The Indiana football team secured two verbal commitments in the class of 2010 on Monday, bringing the class’ total to 13.
Detroit linebacker Ishmael Thomas and Charlevoix (Mich.) offensive lineman Bill Ivan will both sign letters of intent in February.
Ivan, who stands between 6-foot-4 and 5 and weighs 260 pounds, said he really liked the Indiana coaching staff and also enjoyed his two trips to Bloomington (for the Spring Game and for a summer camp).
But he also knew that the Indiana staff told him they were only going to take four offensive line commitments in the class of 2010, and already had two in the bag.
“I did not want to be racing for that fourth spot,” Ivan said. “Let someone else.”
Central Michigan had also offered Ivan, and Iowa, Michigan and Michigan State were all interested.
What made Ivan’s recruiting process unique is that he hails from Northern Michigan, an area that produces few Division I prospects and, thus, is largely ignored by college coaches.
But, before his junior year, his high school coach told Ivan that he had the size and skill to play Division I, so they would start sending out film.
The film that jumped out to college coaches could have been Ivan’s performance against Max Bullough, a Michigan State verbal commit and the No. 13 middle linebacker in the nation according to Scout.com.
“Playing against him helped a lot,” Ivan said.
Ivan, who the coaching staff said expects to see him grow to 285-290 pounds, plays offensive tackle in high school but could move to guard at Indiana.
Ivan said multiple college coaches told him that they really liked his flexibility — namely, how he blocks smaller defenders.
Because of where he is from, Ivan said he routinely blocks players that stand 6-foot and shorter.
“I can bend,” Ivan said.
Ivan is a two-star recruit according to Rivals.com, and a one-star prospect for Scout.com.
Thomas chose Indiana from a final list that included Iowa and Central Michigan. He also had offers from Purdue, Colorado, Vanderbilt and most of the Mid-American Conference.
The 6-foot, 200-pound outside linebacker had 74 tackles, 18 for a loss, as a junior. He also played quarterback.
Thomas is the No. 50 outside linebacker in the nation, according to Rivals.com, and a three-star prospect.
He was not available for comment.