Hoosiers at six for 2014 Class

(Dustin’s note: combined the two recruiting stories into one for tomorrow’s paper)

When Delroy Baker told Indiana coach Kevin Wilson that he was verbally committing to the Hoosiers, Baker said, Wilson and offensive line coach Greg Frey chest-bumped each other.

Take a second. Picture that.

“It was hilarious,” said Baker, an offensive tackle from West Port High School in Ocala, Fla.

And totally understandable considering the recruiting coup and the overall recruiting success off the Wilson’s squad in recent weeks. The Hoosiers also received a commitment Wednesday from defensive lineman Willie Yarbary of Richmond Academy in Augusta, Ga. after taking a commitment Monday from Wesley Martin, a guard from West Milton, Ohio.

Baker’s is the most surprising of the group because even he thought he would be staying in-state when he got an offer from powerhouse Florida. He had been on a visit there on June 8 and was fairly certain he would be committing there.

Until June 12, when he visited Indiana.
“I left UF thinking ‘I’m about to be a Gator,’” Baker said. “I had my mind completely made up. But then when I went to Indiana, within an hour of being there, it started sinking in. It was just like, ‘I might have to push back my commitment date.’ But by the ending of the next day, but I pretty much had my mind made up that I was going to Indiana. I had the feeling when I got there, ‘Dude, this is where you belong.’”

He had narrowed his choices down to Indiana and Florida by that point, but his overall offer sheet was much more impressive. He also had scholarship offers from Florida State and Miami as well as Connecticut, Florida International, Iowa State, Missouri and several other schools.

Indiana doesn’t have nearly the football pedigree of those schools, but Baker was a fan of the atmosphere created around the program by Wilson, the third-year coach.

“It’s like they’re a huge family,” Baker said. “It’s like a family bond. You can feel it in the atmosphere when you’re there. When they were showing me love and affection, they also showed it to my tight end (Max Linder, who was participating in a camp when Baker visited.) You could tell it was genuine. It was not just for me and it wasn’t fake or anything.”

The 6-foot-6, 270 pound Baker has been used as a left tackle at West Port and expects the same at Indiana.

“I started at guard when I was a freshman in high school, but my coach told me then, ‘Delroy, we’re moving you to left tackle,’” Baker said. “‘That’s where the money is going to be for you in the NFL.’ So that’s my position.”

Yarbary isn’t sure what his position is going to be yet. The 6-foot-3, 270-pounder played both defensive tackle and defensive end last season for Richmond and recorded 108 tackles and 10 sacks.. Yarbary, who Richmond coach Chris Hughes said runs a 4.9 40-yard dash, was also used as a tight end on the offensive side of the ball.

“Against spread stuff, we’ll put him outside and he’ll rush,” Hughes said. “He uses his hands well and he’s real quick off the ball. Then against teams who like to line up in the I and run the ball, we’ll use him to clog the middle. He’s freakishly strong and he uses his hands well. And he’s the only player I’ve ever had who plays both ways.”

Yarbary will also have a difficult time deciding what to major in, though he has plenty of impressive options. Yarbary carries a 3.4 grade point average in Richmond’s rigorous International Baccalaureate program and said he wants to major in either pre-med, neuroscience or nuclear engineering.

“He’s a fantastic student,” Hughes said. “Great character kid.”

Yarbary didn’t have a hard time picking Indiana, however. Alabama-Birmingham, Cincinnati, Middle Tennessee State and Troy had offered. He had interest from Ivy League and Patriot League schools according to Hughes and there was also some interest from Wake Forest and Georgia Tech, but Yarbary was sold on IU.

“I just liked the vibe,” Yarbary said. “… The other schools were nothing compared to Indiana academically or athletically.”

Yarbary and Baker are the sixth members of Indiana’s Class of 2014.


  1. Like Yarbary, I’m digg’in the vibe of the IU Football program these days too! Now let’s “play 13” in ’13!

  2. Nice start. Time to bring in more athletic linebackers and dbs.

    ps. I’m still bummed out about baseball and I hope this feeling goes away soon.

  3. Even the most cynical IU football fans have to recognize that Wilson and staff have made an enormous improvement in recruiting. These new signees are bigger, faster, more athletic and much more highly ranked relative to recruits of the past. When you get a young man to commit to IU over Florida, you’re doing something right.

