Saturday, July 30, 2011

What Gunner Kiel means to Indiana recruiting

The number one high school quarterback in the country has committed to play college football for the Indiana Hoosiers. That sentence is not a joke, nor mistake, nor lie. It is the truth. Gunner Kiel, a Columbus, Indiana native and younger brother of current Indiana QB Dusty Kiel, verbally committed to his home state Hoosiers today while on campus. This marks a truly important moment in the future of IU football. Though it is obviously far too early to declare Indiana as a force in the Big Ten, one could easily argue that they are on the fast track out of the conference basement,

This is a huge score for new Indiana coach Kevin Wilson. Though he has yet to coach a game, Wilson has quickly earning the support of the Hoosier fanbase and actually gaining some national attention for the Indiana football program. The latter is no easy task, as basketball is king across the entire state of Indiana and most people only associate Peyton Manning and Notre Dame with football in this state (provided they know Notre Dame is actually in Indiana). Kiel’s commitment to Indiana has already turned the heads of the national media. Although most people are in the mindset of “the top quarterback is going WHERE?!” at least they are talking about IU football.

An obvious comparison to make here is to the commitment of Cody Zeller to the Indiana basketball program. Both football and men’s basketball have fallen on hard times in recent years (while I was a student, of course) and basketball received a much needed shot in the arm when they landed the 5* big man from Washington, IN. Football fans surely hope that the same kind of recruiting run that solidified Tom Crean as the “right guy” will occur for Wilson. Indiana as a state is not nearly as talent-rich on the gridiron as on the hardwood, but the opportunity to land a 5* quarterback from within the borders arose and Wilson made it happen. And while he is clearly the biggest, Kiel is not the only big name in the state. Indiana has already landed a commitment from Warren Central wideout Kevin Davis, considered by many to be the top receiver in the state. Several other prospects remain on Wilson’s radar, including Sheldon Day and Tyrone Pearson. It is unrealistic to think that the Kiel commitment will automatically lead to other big names choosing IU, but it will certainly help change the perception of this program. The number one quarterback chose a school that has won one conference game in each of the last three seasons, and hasn’t been to a bowl game since the 2007 season (Gunner wasn’t even in high school yet).

Gunner Kiel’s commitment to Indiana will do a lot for the Hoosier football program. He has put Indiana and Kevin Wilson on the front page of national recruiting media, he has already excited some other prospective college athletes, and most of all – the dude is a phenomenal quarterback. While this post dealt with Gunner’s impact on recruiting and perception of the program, stay tuned for my analysis on what it means for the Hoosiers ON the field, where it really counts.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

2015 G Jalen Coleman gets offer from Indiana

Tom Crean is no stranger to offering scholarships to players that have yet to play a high school game. Last year, Indiana received verbal commitments from Trey Lyles and James Blackmon while those two were barely freshman in high school. On Friday, Crean sent out another early offer, this time to 2015 Cathedral-bound guard Jalen Coleman.

Coleman, a 6'2" 155 pound guard from Indianapolis has been having a great summer playing up a year with the 15U Eric Gordon All-Stars. This put him on the same team as IU target Jaquan Lyle, though Lyle recently moved up to the 16U Spiece team featuring Lyles and Blackmon. Making the offer more special for Jalen is the fact that Friday was his 15th birthday. He is widely regarded as one of, if not the best incoming freshman in the loaded state of Indiana. You shouldn't expect an early commitment from Coleman this time around, though (according to Kyle Neddenriep).

Indiana has the unique advantage while recruiting within the state of going after guys that all know and play with/against each other. The "friends" angle has worked in Tom Crean's favor so far and Coleman shares similar relationships. The older Eric Gordon teams feature IU commits Collin Hartman and Devin Davis and current target Zak Irvin. When Coleman gets to Cathedral, he will be a high school teammate of Hartman, as well.

More resources:
Introducing Jalen Coleman (Neddenriep post from last week)
Highlight Video from April (played with Indy Hoosiers travel team)

Saturday, July 09, 2011

Introducing the three new Indiana Hoosiers

Indiana has updated the rosters on the official athletics site to include the three new incoming freshman basketball players. Here are screenshots of Cody, Remy, and Austin that include their basic info and new photos of each player in the cream and crimson Indiana jersey!

#40 Cody Zeller

#23 Remy Abell

#13 Austin Etherington

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

V.J. Beachem interested in Indiana

He does not yet hold an offer from Indiana, but 2013 forward V.J. Beachem (Fort Wayne Harding) hopes to get one soon. "I'd love to get an offer from Indiana," Beachem said this afternoon at the adidas Invitational in Indianapolis. He also stated that he was "very interested" in Indiana. The rising junior has offers from in-state Purdue and Butler so far, as well as interest from Indiana, Notre Dame, Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State and others.

Beachem is playing with the Eric Gordon All-Stars this summer alongside Indiana commits Devin Davis and Collin Hartman. They also play with Purdue commit Basil Smotherman and high-major prospect Zak Irvin. Beachem noted that he has thought about playing with all of those guys on the next level, saying that playing with Hartman and Davis works now so it should work in college, too.

Purdue has been recruiting Beachem for the longest time and was the first program to offer him. He has also been on a visit recently to Michigan, one which he enjoyed very much. His AAU teammate Zak Irvin has been reported to be very high on the Wolverines right now.

Monday, July 04, 2011

Bobby Capobianco to Valparaiso

Former Indiana forward Bobby "Vanilla Gorilla" Capobianco has announced his decision to join new head coach Bryce Drew and the Valparaiso Crusaders basketball program. The sophomore from Ohio, who left the IU program in May in search of more playing time, told the NWI Times that he is excited to utilize all of his skills as a player.

Capobianco told Dustin Dopirak of the Bloomington Herald-Times that he visited Valpo, Evansville and Appalachian State. He said that Valpo was the only school that would accept all of his transfer credits, calling it the best fit for both academics and basketball.

Capobianco will have two years of eligibility remaining after sitting out the upcoming season per NCAA transfer rules.

Friday, July 01, 2011

Updated 2012 Rivals150 rankings has released their updated rankings for the class of 2012 and the Indiana recruiting class is well represented. Hanner Perea and Yogi Ferrell both received five-star status in the latest update, with Perea holding at #15 overall and Ferrell slides up five spots to number #23.

On the other hand, Jeremy Hollowell (4-star) and Ron Patterson (3-star) dropped a bit. Hollowell dropped from #42 to #52 and Patterson fell twelve places to #127.

The fifth member of the class, Peter Jurkin, remained an unranked 3-star. This is not surprising, since Jurkin has been sidelined since this past high school season with injuries. He has not yet played with Indiana Elite - Team Indiana this summer, but earlier this spring it was said he could return in July.

Indiana's number one target remaining in the class, Gary Harris, fell two spots to #28 overall. It was a small drop, but Harris fell from the last 5-star prospect to the 2nd highest 4-star prospect in the process.

Expect to see another update from Rivals, and the other ranking sites, at the end of the AAU season.