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1. HOOSIERS HQ
IU football coach Kevin Wilson finds plenty to like about the Hoosiers’ 2016 recruiting class, Andy writes.
A full list and capsule look at Indiana’s 21 football signees, Andy writes.
It was a triumphant return to Michigan for Max Bielfeldt, I wrote.
IU women’s basketball puts its unbeaten home record on the line against Iowa, a streak the Hoosiers aren’t taking for granted, Jon writes.
For IU men’s soccer, the 2016 recruiting class saw an emphasis on quality, not quantity, I wrote.
2. IT’S INDIANA
Former IU soccer player Lee Nguyen has been a standout so far this year for the U.S. men’s national team, ussoccer.com reports.
National high school player of the year AJ Palazzolo highlights the IU soccer signing class, Michael Hughes of the Indiana Daily Student writes.
Former Hoosiers Victor Oladipo is one of multiple potential trading chips for Orlando, while showing his potential again with 37 points in a loss to Oklahoma City, Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel writes.
Cody Zeller returned to the lineup for the first time in 10 games in Charlotte’s win over Cleveland, Jodie Valade of the Charlotte Observer writes.
Kevin Wilson likes his recruiting class, even if the experts aren’t impressed, Pete DiPrimio of the Fort Wayne News-Sentinel writes.
Three Texas signees marks the progress Indiana has made in recruiting, Alex McCarthy of 247sports.com writes.
No sleepovers, but IU coach Kevin Wilson and staff are building relationships on the recruiting trail, Tori Ziege of IUHoosiers.com writes.
IU recruit De’Ron Davis had three early steals and dunks as his Overland team upset top-ranked Eaglecrest, Neil H. Devlin of the Denver Post writes.
3. ONE FOR THE ROAD
How about a little Stevie Wonder with “Signed, Sealed, Delivered” after signing day?
The sub-plot to the Hoosiers’ impressive 80-67 win on the road at Michigan Tuesday night was the return of grad transfer Max Bielfeldt to his old stomping grounds.
Despite having a year of eligibility left, Bielfeldt was essentially kicked to the curb by the Wolverines, which couldn’t have worked out better for Indiana in the wake of Hanner Mosquera-Perea, Devin Davis and Emmitt Holt all being dismissed from the IU team.
So one team’s trash turned into another team’s treasure, but that didn’t make the whole situation any less bizarre on Tuesday for Bielfeldt, who was the first Hoosier out of the locker room and onto the court just under an hour before tipoff.
“I was the first one out, and I heard a couple boos, and I’m like, ‘Oh, boy,'” Bielfeldt said. “Then the cheers kind of overwhelmed that, so that was kind of nice.”
Outside of those initial boos, the crowd was clearly on Bielfeldt’s side, erupting with cheers in spite of themselves when his first shot — a corner 3 fittingly enough as he has made more 3s as a Hoosier (13) than as a Wolverine (11) — found the bottom of the net.
His former teammates greeted Bielfeldt warmly as well, almost all of them exchanging handshakes or hugs pregame.
“Walking down here going to the visitor’s locker room is weird,” Bielfeldt said. “I got out there and saw all the guys, got my adrenaline pumping. It was definitely a unique experience. I tried to calm down a little bit before the game, go back to myself because I’m not the crazy, energetic guy all the time. I love all those guys we’re playing against, just happy we got the win.”
And getting the win was the ultimate payoff, despite a 2-of-8 shooting night for Bielfeldt, who was more than happy to let his teammates do the scoring. But Bielfeldt was on the floor when Indiana surged, accumulating a plus-25 in the first half and grabbing seven rebounds for the game.
“Just getting the win was so awesome here. We played an incredible team game together,” he said. “Everyone brought something different. It was so much fun to be out there, Just the energy was great.”
In a season he knows will be his last, Bielfeldt is most excited about the potential that such a win shows for Indiana’s future.
“This is a good win for us to get things going,” he said. “The great thing is we’ve gotten better. The games we’ve got coming up against the guys at the top of the conference ranked right now, this is a great win for us to get our confidence up.”
