2022 LB Dasan McCullough flips commitment from OSU to IU

Make it 4-for-4 for Indiana with the McCullough family.

Dasan McCullough, a 2022 four-star linebacker originally committed to Ohio State, has flipped to the Hoosiers. He follows his younger brother Daeh, a 2023 safety prospect, and his older brother Deland II, a redshirt freshman transfer from Miami (Ohio), in choosing the Hoosiers’ program.

They are all sons of running backs coach Deland McCullough, also the associate head coach, who rejoined IU in February after three years with the Kansas City Chiefs and one season at Southern California. He previously coached at IU from 2011-16.

“I’m staying home,” Dasan said in a statement posted to Twitter. “This is a once in a lifetime opportunity I refuse to pass up. The chance to play under the man I looked up to my whole life is truly amazing, along with the opportunity to play with my best friends, Daeh, who has the chance to be special and I get a chance to watch and play with, and my oldest brother, Deland, simply the reason I wear No. 1 on my jersey and continue to play the game.”

The fate of Dasan, now considered one of the top prospects in the state of Indiana, has been speculated about since his family’s return to Bloomington. He reaffirmed his commitment to OSU in the days following his father’s hire, telling Hayes Fawcett it was “going to feel good beating him for 3-4 years.”

But subsequent decisions made by Daeh and Deland II to attend IU did nothing to quell rumors. And, inevitably, Dasan changed his mind. In fact, Deland II was on the phone with Dasan on Saturday night.

“I could tell he was leaning that way because I know how much family means to him,” Deland II said. “It would be different if we were all committed to different schools. But if we’re all at one school and he’s at a different school, he didn’t feel like that was right.”

“I don’t think it was very tough for him,” Deland II added. “He made a family decision. He wanted to do something with his family.”

Even if this comes via a family connection, it’s a huge recruiting win for IU coach Tom Allen. A long athlete at 6-foot-5, 220 pounds, Dasan has experience at safety but his body has matured into more of a linebacker’s frame. He has often been compared to former Clemson linebacker Isaiah Simmons, who was the No. 8 overall pick of the Arizona Cardinals last year.

Ranked by the 247Sports composite as the No. 50 overall player in the country, as well as the No. 6 “athlete” nationally, Dasan was likewise offered by the best football programs in the country. His scholarship list included Alabama, Clemson, Florida, Georgia, LSU, and Notre Dame, just to name a few. In the Big Ten, East Division foes Ohio State, Michigan, and Penn State were all in pursuit.

IU came out on top, giving the Hoosiers two linebackers to start their 2022 class. Kaiden Turner, a three-star from Fayetteville, Ark., had been the Hoosiers’ only commit for 2022, along with two highly-rated players in the ’23 class, edge-rusher Denzel Moore and Daeh McCullough.

Daeh, a 6-2, 195-pound defensive back, is the No. 78 player nationally in his class and the No. 2 player in Indiana, according to 247Sports, just behind Andrean linebacker Drayk Brown. Dasan is just behind Charlestown offensive tackle Kiyaunta Goodwin, a Kentucky commit, for the No. 1 slot in Indiana in 2022.

If the recruiting rankings for Dasan and Daeh hold up, and they both follow through and sign with IU in their respective years, they would be the two highest-rated recruits to join the Hoosiers this century. According to 247Sports’ database, which goes back to 2000, IU’s most highly rated recruit is defensive lineman Stephen Williams, who was ranked No. 109 nationally. Sampson James, also a former OSU commit, is the second-highest at No. 181.

Before Dasan and Daeh suit up for IU, they will play for Bloomington South this fall. They transferred in from Blue Valley North (Kan.), which was the final prep stop for their older brother Deland II, who started his prep career at Bloomington North during Deland’s first stint at IU.

“That is a rare breed kid right there,” South coach Gabe Johnson said of Dasan. “Just in talking to him, outside linebacker is going to be his fit in college. … That kind of size roaming the middle of the field, he’s impactful and powerful enough and aggressive enough to play up at a linebacker spot, as well as cover a tight end and give him problems.

