New Indiana receivers coach Grant Heard is already delivering for his new school.
The Hoosiers took a commitment on Tuesday from Mississippi wide-out Tyrese Fryfogle, who was previously a recruiting priority for Heard while he was on staff at Ole Miss. Heard left the Rebels to take a similar role as IU’s receivers coach and passing game coordinator earlier this month.
Fryfogle, a 6-foot-2, 203-pound prospect from Lucedale, Miss., is the 18th member of Indiana’s 2017 recruiting class. At the time of his commitment, Fryfogle was not ranked by the major scouting services.
In addition to IU and Ole Miss, Fryfogle also held an offer from Idaho. As a senior this past fall, Fryfogle made 89 catches for 1,430 yards and 13 touchdowns. He was a two-time Sun Herald All-South Mississippi Team honoree.
Fryfogle picked up his Indiana offer on Jan. 6 — two days after Heard was officially announced as Indiana’s receivers coach.
Heard wants to build competition at the receiver position, which could turn out to hold the deepest pool of players on IU’s roster. Indiana returns 1,000-yard receiver Simmie Cobbs, along with Nick Westbrook, who finished five yards short of 1,000 in 2016.
J-Shun Harris, who is coming back from his second major knee surgery, and Isaac James fit in the slot, while Luke Timian, Donavan Hale and redshirt freshmen Taysir Mack and Jonah Morris are also expected to compete for playing time.
Should he acclimate quickly, Fryfogle could find a spot in the mix.
“The guys at Ole Miss, they knew my depth chart was etched in sand,” Heard said at his introductory press conference. “They knew every day they had to go out and compete and earn it. What my mindset was going in at Ole Miss is, I wanted a room where no one’s job was safe. You had to go earn it. Iron sharpens iron, so they knew they were competing against themselves every single day. My vision for this room is to come in and making it as competitive as possible. I don’t want anybody to come in comfortable, that this is my spot.
“I want them to know, this guy is behind me, and he can take my spot, and I’ve got to go out there and earn it in practice. I want practice to be the hardest thing they do all week, so when Saturdays come, it’s easy and it’s fun. The talent we have here, I know there’s talent here. I don’t know who’s where and who’s what. All that stuff will shake out in the spring. But they have to go out and earn it. The past is the past. We’re going forward. They’ve got to show me what they can do and earn it. If you work hard, the cream will rise to the top.”