A week after de-committing from Iowa and making it very clear that Indiana was his destination, Pike defensive end David Kenney made it official on Sunday, telling several reporters that he had committed to the Hoosiers and then confirming it on his Twitter account.
More to come.
UPDATE: Pike coach Derek Moyers confirmed Kenney’s commitment. Though he said he hadn’t discussed recruiting much with Kenney, he said the decision to commit to Indiana after backing out of his commitment to Iowa had a lot to do with proximity to home.
“A lot of it is Indiana just being close to home and his parents being able to see his games,” Moyers said. “I think Indiana has eight home games next year, and his mom and dad being able to see him play in Bloomington eight times as opposed to travel maybe eight times to Iowa City. Plus, David looks at Indiana as an up-and-coming program with Coach (Kevin) Wilson and he thinks he can have an early impact on what they’re trying to do.”
Even if the Hoosiers don’t get the other players Kenney is hoping to bring with him, he could have an immediate impact on Indiana’s long-struggling defense himself. The 6-foot-2, 250-pounder has the sort of pass-rush skills Indiana has been lacking off the edge since former Hoosiers Jammie Kirlew and Greg Middleton exhausted their eligibility following the 2009 season. Kenney has recorded 22 sacks the past two seasons according to Moyers and has countless other tackles for loss.
“One of the things David has as a D-lineman is how athletic he is,” Moyers said. “He doesn’t look like a D-Lineman, he looks like a linebacker. He’s 6-2, 250, and there’s not an ounce of fat on the kid. He’s built pretty well. He has great quickness, and he anticipates the snap count better than any player I’ve ever been around. And he has a great motor. I think a lot of offenses try to run away from him, but that’s not always the best move. Sometimes he’s at his best when he can pursue down the line because he’s so quick and so fast.”
Kenney has accumulated astounding stats despite the fact, Moyers said, that Pike’s base defense isn’t the best fit for his skill set. The Red Devils run a 3-4 defense, which usually requires bigger defensive ends, because they play more inside and take on blockers. However, Moyers said Pike purposefully schemes to get Kenney on the edge and to put him in situations when he can pass rush.
But Moyers said Kenney will fit perfectly in Indiana’s 4-3.
“He is that prototypical D-End,” Moyers said. “He is that guy. He’s that Dwight Freeney coming off the edge, and he has an array of moves and techniques he uses on a pass rush. He never uses the same ones twice. … His go-to move is probably his swim move, but he can also club the hands down and rip through. He’s got a good spin move, and he can bull rush you if need be. He does a great job of mixing things up.”
UPDATE: Inside Indiana has done a solid job of following this story from the beginning and came up with a few interesting pieces on Sunday. Zach Osterman wrote this piece describing how Indiana hung in with Kenney for months after the Iowa commitment. They also posted the following video with some of his highlights.