It’s almost July and what a whirlwind of excitement these past couple of weeks have been for IU Football. The Hoosiers are now sitting at 11 commits, with nine of those having commit since June 15th. The Hoosiers will not have a huge class this year due to lack of scholarships, but the class should pull in 19-21 recruits based off Indiana’s current scholarship distribution. Below is a breakdown of the commits that IU has received, as well as where I believe the focus needs to be for the rest of the recruiting process.
• Beau Robbins (DE): Obviously, a four-star stud that Indiana fans are excited about, and for good reason. There are multiple things that jump out when watching Beau. First and foremost, he has a high-motor, something that you can’t teach. You either want to hustle 30 yards across the field to make a tackle, or you’re the type of player that is just living for sacks and tackles right around the line of scrimmage. Beau Robbins will take an angle, track someone down, and make a play. He has tremendous size at 6-4, 240 lbs. His instincts are fantastic when understanding where the offensive player may see a window, he is there to clog the gap. Also, fundamentally speaking, he is great at keeping his outside arm free and strong enough to post that inside hand to shed the offensive blocker and make the play. He has the ability to absolutely knock someone out, but more importantly, he is a sure tackler that isn’t going to be super flashy.
• Jeramy Passmore (DE): Similar to Beau, Jeramy has a very high-motor. What is slightly different is his ability to lay the big hit, and it is a scary big hit. Coming in at 250 lbs, he has great speed with that build already, it could be scary to see what Ballou can turn Passmore into. Teams are going to want to PassLess (see what I did there) when he gets on the field because he shows a great ability to get to the quarterback. I see him as a great third down pass rusher, this is what I think gets him on the field the quickest.
• Dorian Jones (ILB): He looks for the big hit and plays with great emotion. He does a good job filling holes physically but I fear that he might go for the big hit and miss on a gamble. He is athletic side-to-side with a great potential if used correctly.
• Kervens Bonhomme (OLB): Fast. The top thing that stands out to me in Kervens is his ability to play the pass. He has a good understanding of zone defense and has a great ability to fly up on a check down and make the sure tackle. He is strong and fast enough to jam a receiver at the line (bunches formation) and the run to his zone or stick with a man. I have no worries he could develop into a player that could lock up a tight end, or just help out in a zone scheme. He is smaller on the height side of things which is his biggest scare.
• C.J. Pearson (DT): Pearson is a big boy coming in at a stout 300 lbs. He is very good at shedding blockers and has a powerful punch. He loves to engage with a punch, read the development of the play, and then ultimately shed the block to make the play or cause chaos. His acceleration and first step aren’t terrible, I just think that those areas are where he could improve the most.
• Larry Tracy (DB): Tracy will be a much better cover DB than a downhill, run-stopping DB. He has great hips, above average speed, understand angles, and knows how to use his size when he has to make tackles. Only 5-10, 175 lbs, he needs to get stronger, which he will, and faster to lock up the speedy BIG 10 competition. I like his ball hawking abilities. He can high point a football just as well as coming into a stood-up ball carrier and stripping the football. Indiana needs to create a lot more turnover opportunities, and he shows flashes of that characteristic. Larry Tracy also has been outspoken ever since committing and has been vocal in welcoming the current commits as well as recruiting others to join the movement. Hey Larry, work your magic on David Bell for IU, please and thank you.
Needs: Everyone knew that defensive recruits were going to be Coach Allen’s focus in this class and one theme stands out with these recruits, high-motor from snap to whistle. Everyone projects the ability to fit into the system well, whether that be a Tegray type linebacker, to a Jacob Robinson all-around DE. I’m excited to see what this class can offer and what Coach Allen decides to recruit for the rest of the available scholarships. I see him adding at least one more, probably two, defensive linemen. The class of 2018 brought in some quality DB’s but adding another quality corner can never hurt.
• Ivory Winters (RB): Off film he projects to have potential while coming in with a strong frame of 6-1 210. He shows the ability to make sharp cuts with good vision. If he develops better speed/strength and polishes his true RB fundamentals, he could be a big help in a couple years.
• Matthew Bedford (OT): Bedford moves well, and has the height that you love to see out of an OT. The biggest thing to watch with him is to see how quickly he can put on strength and weight with Ballou. That needs to be his #1 focus, as well as focusing on outside edge rushers during pass protection, some high schoolers are close to beating him with speed on his outside shoulder and the speed will only get faster in the Big 10. This will determine how quickly he could see the field.
• Gary Cooper (TE): I absolutely love Cooper. He is probably my favorite commit as of now. He is listed as a tight end and he may be the most athletic tight end in terms of speed, agility, and acceleration that IU has seen is a long time. Yes, i understand that he is only 6-2ish and Ian Thomas was 6-5 but he is strong like a tight end with the agility and acceleration of a WR. Although DeBord may be questionable on his play calls, he always has done well with TE’s and he is getting a great prospect here.
• Michael Katic (OG): The biggest thing that stands out to me when watching Katic is his killer instinct. Offensive line is probably my least knowledgeable position, but I know enough to see that he pulls quickly, has good vision, and looks to absolutely bury kids (even if it may be slightly after this whistle). I love watching his film because of that tenacity and I see him providing leadership once he is an upperclassman at IU because his teammates are going to respect that style of gameplay.
Needs: This class has been defensively heavy so far and with Emery Simmons flipping to UNC, I would like to see the Hoosiers add a split and a slot WR. Westbrook and Hale are both Juniors so getting a tall split would give them a year to mature under them. With Timian and Harris graduating after this year, Whop will be the go-to slot. From there it is a toss up on who could fill the other slot, keep an eye out for Luke Shayotovich (freshman walk-on) who could easily turn into the next Mitchell Paige if he can get stronger/thicker under Ballou. A QB is never a horrible idea just because it never hurts to let them have time to gain experience so the addition of a Dual-Threat QB could be something IU looks to add. Lastly, IU can always add depth at OL. The OL this year should be one of the strong spots, but IU will lose some depth after this season.
• Sean Wracher (LS): Sure, I’ll take the #5 long snapper in the nation, especially with the current LS graduating after this year.
Needs: Wracher is the only specialist that IU needed to get. Whitehead is only a sophomore and Charles Campbell is expected to be a stud kicking for the Hoosiers for the next 4 years.