1. HOOSIERS HQ
Seeing is believing with Indiana’s 28-0 run and statement road win at Michigan, I wrote.
Indiana stayed confident through a slow start and rode a huge run past Michigan, the Associated Press wrote.
2. IT’S INDIANA
With Yogi Ferrell at the helm, anything is possible for the Hoosiers, Reggie Hayes of the Fort Wayne News-Sentinel writes.
Indiana proved itself with a no-doubt win at Michigan, Brody Miller of the Indiana Daily Student writes.
The Hoosiers had an emphatic response for the doubters on Tuesday night, Zach Osterman of the Indianapolis Star writes.
Indiana handed Michigan a humbling loss at the Crisler Center on Tuesday night, Brendan F. Quinn of MLive.com writes.
The stars were out in Ann Arbor, but it was Indiana that shined the brightest, John Niyo of the Detroit News writes.
Five takeaways from Indiana’s win over Michigan, Alex Bozich of Inside the Hall writes.
Kudos to the Big Ten for getting its Max Bielfeldt decision right after Michigan coach John Beilein did him wrong, Gregg Doyel of the Indianapolis Star writes.
The state of IU athletics with Fred Glass addresses facilities, Pete DiPrimio of the Fort Wayne News-Sentinel writes.
3. ONE FOR THE ROAD
The most fitting song I can think of after Tuesday night — “Run” by Collective Soul.
The first signed National Letters of Intent announced by IUFB today were from JUCO transfers Richard Lagow and Jayme Thompson. Then came WR Phil Benker. We’ll update the list as letters continue to arrive and include their capsule profiles:
RICHARD LAGOW, 6-6, 240, QB, Cisco, Tex. (Cisco CC): Combines the size of Nate Sudfeld with more elusiveness afoot and similar arm strength. Had stops at Connecticut (where there was an ensuing coaching change) and Oklahoma State before opting for the JUCO route closer to home and has two seasons of eligibility remaining. Completed 66 percent of his passes for 2,285 yards and 21 TDs, with 10 interceptions, this past fall. Chose IU over offers from Memphis, Colorado State and UNLV. Reportedly had late overture from Texas A&M.
JAYME THOMPSON, 6-2, 195, S, Toledo, Ohio (Iowa Western CC): Originally verballed to West Virginia before enrolling at Ohio State out of Toledo Central Catholic, then went out to Council Bluffs to record 81 tackles and a pair of interceptions for Iowa Western in 2014. A groin injury cost Thompson much of the 2015 season, and possibly some recruiting interest, but he still picked up offers from Iowa State and Western Kentucky in addition to Indiana. He’s one of the recruits who projects as a possible rover hybrid in the 4-2-5 defensive set Tom Allen is bringing to IU.
PHIL BENKER, 6-2, 195, Jacksonville, Fla. (Sandalwood): Originally committed to Central Florida, Benker flipped to the Hoosiers after 44 receptions for almost 900 yards his senior season. Caught 59 passes for 1,061 yards (18.0 per reception) and 10 TDs as a junior. Some of his other suitors included Wake Forest, South Florida and Temple.
Then came the LOI from Cincinnati Elder QB Peyton Ramsey.
PEYTON RAMSEY, 6-3, 190, QB, Cincinnati, Ohio (Elder): Son of Elder head coach Dave Ramsey and a dual-threat quarterback who threw for 2,689 yards and ran for 1,232 as a senior. He threw for 26 touchdowns (with just seven interceptions) and ran for 16. Completed 63 percent of his passes. Had offers from Boston College, Wake Forest, Illinois, Cincinnati and others.
Ohio RB Cole Guest, Florida DB Kahlil Bryant, OL Coy Cronk, CB A’Shon Riggins, OL Ryan Smith now also officially in the IUFB fold.
