Let’s get some of the rudimentary facts on Darius Willis out of the way first.
Scout.com ranked him the No. 2 overall player in the state and the 43rd best running back in the country.
He’s rushed for 3,005 yards at Franklin Central the past two years. He’s also scored 43 rushing TDs.
He’s also a star on the track team, and said that his goal for the spring is nothing short of a state championship ring.
Track, incidentally, is how Indiana started recruiting Willis. The Hoosier coaching staff saw him running his sophomore year and contacted him then. They offered a scholarship at the beginning of his junior year.
At that time, Willis’ coaches were sure he had the physical ability to be a Division I football player. They just weren’t sure that he had the work ethic to make it, or the vision to play his favored position of running back.
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When he told Indiana head coach Bill Lynch and assistant Billy Lynch that he wold attend Indiana on Sunday morning, the two grown men screamed like little girls.
Willis, who said he is 5-11 and a half and currently weighs 212 pounds, liked Indiana’s business school. He also saw a chance to earn early playing time.
“Anybody who works hard can play,” he said.
For you IU football junkies out there, complete this sentence: Darius Willis is the most important IU recruit since _______. Then, justify your answer.
I’ll be back in a few minutes with another update.
… at the press conference to announce his college committment today.
He is seated with his parents waiting for the press conference to begin.
Looks like great news for IU football.
Sports Illustrated has released its All-America team.
Indiana kicker Austin Starr is on the first team.
Indiana defensive end Greg Middleton is on the second team.
Indiana wide receiver James Hardy is honorable mention.
After being stung last year byÂ a couple of the top recruits who committed to IU but later changed their minds whenÂ bigger-name programs came calling, Indiana footballÂ today is on the other end of that scenario.
Tyler Adetona, a fast 6-foot-1Â receiver fromÂ Gainesville,Â Ga., told Inside IndianaÂ late Monday night thatÂ he decommitted from Troy and gave Indiana a verbal commitment.Â
Terry HoeppnerÂ dislikedÂ it when someoneÂ ”decommitted” from IUÂ so much that he insisted it wasn’t a word, but,like it or not,Â it is a common practice forÂ recruits toÂ change their minds about their collegeÂ decisions asÂ better offers arrive,Â a practice that seems to be growing in frequency every year. So it’s a positive sign for IU’s recruiting class that this decommitÂ who is heading theÂ Hoosiers way rather thanÂ departing for a FloridaÂ orÂ West Virginia. Â Â Â
Check back with us today and we’ll have updates on the Darius Willis decision.Â This is feeling like itÂ could be an awfullyÂ big couple of days for IU football recruiting now thatÂ the staffÂ has someÂ job security andÂ had anÂ important group of prospects inÂ for visits over the weekend. Â Â
Well, apparently the Hoosiers didn’t need their all-world guard all that much against Kentucky.
But wait ’till you guys see Western Carolina.
Kidding. But really, I’d say there’s about a 20 percent chance he actually sees floor time against the Catamounts next Saturday. The obvious question is why risk him? If IU proved anything against the Wildcats, it’s that they don’t need Gordon at all times. True, if push came to shove, I’m sure they’d prefer he be on the floor, even if he wasn’t 100 percent. I know Kentucky is bad (actually, really bad) but it seemed to me at least that Jordan Crawford and Jamarcus Ellis did just fine.
Another reason I wouldn’t hold my breath for E.J.’s return is the season debut of IU’s forgotten guard, A.J. Ratliff. The first semester ends Friday, and all indications by Kelvin Sampson are that Ratliff will be in the rotation. He also has added that A.J.’s been practicing really, really well. That’s good news, because once the IU backcourt is fully assembled and at 100 percent, they should be one of the best in the Big Ten, if not the country.
So, here’s my point: Do you think Gordon will play? If so, how much? How much will we see Ratliff? Is there a chance he starts?
Don Fischer is reminding y’all that the Hoosiers moved up to No. 13 in the AP poll and No. 14 in the coaches’ poll.
And that’s it.
Ian from Marion says he loves Kelvin’s team and likes the defensive toughness. That’s it. Sampson appreciates the comments. As he usual does when the caller doesn’t question him.
Another guy calling to thank Kelvin for beating Kentucky. But he’s got a question. It’s getting back to this debate about offensive sets vs. playing off the dribble.
Sampson says the game has changed. With more athletic players you’re able to play the game off the dribble. That’s just the trend, the way the game has evolved. The less talented a team is, the more it has to rely on fundamentals. Not to say Kelvin doesn’t emphasize them, but it’s not so essential. At least that’s what I took from his answer.
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