michigan and Illinois State. But according to Barron, the opportunity to play in Bloomington was too good for Himes to pass up.
Himes' first trip to Bloomington came over the winter when he and Barron came to town for Indiana's home basketball game against Minnesota. He's also been able to spend plenty of one-on-one time with Lynch.
"When we went down for the basketball game, it was the first time he'd been to a Big Ten school and he fell in love with IU," Barron said. "The facilities and also Coach Lynch. He has a lot of friends that go there, and being from Indiana, it was important for him to stay in-state.
"He was really impressed with the academics and how they treat the players and the facilities. It was a no-brainer for him. I think he's been sold on IU from day one."
It was also important to Barron that Himes find a good situation for himself as well. Barron played for Lynch some 20 years ago at Butler, and thinks his standout has found himself a great situation at IU and a great mentor in Lynch.
"I think very highly of Bill Lynch – I think he's a quality, quality person," Barron said. "In my 20 years of coaching, I've never heard an Indiana high school coach speak negatively of Bill Lynch.
"I know Bill and what he'll offer for (Himes) and the discipline he'll have, and he'll be sure that he gets a good education and they'll care about him."
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Himes Finds a Home in Bloomington
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