Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Indiana Recruiting

Today we will take a look at the Indiana Hoosiers 2009 recruiting class.

When looking over Indiana’s 2009 recruiting class it is hard to find a marquee type player that will step in and make an instant impact. Well, at least on paper. Indiana was able to land six three star prospects but could only get their hands on one four star recruit. Additionally, none of Indiana’s signees cracked the ESPN 150 list. This is why I have the Hoosiers slotted in at number 10 in my recruiting rankings.

Indiana’s 2009 Recruiting Class

It is never a good sign when one of the stars of your class is a place kicker. That is exactly what happened with the Hoosiers. However, this could be one of the most valuable assets of their 2009 class. Indiana will be without their steady placekicker Austin Starr in 2009. Starr was placed on the 2008 Lou Groza watch list and will leave a huge void in the special teams department.

Therefore, it might not be a complete disaster that Indiana’s highest ranked recruit (79/100 on ESPN’s scale) was kicker Mitch Ewald. Ewald was ranked the fourth best kicker of the 2009 class and should get the opportunity to compete for a starting spot as soon as he steps on campus.

If there is one thing the Hoosiers were desperately missing in 2008 it was the threat of a big play receiver. Indiana’s top three receivers from 2008 (Andrew Means, Ray Fisher, and Demarlo Belcher) combined for only 1,160 yards and eight touchdowns. Needless to say, Indiana really felt the loss of 2007’s top wide out James Hardy (1,125 YDS, 16 TDs).

For these reasons it was huge that the Hoosiers one four star recruit was a wide receiver. Duwyce Wilson is the 38th ranked WR prospect of his class. He seems to have the size (6’2 ½”) and runs a 4.44 40 yard dash according to scout.com. Wilson won’t solve all of the Hoosiers passing problems, especially not right away, but a lanky wide out with some speed can go a long way in a spread attack.

Edward Wright-Baker might be a name that Big Ten fans become familiar with in the future. Because, if there is one thing Indiana knows how to do it is turning athletes into quarterbacks. If Wright-Baker can develop into another Kellen Lewis (with talent surrounding him) or, dare I say, Antwaan Randle El, then the Hoosiers are in luck. Wright-Baker is a quarterback prospect out of Jeffersonville, Indiana who was being recruited by most schools as an athlete. He seems to have the quickness (4.5 40) and the size (6’2”) to excel at the next level. But, according to scout.com he will need to work on his accuracy as he develops into a division one caliber quarterback. Wright-Baker was the 45th best QB in his class.

Those are the three players that I believe will have the most impact on the future of the Indiana football program. The Hoosiers class ranked 68th overall by collegefootballnews.com and 9th in the Big Ten. But, because they were only able to land one four star prospect and weren't able to land any really marquee names, they place 10th in my Big Ten rankings. However, they did fill some key positions, which is why they are ranked above Northwestern.

All photos courtesy of scout.com

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