This weekend was not only a huge day for the current Indiana football team, but also the future, as the Hoosiers landed multiple commitments.
Despite the Indiana football program not playing in a game this weekend, it was one of the biggest days in program history as the Hoosiers were announced as a participant in the 2019 TaxSlayor Gator Bowl against Tennessee. It was a nice way to cap off a regular season in which the Hoosiers ended a lot of streaks, and also made it a record-breaking year at that.
Off of the field of play, the Hoosiers also won the weekend on the recruiting trail. Tom Allen and the rest of the staff had been all over the country over the past two weeks trying to secure a few more commitments before national signing day’s early period starting on Dec 18.
Getting it started off with a bang, the Hoosiers secured a commitment from Stanford o-lineman Dylan Powell. A three-star guard out of high school, Powell saw action in 19 total games with three starts. He spent time throughout his year on the sidelines due to injury, including all of 2019, but said he is expecting to apply for a sixth year waiver, allowing two full years in Bloomington as a grad transfer.
After Powell’s commitment, it was on to Sunday which saw commitment after commitment roll in for Indiana. Tim Baldwin Jr got the afternoon started off, when he announced his decision to join the Indiana program. The top-650 player in the country made his pledge just a few weeks after decommitting from Michigan. A 1,604 yard rusher this season, Baldwin added 25 touchdowns on nearly seven yards per carry. With a backfield that lost two members this year, Cole Gest and Ivory Winters, adding more depth to an already talented backfield group continues to give Mike Hart more bodies to utilize.
Staying in the backfield, in-state back Charlie Spegal announced his commitment to the Indiana program after a historic high school career. Totaling over 10,867 rushing yards, something only four players have done in high school football history, and 173 touchdowns, playing for Coach Allen and Mike Hart was too much to pass up; Hart was one of the other running backs with over 10,000 yards for his prep career.
Keeping with the offensive side of the ball, Indiana’s fourth commitment of the weekend and third on Sunday was tight end AJ Barner. The Ohio native gave the commitment fresh off of an official visit to Indiana this weekend. With tight ends a major point of emphasis in Kalen DeBoer’s offense, Barner will look to follow in Peyton Hendershot’s footsteps at the position.
Finally, switching to the defensive side of the ball, Bryson Bonds was added to the Indiana 2020 class on Sunday as well. The Texas safety is another three-star prospect that is ranked a top-700 player nationally in the 2020 class. A physical defender, he will look to utilize his versatile style of play that the Indiana staff loves to see from its defensive backs.
After Indiana’s huge recruiting day, its class is now ranked No. 48 nationally with 18 commits. Coming off of two straight top-50 classes, and a program best No. 36 last year, the Hoosiers continue to trend upwards on the recruiting trail.