Indiana grabs Jacob Bailey, an in-state lineman

Indiana received the 11th verbal commitment in the class of 2012 late Friday, when Jacob Bailey elected to become a Hoosier.

Bailey, 6-foot-4, 275-pound offensive guard from Cathedral, told that a night’s stay with former Cathedral teammate Kyle Kennedy (now an IU freshman) sealed the deal.

Bailey, rated a three-star prospect by, had offers from Ball State, Miami (Ohio), Toledo, Northern Illinois, Temple and Western Michigan.

Bailey is the fourth Indianapolis-based prospect to commit to the Hoosiers, and so far it is a class of balance: three linebackers, two wide receivers, two offensive linemen, two defensive linemen, one safety and one tight end.

UPDATE, 2:31 p.m.: Dustin Dopirak here. Spoke to Bailey and his coach, Rick Streiff.

Bailey has played tackle at Cathedral, and he’s already been told that he will move inside at Indiana to play either guard or center. The transition is significant, but Streiff said that Bailey’s understanding of the game will make it easy. The 4.0 student will major in business, and Streiff said he’ll be able to learn the playbook extremely quickly.

“In high school, he’s a bigger guy, but he moves extremely well, he runs well,” Streiff said. “Because of his intelligence, I can see him moving to center and being a really bright, intelligent center and making all the right calls.”

Streiff said that although Bailey is just 275 pounds right now, he can easily put 25 pounds on his frame to get close to 300.

“He’s a thin 275,” Streiff said. “He’ll be able to go up to 295, 300 and still be able to run and move.”

Bailey caught the IU coaches attention two weeks ago at a camp when he was the only offensive lineman present. He returned later that week at a bigger camp and was offered a scholarship. He said it was an easy decision to commit.

“Meeting the coaches. Coach (Kevin) Wilson, Coach (Greg) Frey, are both great coaches,” Bailey said. “They are  some of the best I’ve been around. I know we will win football games.”


Here’s a highlight tape of Bailey:


  1. Great pick up. I see Wilson is picking up where Lynch left off; snatching recruits right out from under all those MAC coach’s noses.

  2. Where are the 4 stars? Can we not get three or four 4 star recruits to go along with all the 3 stars….joust three or four to break the boredom.

  3. give coach wilson some time to recruit before complaining about not enough “4 stars”

  4. Since I am approaching 60…I was referring way before coach Wilson. Will the no stars, many 2 stars and several 3 stars make up the roster. Currently, (its early)I think coach Wilson and his staff is doing a very good recruiting job.

  5. It wasn’t long ago that we were thrilled to get a 3 star prospect. Now we are getting them with regularity. Gotta crawl before you can walk, but gotta like the direction the program is moving in. Boise St gets a lot of 3 star prospects, and coaches them up into national contenders. Just sayin……

  6. An outstanding line coach at Indiana, Jay Fry, (he would later go on to coach the line for the Super Bowl championship NY Giants), once explained to me (about one year before we went to the Rose Bowl) that the way for Indiana to compete with the Ohio States, Michigans, Michigan States, Iowas; was to recruit the “…[three stars]-(the expression itself was not used at that time)… physically they are pretty similar. And, here [at Indiana] we then coach them to that [level].”

    I think Bill Lynch, had this in mind and I think he was correct on this assertion and recruiting strategy. The problem was not the number of stars or even the number of BCS schools competing for any one specific prospect. Unfortunately, the nature of the teaching and coaching he received, especially on defense, was not up to the challenge. The quality of teaching/coaching on defense simply was not there. Watching the players, some big, strong, fast kids with unlimited potential tackle, fill in holes, cover 1 on 1, fill in zone responsibilities, drive off the line, use their hands, explode into the opposing backfield, read eyes…just was not there. To make it worse the tactical approach was painful to watch.

    I do believe that this is exactly where Coach Wilson’s long suit and emphasis is! He will recruit who he recruits- 0 to 5 stars-, the staff seems filled with teacher/mentor/coaches.

  7. Agreed. I think that is what you see in pretty much every school that “turns things around” Long before they get 4-, and 5-star players they are getting 3-star guys and giving them great coaching. Certainly one of the most important talents of a head coach (and AD) is identifying great young coaching talent. Great mentors are judged by their assistants (RMK, Coach K, Belicheck) but these guys weren’t chopped liver to begin with.

