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.”