    And I am most impressed with the reasons these young men provide for making their choice to commit to IU. “It’s like they’re a huge family,” Baker said. “It’s like a family bond. You can feel it in the atmosphere when you’re there. When they were showing me love and affection, they also showed it to my tight end (Max Linder, who was participating in a camp when Baker visited.) You could tell it was genuine.” Enough said!

  4. Podunker, all good (your post)… I agree completely (well, almost).

    I, for one, welcome the cynics who cried over our assignment to the ‘hard-core division of the B1G, I will welcome the soon moment when ‘commiting to Indiana over Florida or OSU/Michigan will mean nothing other than the natural order of things; and we fans have the expectation that we will do what is necessary and right to keep the great and in-demand staff assembled (by CKW)to achieve our goals and sustain them a long time in football. I’m not surprised by anyone choosing Indiana over Florida, FSU, Alabama or Oregon for that matter.

    It will be the natural order of things.

  5. Lord of the Wronger…

    Re: “…a program barely alive. Bigger…Faster…Stronger?”

    Answer: No,……a blogger wider, fatter, weaker. (Sorry, couldn’t resist)

  6. Great points Podunker. This is very new to many of us. I was too young to remember the Mallory days. When I read we are getting kids over Flordia and Alabama, it’s like an early Christmas gift.

    Indiana is a proud Big 10 school. With the vision Wilson has, we will no longer be wishing the season away, just because we will be “good” in basketball. Indiana University is quickly becoming an all around championship athletic school. Ladies BBall is coming around.

    It’s like our coaches get it. The last coaches on our football team reminded me of “ragtag” coaches who just wanted a job, and cared less about the product on the field.

  7. Ben, if you or anyone else cares about this sort of thing, IU is tied with Michigan for fifth place in the men’s Capitol One Cup standings, just a hair behind Alabama. I’m not sure the exact formula they use, but they factor in NCAA Championship standings and final rankings in all sports to determine who the top overall athletic program is. We might even be able to leap-frog a few teams once the final baseball poll is out, too. Just goes to validate your point that IU athletics is already top notch. And rising.

  8. Ben…Po’s points all good, I agree. Likewise, our present progress under Wilson and our future.

    Not so much with your last paragraoh. Yes, I strongly prefer Wilson’s vision, the staff he assembled and the players he is bringing in.

    But, your conclusion about Lynch and staff is a bit unfair. Wilson’s staff is much better prepared, has a much more demanding vision and, likely, a much better strategic and tactical approach.

    Do not, however, forget how Lynch was asked to step forward and did so. I also wanted a successful program that could challenge for leadership in the B1C and came to the conclusion it was not going to happen under Lynch. But, he is a fine man and I do not believe he ‘just wanted a job’, was ‘ragtag’ and ‘did not care’. That is simply not(given what I believe is your philosophy) a very good comment on another human being who is simply doing what he can with the best he’s got. Sometimes, it is simply not enough, no matter how hard he/she tries and we need to recognize that and be thankful.

  9. I’d also like to add, as Po points out, that our programs seem to be rising with quality young men of character– real student-athletes– not just rent-a-thugs and problem child prima donnas. To me, that speaks as much to the quality of a program as any final ranking or on-field performance. (Not that winning isn’t fun, too…)

  10. Tsao,

    I never thought Lynch was a man with no character. He had plenty. What frustrated me with Lynch is he didn’t demand more of hi self, and from his coaches. Seemed as if they was too comfortable. Wilson seems to be knocking down the barriers that has plaqued IU Football for years. He is forging relationships with coaches, and his a vision, and sticks too it. Wilson has rules, and isn’t afraid to kick a troublemaker off the team.

    I never doubted Lynch wouldn’t give the shirt off his back. I never doubted his character. What I did doubt is how he coached, led the team, and weak efforts in recruiting.

    I don’t blame Lynch taking the job. I blame the AD for not looking for a better coach. Lynch was no Hep for sure. Lynch never got on his players. Wilson keeps you accountable, and then some. I hope I make sense, and clarified what I meant.

    Punjab, I am very much into the Capital One Cup.

  11. High hopes so far are speculation….Is IU football ready to break thru….we will see….last I checked which was last game of 2012 season….IU still in dog house until proven wrong….that said it could be ready to turn a new direction.

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