  8. The majority of four star and just about 100% of the five star recruits don’t sign with losing programs. You’ll have to ignore or temporarily put aside how Wilson recruited at Oklahoma. Indiana has a huge chasm to cross before we can even consider competing against perennial powers on a consistent basis for those highly rated recruits. I know I’ll get some responses stating, “Oh yeah, what about Gunner Kiel?” Kiel is an exception because he is a local product, but other than a kid from Indiana, what highly rated recruit is seriously looking at IU? Wilson may have extended offers to four and five star recruits, but so have 20 other top programs.

    Wilson is going to turn the IU program around by recruiting 2, 3, and no star, under the radar kids and developing them through coaching. Winning gets as much notice by recruits as does losing. If a recruit sees improvement and promise he is more likely to take a more serious look at IU. If we continue to struggle things will continue on they way they have.

    My hope is that every recruit that commits to Wilson will develop to their fullest potential and that will translate into them playing winning football.

  9. The bottom line is as Lee Corso stated long ago…The team with the best players wins 80% of the time…..

  10. While that is very true there are coaches who have succeeded at every stop along the way, often turning weak programs into winners during their tenure. The trick is to find that kind of coach and put the team in the best possible position to win.

  11. Not sure the official number this year but it is somewhere between 300 and 400 prospects each year that are ranked 4 stars…there are 66 teams by my count in BCS conferences…it is impossible to grade an IU class based on lack of 4 stars because there are too many teams that can sell winning, tradition, etc which IU can’t do yet.

    Let Coach Wilson get his recruits and mold the team into a contender in a few years…recruiting success isn’t going to come overnight.

  12. Currently, you cannot grade coach Wilson other than so far he and his staff are doing a very very good job of recruiting. They have several early 3 star commits. It seems that they are trying to address the physical issue.

    However, I can grade the history of IU football recruiting. That grade is not good. When it all plays out over a period of time best players win an overwhelmingly large percentage of the time. Time after time over the years (even when IU had a winning record)there was just a physical match up problem both, for defense and offense.

  13. There are 293 4-star recruits per Rivals and 26 5-star recruits to be shared among 120 FBS teams. If all things were equal that would mean each team would sign approximately 3 (2.66, 319/120) 4-star or higher players. Considering that half those teams won’t receive a commitment from these type of players the indication is that most of these players will end up with programs who are in the top 40. This is why there isn’t much change year in and year out between the elites.

    Getting into the top 40 typically requires building a team of lower ranked players and developing them. And even after a team achieves that level of success do they routinely sign multiple 4-star or higher recruits. We are not at that level yet, and regardless of Wilson’s background expecting us to get a handful of 4-star recruits this year is unlikely. If we happen to land Gunner that would be great but I wouldn’t expect it to be a yearly occurrence, at least not at this early stage in the program rebuilding. It took both Iowa and Wisconsin four years before they started to land 4-star recruits on an annual basis.

    I’m hoping that Wilson will have a successful first season and get us to a bowl game. It is not impossible that we have a winning season, however it will require a great deal of things falling our way, like our defense and new quarterback playing out of their minds. Even if we fall short I am satisfied with the direction the program appears to be taking under Wilson, and know that we will eventually see the fruits of his labor.

  14. A winning season is definitely possible in 2011. But IU can’t lose against any of the powder puffs on the schedule.

    Is it my eternal optimism or is Wilson obtaining commitments from bigger players? I don’t mind 3-star O-linemen as long as they have the size to compete in the Big Ten. In years past, IU was just too small on both the O and D lines to compete with some of the Big Ten teams.

  15. Waiting for Twins, good argument all the way through. Podunker, size is important and speed (even in the bigger guys) just as much so. I also do not think we give enough importance to intelligence (football and situational intelligence run hand in hand). And, I’m not sure that I give precedence to any of the three as much as I’d like to see all these qualities present.

    Right now…my inclination is to assume Wilson is who he is because he is that good- and has always been so in his profession. That means I trust his instincts much more than mine.

  16. Tsao; I agree that players must have a healthy IQ. It certainly looks as if Bailey has the smarts as a 4.0 GPA student. In fact, I think the last three players to commit to IU all have GPA’s over 3.5. So we can’t complain about Wilson recruiting small or stupid players. It’s just more evidence that Wilson’s got his early recruiting pointed in the right direction.

    Does anyone have any idea when Gunner is going to declare? That would be a huge boost if he declared for IU.

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