“He catches your eye, for sure, when you see him for the first time.”

What has also been apparent to Johnson is how close Daeh and Dasan are as brothers. They are a unit in the weight room and on the field in offseason drills. And if you ask them who set the standard for their work ethic, they point to Deland II. He would often come up to IU’s campus to work out as a kid, bringing his younger brothers along with him.

“I think it’s very much a family affair for them, football is,” Johnson said.

Now, all three McCulloughs may be on the field at the same time for IU’s defense in the coming years.

“I hope and pray it happens,” Deland II said, “and it looks like it could, too.”

18 comments

  1. Knowing there are other examples…Pretty amazing to find multiple athletes that high level from same family. Plus it also speaks to tightness of family and commitment of a dad and coach to IU football program. Loyalty and dedication demonstrated.

    1. Brian and James Ferentz. Mike, Soug and Curt Mallory (though none of them played for their dad, like the Ferentz kids.

      The gold standard will always be Lucious, Leroy and Dewey Selmon, all of whom played for Barry Switzer at OU.

  2. Assuming it holds up, this will be wonderful news. And I confess that I didn’t think we’d get Dasan out of High School, but rather as a transfer.

    Imagine the thrill these three brothers will have playing on the same team at the same time. And imagine if that team turns out to be highly successful. Now imagine being their father. You’re associate head coach, but you’re not their position coach. TA can certainly relate to how his RB coach is going to feel with his sons on the team.

    And not to be negative, because net-net this is very good news, but is their any downside to three sons of the Associate Head Coach playing on the team? Will it turn off other recruits? Will it foster concerns of bias or favoritism amongst IU’s other defensive players? My guess is that it won’t because TA is going to make sure everybody gets treated fair and square and that IU FB remains a meritocracy. But blood is thicker than water and some players will be “concerned.”

  3. Take the word FAIR out of the dictionary. It is an impossible concept. Nothing is 100% fair. However, getting closest to 100% fairness as possible is quite an accomplishment. How a system is designed may be best for one and not for another though both get his or her opportunity within system. Fairness does not apply. Rather, it’s just part of the system as is T.A. son and other players are a part of the system. Again, fairness does not apply.

  4. Not a surprise because the whole family is going to IU but the isaiah simmons comparisons is very tantalizing i mean a guy who literally do everything on the field rush the passer,cover a tight end, a slot receiver,and play center field whoa

    1. The coaches see him as an edge rusher who may drop into coverage in certain DD packages. He has the frame to add weight and what they see as an elite first step.

  5. It is great to see him and his brother coming to IU as they will improve a very good football team. It will be interesting to see where coach Warren plays Dasan in the future as he grows and lifts weights. He is an outstanding defensive player and could change positions in the future. Having all four McColloughs at IU is a blessing for the football team.

    I hope it encourages the best in the state to now come to IU instead of other programs. IU football is improving every year under coach Allen. This season I hope the team shows the wins the past two were no fluke come out and win all 13 or a big majority of games, Hoosiers and show you were no fluke on the field.

    1. You are right about getting McCollough as a RB coach was bonus but now a massive bonus for IU.

      McCollough will love the Michigan RB coming in that runs a 4.26 forty that should remind him of Coleman. He has a few very good RBs for this coming year and Charlie S. has shown him he could get some reps this year.

    1. He may get a chance at some point to see the field. Several kids with more upside ahead of him, but he works hard and he had a very good scout year.

      1. Yes, there are several kids on the roster with more upside, but how many of them are able to be effective battering rams that punish defenders in short yardage situations. I think CS will contribute to IU’s offense in those situations.

        1. He’s not really that kind of back, but he may get a chance at some point. I know he’s been a good prep player and, if he stays healthy, there might be a chance for him.

  6. One of my best friends grew up in Columbus and is a huge Buckeye fan. I told him of this news yesterday and he was pissed. He thought Dasan was going to be a great player for them.

    Anyway, what a cool story with all the brothers playing for their dad. Once again, when it comes to Indiana Football expectations, I couldn’t have written a better script.

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