IU football adds lineman Nate Hoff to 2013 recruiting class

Indiana football hosts Navy this fall and will include a freshman lineman who ultimately opted to be a Hoosier rather than a Midshipman.

Nate Hoff, a Solon (Ohio) High School graduate who attended the Naval Academy Preparatory School in Rhode Island this year, will matriculate at IU this fall with four full years of eligibility. A four-year starter at Solon who played in the Ohio North-South Classic all-star game, the 6-foot-2, 320-pound Hoff was also a wrestling standout and excels in the weight room.

Hoff is eligible to play right away, has five years to play four college seasons,  and can play on either side of the line. He recorded 24 tackles-for-loss as a Sol0n senior defensive tackle and, at offensive guard, blocked at an 84 percent efficiency rate with 77 pancakes. He also recorded 21 TFLs as a junior. Hoosier graduate assistant Ryan Stanchek coached Hoff in 2010.

As a Solon junior, Hoff finished fifth in the heavyweight division at the Ohio state championships. He also lettered in track. In the weight room, he sports a bench press of 475 pounds and a squat of 600.


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  • Millport says:

    Andy, does he have to sit out this fall or is he immediately eligible to play?

  • Andy Graham says:


    He is immediately eligible and has five years to play four college seasons. It’s the same sort of situation as when basketball recruits attend prep school for a year.

  • Andy Graham says:

    Millport: Thanks for asking that. I’ve edited the post to include the eligibility info, and also have added his weight room numbers, which are impressive.

  • Millport says:

    Thank you Andy,

    I should have known that!

  • Chicago Hoosier says:

    Welcome Nate to the Hoosier family!

    Big 10 ready!

  • WaltD says:

    Welcome to IU, Nate! You made a good choice to play for IU and Coach Wilson. i’ll be looking forward to your play on the line.

  • Podunker says:

    A 320 pound man with a 475 pound bench press and a 600 pound squat. Wow! Given his size and strength, my guess is that Nate will get some playing time in his first season at IU. The only question is, on which side of the line?

  • Hoosier heart says:

    Great news! So looking forward to watching our football team this year. They are so close to being a winner.

  • Punjab says:

    Freakish numbers. I thought I was hot stuff in high school putting up half that weight. The fact that he was a standout wrestler probably also means he has some quickness and agility to go with that brute strength. And the Naval Academy Prep indicates he’s got integrity and discipline. Looks like we’ve got ourselves another winner. Exciting.

  • Hoosier Clarion says:

    PO, I do believe this is the kind of size you’ve calling for at IU FB. I think he is that guard needed for the running game.

  • Hoosier Clarion says:

    Just adding a bit of trivia. In 1999 Rob Riti a Senior center for the Missouri Tigers football team successfully squatted 1000 lb. in off season conditioning. He also ran a 4.8 40. In a combined 3 lift combo he hefted 1900 lb. with the squat, power clean and the bench. A mans man.

  • Punjab says:

    HC, there was a kid named Shane Moat that played nose tackle for Bloomington South from the class of ’98. He had some pretty freakish weight room numbers himself, was named Indiana Mr Football, and oh by the way also ran on South’s state-qualifying 4×100 meter relay team in track. (Nice guy, too.) Even though he was a tackling machine in HS, I don’t know that he ever made the field at IU because they said he was just too small for NT. I never understood why they didn’t try to transition him to LB where his size would be mitigated and speed maximized. Maybe they just didn’t believe his skills would ever translate well to the college game. Maybe Cam Cameron was just a dunce. Let’s hope this Indiana coaching staff can better utilize a kid with what seems to be similar physical gifts despite being a little shorter than the prototypical lineman. I have a feeling they will.

  • Ben says:

    Sounds like a good get. Turing the corner!

  • Podunker says:

    HC, how old was Rob Riti when he achieved those weights? My guess is that Nate Hoff is 19 or 20. And typically, at that age, a man is no where near his full potential for physical strength.

