In-State Cover Corner High on IU's Wish List

Bloomington – Top-flight cover corners aren't all that easy to find, but Indiana has its eyes on one who's close to home.

Bloomington – Top-flight cover corners aren't all that easy to find, but Indiana has its eyes on one who's close to home.

Nick Stoner is a 6'2", 165-pounder from Center Grove (Ind.) H.S. who has been tabbed as the 62nd-best cornerback in the nation by Scout.com. A three-star prospect, Stoner already has scholarship offers from Indiana, Illinois, Iowa State, Louisville and Toledo, plus interest from the likes of Michigan State, Notre Dame and Ohio State.

Why all the early interest in Stoner? It comes down to two factors – size and speed.

"Coaches like my height and they say I'm a tall, fast corner," Stoner said. "I've run some good 40s at some combines, and they say my film shows I'm a good cover corner. I'm not the biggest guy in the world, but specialty is just covering those wide receivers."

A standout on the Center Grove track team, Stoner recently shattered a 20-year-old county record while winning the 200-meter dash in :21.95. He also ran a :10.84 while winning the 100-meter dash, and he was clocked at 4.42 in the 40 this spring one day after running in a high school track meet.

Those are all attributes that have caught the attention of the IU staff, which was among the first to offer Stoner a scholarship. Stoner has been to Bloomington for IU's Junior Day and returned during spring practice, when he spent one-on-one time with IU cornerbacks coach Joe Palcic. A Billy Lynch recruit, Stoner said there's a lot he likes about the Hoosier program.

"Their facilities are awesome, and they're really going to turn that program around," Stoner said. "I like everything that's been done with them. I really like Billy Lynch and the coaches all seem great."

Indiana offers an opportunity to play close to home, which Stoner admits is appealing. But the bigger draw appears to be the facilities and the opportunity to be a part of building a winner in Bloomington. That's been a point of emphasis for the IU staff as it tries to add Stoner to growing 2011 recruiting class.

"The state of Indiana is kind of underrated (for high school football), and if we call went there, we could really get that program kick started," Stoner said. "That would be awesome. If that happens, if I was there and part of turning it around, that's like representing my state, my town, my friends, my people, my guys next to me that I've been with my whole life. That's a pretty cool thought."

While it's an enticing idea, Stoner isn't ready to pull the trigger and will instead wait to see what other opportunities surface. He's currently busy with his high school track season, so getting serious about making a college choice will remain on the backburner for the time being.

"I'd like to decide before my senior season, because then I know that's the place I want to go," Stoner said. "As soon as I feel like I know this school is the right place, that's when I'll make my decision. It would be awesome to do that before my senior season."


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