JUCO All-American linebacker Mike McGinnis commits to IU

A 2017 Indiana recruiting class already heavy on defensive prospects added another to coach Tom Allen’s side of the ball on Sunday afternoon.

Junior college All-American linebacker Mike McGinnis announced his commitment to Indiana, giving the Hoosiers their 17th verbal pledge for the current recruiting cycle.

McGinnis, an inside linebacker who originally had a walk-on opportunity at Miami, posted 58 tackles in eight games this fall as a sophomore at ASA College (New York). He averaged 7.3 tackles per contest, while making four sacks and 15 tackles for loss. That was enough to land the 6-foot-2, 235-pound prospect a spot on the National Junior College Athletic Association All-America Honorable Mention team.

“I’ve run the 4-2-5 the past two seasons at ASA and it’s pretty similar in terms of schemes they run out of it,” McGinnis said. “Coach (William) Inge and coach Allen both see me at the Mike position. (Inge) said he could see me playing both, either Mike or Will, but he would prefer me to play Mike. I’m a big rundown guy. I can cover the pass as well, but I’m very good at reading and being able to pick up the tendencies of the offense.”

According to the 247 Sports Composite, McGinnis is a three-star prospect who lists offers from Bowling Green, Louisiana-Lafayette, Louisiana-Monroe, New Mexico, Ohio and Old Dominion.

McGinnis told The Herald-Times that after taking a visit to campus during the weekend of Dec. 9, he fell in love with the opportunity in front of him. He’ll enroll in time for the spring semester and be available to practice with the team in March.

“I got down there, got to finally see Bloomington for itself and all the glory it holds,” McGinnis said. “I got to meet the rest of the coaching staff and I really enjoyed them. I really enjoyed the facilities, the school itself and the environment around it. It’s beautiful over there. It’s definitely a change of scenery coming from New York City, I’ll tell you that.

“Really what made me decide on Indiana were academics and athletics. Those are the whole reason I’m going to school, right? So those are big. I like what they have program-wise for academics. I’m thinking either pre-med or physical therapy. Obviously, athletics, it’s the Big Ten and it looks like they’re heading in the right direction with coach Allen taking the reins.”

The 247 Sports Composite considers him the No. 9 JUCO inside linebacker available for 2017. McGinnis will have two years to play two.

McGinnis, originally from Allentown, N.J., is the 11th verbal commit for IU projected to land on defense upon arrival in Bloomington. He joins a defensive core of seven prospects expected to play along the line, fellow linebacker Thomas Allen and defensive backs Bryant Fitzgerald and LaDamion Hunt.

Allen most recently outline IU’s defensive recruiting focus for the 2017 class while speaking with reporters prior to the Old Oaken Bucket game vs. Purdue last month.

“We’ve got a good strong group up front of guys committed to us,” Allen said. “We need to get more there, we feel because to me that’s where the game is won. … You gotta be able to have depth so you can roll guys in and keep them fresh and keep them playing hard. The focus is guys that have that extra burst to get to the quarterback. That’s an emphasis for us for sure.

“We’ve got some older linebackers that we know we have to be able to replace. That was a need going in and it’s still a need, for sure. And, to me, I think the corner position sticks out.”

10 comments

  1. I wonder if this means Scales may be thinking of going pro after the bowl game. I sure hope not, but to take a JC linebacker with only 2 years of eligibility when you already have Scales, Oliver, and Covington coming back for their senior year doesn’t seem to make much sense.
    It would be great for Scales, Fant, and Camiel to all come back next year, but I don’t expect that to happen.
    I sure hope we beat Utah to give Allen a little boost with recruiting and to get his head coaching tenure off to a resounding start! A win would certainly help generate fan enthusiasm for next year.

  2. Do like his size, hope he has Covington’s kind of quicks. 4-2-5 demands the LB position have speed, range and cover skills allowing the DB’s to focus on whats going on around them.
    After doing some research on IU’s bowl opponent and deliberating on same I’ve decided I really like the Hoosiers chances against Utah. If the IU D can stop the break-a-way/down field plays as well as they did against conference opponents this year they should wear down the Utah offense late in the game. Having the offense play ball control and field position in the 1st half and then open up some giving opportunities for playmakers to make plays in the 2nd half. The books only have Utah giving 8 yet they are considered a top 25 team. On my graph those 2 lines don’t intersect.

  3. It is good to get the LB they were focused on to add to the defense. There is chance Scales may leave early but McGinnis is more a MLB that the WLB that Scales plays. I think this pick up id to even out the recruiting in areas that weren’t covered by the 4-2-5 defense. Covington came off the edge often enough I wonder if they are looking at him as an edge LB to put pressure on the QB. Covington definitely has the quickness to be a good sack LB to create more chaos for the offense.

    McGinnis sounds like a good student and good study at football too. He should add a lot to our defense next year. Now we need to bring in a few more offensive players especially a top QB.

  4. Have found no comments from IU but I’ve read in 2 places Florida CB Quran Hafiz has committed to IU. He was suppose to announce at 6:00PM. Anybody picking up anything. This kid supports the run with seriousness.

  5. There a couple high profile QBs tranferring. One is leaving FSU with a bit of a cloud around him and another from ND I don’t know much about. An FSU recruit may not be academically eligible to play at a Big Ten school but the ND kid might be okay.

    I don’t know if they are on the Hoosier radar, or if they should be, but they are out there.

  6. DD, I am not aware of any QBs transferring in but looking at IU’s QB situation they are set for the near future. IU has Lagow back, King is an up coming soph with a big and accurate arm, Cameron is going to be a JR, Peyton is going to be a R-FR that coach raved about this year. After this year, unless someone leaves early, IU has each year covered and I would hope to see them go after a a talented 2017 recruit.

    I think we will see QB play improve, in spite of coach Wilson’s QB guru reputation, we never saw great QB play with completion rates in the upper 60s% and making big plays at critical times. Nate had a very good senior year yet came up short in critical games and completed only 60% of his passes. I think the Passing game needs to be revamped and with different coaching I can see IU QBs prospering, the key is to get the right OC and QB coach [they may be on staff right now].

    1. I hope so. I think you’re right about an improvement next year.

      I’d rather see anyone under center besides Lagow.

      From the way Allen was talking about his theory on offense, I inferred that he’s looking for a QB that can run. Curious about how any of our current players would fit into that plan. Or maybe I’m in left field with that thought?

  7. If there is any doubt about IU’s future OC, I doubt a strong QB who has decided to transfer would consider IU at this time. And having a stable of QBs on the roster and a likely starter in Lagow, I’d imagine that IU is not the ideal destination for QBs that have decided to transfer.

    As for IU’s current stable of QBs, while I hope Wilson’s departure and Zander’s decision not to return reduces the risk, I would not be surprised if one of our QBs announces they’re transferring. If any of them are considering it, they will most likely announce right after the bowl game. I hope none of them do, but I would not be surprised.

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