KAHLIL BRYANT, 5-10, 197, S, Jacksonville, Fla. (First Coast): Could project at the rover position, they hybrid safety/linebacker spot, in new IU defensive coordinator’s 4-2-5 alignment. Returned a fumble recovery for a TD as a senior and had around 50 tackles for First Coast as a senior. Offer sheet included North Carolina, Wake Forest, Army and Western Kentucky among others.
A’SHON RIGGINS, 6-0, 170, CB, Hamilton, Ohio (Hamilton): A potential shut-down corner from just over the state line. A two-way standout, with 52 catches for 802 yards and six TDs as a receiver and 36 tackles defensively. Chose the Hoosiers over offers from Wisconsin, Iowa, West Virginia, Illinois and Iowa State, among others.
COY CRONK, 6-5, 272, T, Lafayette, Ind. (Central Catholic): Played linebacker, showing great mobility for us size, on the LCC team that beat Linton for the state Class 1A state title. Will play offensive line at Indiana and is considered well-suited to play the crucial left-tackle spot. Was reportedly never offered by the local Big Ten program, Purdue, but did have official overtures from Vanderbilt, Illinois and Iowa State in addition to IU.
COLE GEST, 5-8, 190, RB, Lakewood, Ohio (St. Edward): Possessed of some significant giddyup, Gest was the weapon of choice for Ohio’s Division I state champions. He rushed for 2,097 yards and 25 touchdowns, and also caught passes for 342 yards and three TDs. Averaged 7.8 yards per rush against some of the Buckeye state’s best competition. A.P. First-Team All-Ohio, top division.
RYAN SMITH, 6-5, 280, G, Cincinnati, Ohio (Moeller): Was originally projected as a defensive end prospect but added around 30 pounds via weight training for his final season at one of Ohio’s legendary prep programs and now could probably play either guard or tackle at IU. Wisconsin, Cincinnati, Purdue, Boston College and Toledo were others expressing interest.
Then Grayson Stover becomes one of a projected four offensive linemen to sign with IU today:
GRAYSON STOVER, 6-6. 293, T, Hudson, Fla. (Hudson): Originally verballed to Virginia, then to South Florida, but had an abiding interest in Indiana and jumped at the chance to join Greg Frey’s offensive line crew. Also had offers from Maryland, Iowa State, Vanderbilt and Rutgers, among others.
IUFB follows the Stover LOI with another signed by Georgia TE Shaun Bonner.
SHAUN BONNER, 6-3, 250, TE, Moultrie, Ga. (Colquitt County): Potentially the sort of blocking tight end that can help the Hoosiers seal the edge at the end of the line, but also possessed of good hands. Had 30 catches for 314 yards and five TDs as senior while earning First Team Class 6A All-State honors for a 15-0 club that won the state title. Originally committed to Georgia Southern.
Allen Stallings, DE, a visitor just last weekend to IUFB, becomes the most recent player to sign a NLOI with the Hoosiers. That makes 12.
ALLEN STALLINGS, 6-2, 230, DE, Oak Park, Ill. (River Forest): Size is misleading, since he kept his weight down for wrestling purposes. Was extremely active up front for River Forest, recording 71 tackles, including 12 for losses and seven sacks. Forced three fumbles and scored a defensive touchdown. Committed to Central Michigan before flipping to Indiana, becoming the first defensive line commit in the Hoosier class.
WR Jonah Morris now a big signee for IUFB out of Ohio, a former Michigan State commit with a Notre Dame offer.
JONAH MORRIS, 6-4, 190, WR, Akron, Ohio (Hoban): Originally a Michigan State commit, chose the Hoosiers over offers from the Spartans, Notre Dame, Wisconsin at others. A multi-purpose player who could potentially stand out on either side of the ball, but is likely ticketed for wideout. Caught 38 passes for 784 yards and nine TDs as a senior when Hoban won the Ohio Division III state title. Akron Beacon Journal Football Player of the Year.
JUCO TE Ian Thomas out of Nassau CC (NY) has signed with Indiana after a late overture from Texas A&M.