    One of my best friends, born of eastern european heritage, is the strongest man, pound for pound that I’ve ever known. In his early 20’s, standing 5’9″ and weighing 150 pounds, I witnessed him bench press 355 pounds at the end of his “pyramid” workout. Other friends of ours had witnessed him lift more weight, but not having been there to see it in person, I won’t repeat those claims. It amazed me that a man of his size could lift that kind of weight, especially at the end of his bench workout. And for the record, my friend was drug free, never having used steroids or any other performance enhancing drugs. He also was the fasted person in our High School, hand timed on several occasions running a 4.5 – 40.

  • Podunker says:

    That would be fastest person, not “fasted.”

    HC, I watched some highlight tape of Nate Hoff from last year. He played right guard and had numerous pancake blocks. He just moved guys around like they were on ice-skates. He also seemed to do a good job in pass-protection, and just absorbed the defender’s rush. He seems to have good feet for such a big man.

    I also notice that during his senior year in High School, he was listed at 285 pounds. Less that two years later, weighing 320, it appears he will arrive on campus as a physically mature “freshman.” Looks like Wilson picked up another quality player.

  • Hoosier Clarion says:

    Rob Riti was a 4th or maybe 5th year Senior, so when he achieved the 1000# lift it would have been in the off season before his last year on the field. The off season before he lifted a max of 900.
    Yes Coach Wilson and staff are showing improvement through success for IU in recruiting. They clearly judge talent without wish full thinking.

  • TsaoTsuG says:

    Punjab, this kid is 6’2″ (if an honest measure). That would be ok heighth (nothing great, nothing bad). If he was this much taller ______

    ______ it is considered ‘good’ size. If he was

    this much taller ___________

    _____________, he be considered almost ‘tallish’ for guard. IMO, more important is the space between the ground and his crotch area since it determines his center of gravity, a critical variable especially for a blocker, his lift power and for quickness in blocking movement. The fact that he ‘lifts’ that efficiently would suggest that at 6’2″ he’s probably a combination of all these variables. (Many top pro scouts do measure that space ‘crotch>ground/ butt>ground’ and give it importance in their evaluations. From comments I’ve read from CKW (he’s mentioned it in several comments), he also looks for a low butt level in his linemen. It’s also important for linebackers and defensive backs, positions where turning the body while still facing the play is critical.

    I also like the fact that he was offered the opportunity to attend the Naval Academy Prep School. Suggests good character and they seldom recruit academic risks. They also pay attention to times in longer runs and overall physical fitness. There is a possibility that he may have overgrown their measurements (but not as in getting ‘fat’) for a naval or marine officer. He’ll be a fine linesman in the B1G I suspect.

    Wilson just seems to have a great vision of the tpe of people he wants on his teams.

  • TsaoTsuG says:

    Punjab…sorry, line up the two sets of lines vertically.

  • Podunker says:

    Tsao, really good comments in #17. But our discussion presumes he’ll play guard on offense. I’m wondering, based on need and the depth of IU’s respective lines, if Wilson might have him play defense, at least his first year. Could you see Hoff playing nose tackle? Is he too tall for that position? If not, given his weight and strength, he could really clog up the middle against the run. Ad another ten pounds by September (easily achieved for a man his size), and IU could have itself a formidable run stopper in the middle of their defense. As you know, that is often determined, in part, by the player’s personality.

  • Punjab says:

    Sorry, Po. I didn’t elaborate very well. While being “only” 6’2 makes you slightly shorter than the prototypical O-lineman, weighing 300+ with the strength to bench press a Buick still makes you a behemoth in my book. It wasn’t intended to be an indictment of his size, only that I hope height doesn’t get him pigeonholed into (or out of) any particular position. If he can block, let him block. If he can stuff runs, let him stuff. This coaching staff seems competent enough to use players where they’re most valuable and effective, not where their measurements say they should be. Great point about…uhh… crotch height, though. Makes perfect sense. I just wasn’t aware that was even a consideration.

  • Punjab says:

    (Meant to say “Sorry Tsau.” But Po might also be on to something with the nose tackle suggestion.)

  • TsaoTsuG says:

    Podunker, Punjab…I agree with both of you and Punab’s point that CKW and staff seem to closely look at the variable and move their pieces to fit those attributes. It may be offensively or defensively, guard or tackle. I was just merely trying to make the point that with these attributes he seems to be what CKW is looking for, a football player.