IAN THOMAS, 6-5, 225, TE, Garden City, N.Y. (Nassau CC): Rebuffed an offer from Texas A&M late in the recruiting cycle to stick with the Hoosiers. Caught 30 passes for 314 yards and five touchdowns. Graduating this spring from Nassau with three years remaining to play two seasons at IU.
Huge in-state get for Indiana football. Winchester RB Kiante Enis, former Michigan commit, has signed with the Hoosiers.
KIANTE ENIS, 6-2, 195, RB, Winchester, Ind. (Winchester Community): Enis is a terrific athlete who could play on either side of the ball for the Hoosiers. Originally a Michigan commit, Enis ran for 2,393 yards and 35 touchdowns as a senior. For his varsity career, he had 716 carries for 6,991 yards (9.8 per rush, 194.2 yards per game) and 99 TDs. He also caught 17 passes for 461 yards and 5 TDs. Currently he’s also averaging 13.7 points for Winchester’s basketball team.
Mackenzie Nworah, a big OG from Texas who was originally a Mizzou commit, inks with Indiana.
MACKENZIE NWORAH, 6-3, 305, G, Manvel, Tex. (Manvel): Originally committed to Missouri, but comes to IU from the Texas Gulf Coast as the sort of prospect who could play early, even given the Hoosiers’ offensive line depth. Arizona State, Oklahoma State, Kansas State, Texas Tech, Houston, Boston College, Purdue and Colorado were among his other offers.
Jerome Johnson, the big Mississippian DT, confirms commitment to Indiana from a couple of days ago with a signed Letter of Intent. Had an Ole Miss offer.
JEROME JOHNSON, 6-4, 300, DT, Bassfield, Miss. (Bassfield): A late but welcome commit to the Hoosiers despite having an offer from Ole Miss. Was Region 2A MVP. Film highlights show a player with good explosion and leverage off the ball. Had 88 tackles, 44 quarterback hurries, 20 tackles-for-loss and eight sacks as Bassfield won its fourth straight 2A state title. Joining Mississippi among Johnson’s other offers were Louisville, Southern Miss and South Florida.
Brandon Drayton, safety from Florida and a former Nebraska commit, the next to join Indiana football officially.
BRANDON DRAYTON, 6-2, 175, S, Largo, Fla. (Largo): Originally a Nebraska commit before flipping to IU. Played at the same prep program that produced Jonathan Crawford and Donavan Hale in the Hoosiers’ 2015 recruiting class. Starred on both sides of the ball, shining as a wideout but projecting as a college safety. Had 58 tackles, nine pass break-ups, an interception and two fumble recoveries as a senior. Also had offers from the Huskers, Miami (Fla.), Louisville, Iowa, Minnesota, Syracuse and Colorado among others.
And Tyler Natee makes it official for IUFB. That brings all its verbal commits into the fold, plus Kiante Enis. A class of 19 so far. Don’t know if any more signings will arise today, but the Hoosiers didn’t lose a single one of their previous commits today.
TYLER NATEE, 6-0, 255, ATH, Euless, Tex (Trinity): An intriguing recruit with the potential to play multiple positions at IU. He seems most likely to slot into a hybrid fullback/H-back/tight end role, and could also serve as a “wildcat” formation quarterback. He played QB last fall for Trinity, one of the top programs in Texas, rushing for almost 800 yards and throwing for nearly 400. Had offers from North Texas and Arkansas State.
And Marcelino Ball, a DB from Georgia, makes it 20 IUFB signees for 2016. He was not a previously-announced verbal commit, but was on the IUFB radar.
MARCELINO BALL, 6-0, 200, S/OLB, Roswell, Ga. (Roswell): Carries on a family tradition of playing college ball, with brothers previously playing at Georgia Tech, Memphis and Chattanooga. Marcus Ball, who went to Memphis, is currently with the Carolina Panthers. Marcelino is perhaps well-suited to the rover spot in IU’s new 4-2-5 defensive set. Also had offers from West Virginia and Tulane.
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