    I also very, very much agree that CKW and staff do seem very competent and, I trust, able to find the round hole for round pegs, etc… Every time I read Wilson, seems as if I’m finding a jewel of a thought/statement full of wisdom and content. Basically, I trust his coaching and let my mind move on to how we make him want to stay here to establish a successful program and his career as a Hoosier. I think that is doable, but we should be ready to make it happen.

  • Hoosier Clarion says:

    From the mouth of Coach Wilson last night at the Fort Wayne Tailgate Tour. They may trim down the size of Nate Hoff and consider him a DL as he believes he has enough interior offensive linemen.

  • Podunker says:

    HC, I’m not sure why they’d want to trim him down from 320 to play defensive line. Did Wilson make a reference as to why that might be necessary? Any thoughts? Obviously, I’m missing something. But at 6’2″ and given his experience on defense, he looks like a nose tackle. If that is so, you’d want him heavier, not lighter, so that he’d be able to clog up the middle and “protect” the linebackers. A 330 pound nose tackle is bigger than most centers and is a real load in college football!

    Aside from a dynamic offense, the biggest change we’re seeing from Wilson, relative to his predecessors at IU, is the size of IU’s players. We still have a ways to go before we’ll challenge Wisconsin, especially on the offensive line, but Wilson’s staff has made enormous progress. I will be excited to see how much bigger some of the players have gotten since last year.

  • TsaoTsuG says:

    Podunker, I’m just curious about your perception of ‘big’. Under any circumstances I consider 6’2″,320 lbs. not just bi9g, but ‘fat’ and really don’t see the point of having him carry the extra ‘fat’ weight that does not add to his strength, speed, quickness or agility.

    When Wilson first arrived at IU, oe of the first things he did was to really go on a program to trim (I assume he was trimming fat) his players to later rebuild them with muscle weight. Watching them last year, I was impressed with the ‘lean’ look of the 250+ players. And, as I recall, Wilson always spoke, with some frequency and very adamantly about their need to ‘trim’, ‘loose baby fat’ and ‘add muscle strength’, which he set about doing. Intuitively (to me), it made sense

    Maybe I’m missing something, but I fail to see what an extra 50-70 lbs of ‘fat’ weight (I have no problem with net muscle gain weight) can possibly contribute to a football player and can think of all kinds of negatives (including, and in particular, to his long- and short- term health). And, it seems to me that fat is simply like loading the player with 50-70 lbs in bags of sand and ask him to carry them around while he tries to play football.

    I’d really like to know the basis and logic of your argument Podunker (as I said, perhaps I’m missing something). I’m not talking about giving away 70+ lbs to Wisconsin, but I’m not obsessing and indeed feel it is to our advantage if we are ‘big and quick’, which is my belief is what the pros look for in their talent search for.

    BTW, the Bears signed a Wisconsin lineman, Babe Carimi, as their first choice 2-3 years ago. Carimi fit what (perhaps wrongly) I see as your description of ‘Wisconsin size’. I was partially conscious of him because, at the time, you and I were already having this discussion…so I followed him with some interest. His first year he got injured (in pre-season I believe)and didn’t play at all. His second year (after much hype as to how he would be the key to the Bear offensive line problems at either off. guard or tackle), he got another boo-boo and was mostly useless. In fact, if I recall correctly, some second string someone just emerged and beat him out and sent him home to spend his bonus on pizza. This yer, when the Bears called for their ‘voluntary off-season practices’ a couple of weeks ago, for the first time since I can remember, ‘Baby Fat’ Carimi declined to come and announced ‘he was working out on his own in Arizona’. (I suspect the pizza delivery guy in Phoenix is getting much more of a workout than ‘Babyfat’ Carimi. Of course, fans here, …the City of the Big Shoulder, want to throw him in the middle of our sewer works. Which takes me to the last point. I’ve always considered fat people as self-indulgent and believe there is a strong correlation between ‘fat’, self-indulgence and failure. I would suspect that Wilson’s vision has little room for big, ‘fat’ players.

    Please take this as an earnest effort to understand your view and have it as a friend’s disagreement. I may learn something.

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