IU football adds lineman Nate Hoff to 2013 recruiting class

Indiana football hosts Navy this fall and will include a freshman lineman who ultimately opted to be a Hoosier rather than a Midshipman.

Nate Hoff, a Solon (Ohio) High School graduate who attended the Naval Academy Preparatory School in Rhode Island this year, will matriculate at IU this fall with four full years of eligibility. A four-year starter at Solon who played in the Ohio North-South Classic all-star game, the 6-foot-2, 320-pound Hoff was also a wrestling standout and excels in the weight room.

Hoff is eligible to play right away, has five years to play four college seasons,  and can play on either side of the line. He recorded 24 tackles-for-loss as a Sol0n senior defensive tackle and, at offensive guard, blocked at an 84 percent efficiency rate with 77 pancakes. He also recorded 21 TFLs as a junior. Hoosier graduate assistant Ryan Stanchek coached Hoff in 2010.

As a Solon junior, Hoff finished fifth in the heavyweight division at the Ohio state championships. He also lettered in track. In the weight room, he sports a bench press of 475 pounds and a squat of 600.



  1. Andy, does he have to sit out this fall or is he immediately eligible to play?

  2. Millport:

    He is immediately eligible and has five years to play four college seasons. It’s the same sort of situation as when basketball recruits attend prep school for a year.

  3. Millport: Thanks for asking that. I’ve edited the post to include the eligibility info, and also have added his weight room numbers, which are impressive.

  4. Welcome to IU, Nate! You made a good choice to play for IU and Coach Wilson. i’ll be looking forward to your play on the line.

  5. A 320 pound man with a 475 pound bench press and a 600 pound squat. Wow! Given his size and strength, my guess is that Nate will get some playing time in his first season at IU. The only question is, on which side of the line?

  6. Great news! So looking forward to watching our football team this year. They are so close to being a winner.

  7. Freakish numbers. I thought I was hot stuff in high school putting up half that weight. The fact that he was a standout wrestler probably also means he has some quickness and agility to go with that brute strength. And the Naval Academy Prep indicates he’s got integrity and discipline. Looks like we’ve got ourselves another winner. Exciting.

  8. PO, I do believe this is the kind of size you’ve calling for at IU FB. I think he is that guard needed for the running game.

  9. Just adding a bit of trivia. In 1999 Rob Riti a Senior center for the Missouri Tigers football team successfully squatted 1000 lb. in off season conditioning. He also ran a 4.8 40. In a combined 3 lift combo he hefted 1900 lb. with the squat, power clean and the bench. A mans man.

  10. HC, there was a kid named Shane Moat that played nose tackle for Bloomington South from the class of ’98. He had some pretty freakish weight room numbers himself, was named Indiana Mr Football, and oh by the way also ran on South’s state-qualifying 4×100 meter relay team in track. (Nice guy, too.) Even though he was a tackling machine in HS, I don’t know that he ever made the field at IU because they said he was just too small for NT. I never understood why they didn’t try to transition him to LB where his size would be mitigated and speed maximized. Maybe they just didn’t believe his skills would ever translate well to the college game. Maybe Cam Cameron was just a dunce. Let’s hope this Indiana coaching staff can better utilize a kid with what seems to be similar physical gifts despite being a little shorter than the prototypical lineman. I have a feeling they will.

  11. HC, how old was Rob Riti when he achieved those weights? My guess is that Nate Hoff is 19 or 20. And typically, at that age, a man is no where near his full potential for physical strength.

    One of my best friends, born of eastern european heritage, is the strongest man, pound for pound that I’ve ever known. In his early 20’s, standing 5’9″ and weighing 150 pounds, I witnessed him bench press 355 pounds at the end of his “pyramid” workout. Other friends of ours had witnessed him lift more weight, but not having been there to see it in person, I won’t repeat those claims. It amazed me that a man of his size could lift that kind of weight, especially at the end of his bench workout. And for the record, my friend was drug free, never having used steroids or any other performance enhancing drugs. He also was the fasted person in our High School, hand timed on several occasions running a 4.5 – 40.

  12. That would be fastest person, not “fasted.”

    HC, I watched some highlight tape of Nate Hoff from last year. He played right guard and had numerous pancake blocks. He just moved guys around like they were on ice-skates. He also seemed to do a good job in pass-protection, and just absorbed the defender’s rush. He seems to have good feet for such a big man.

    I also notice that during his senior year in High School, he was listed at 285 pounds. Less that two years later, weighing 320, it appears he will arrive on campus as a physically mature “freshman.” Looks like Wilson picked up another quality player.

  13. Rob Riti was a 4th or maybe 5th year Senior, so when he achieved the 1000# lift it would have been in the off season before his last year on the field. The off season before he lifted a max of 900.
    Yes Coach Wilson and staff are showing improvement through success for IU in recruiting. They clearly judge talent without wish full thinking.

  14. Punjab, this kid is 6’2″ (if an honest measure). That would be ok heighth (nothing great, nothing bad). If he was this much taller ______

    ______ it is considered ‘good’ size. If he was

    this much taller ___________

    _____________, he be considered almost ‘tallish’ for guard. IMO, more important is the space between the ground and his crotch area since it determines his center of gravity, a critical variable especially for a blocker, his lift power and for quickness in blocking movement. The fact that he ‘lifts’ that efficiently would suggest that at 6’2″ he’s probably a combination of all these variables. (Many top pro scouts do measure that space ‘crotch>ground/ butt>ground’ and give it importance in their evaluations. From comments I’ve read from CKW (he’s mentioned it in several comments), he also looks for a low butt level in his linemen. It’s also important for linebackers and defensive backs, positions where turning the body while still facing the play is critical.

    I also like the fact that he was offered the opportunity to attend the Naval Academy Prep School. Suggests good character and they seldom recruit academic risks. They also pay attention to times in longer runs and overall physical fitness. There is a possibility that he may have overgrown their measurements (but not as in getting ‘fat’) for a naval or marine officer. He’ll be a fine linesman in the B1G I suspect.

    Wilson just seems to have a great vision of the tpe of people he wants on his teams.

  15. Tsao, really good comments in #17. But our discussion presumes he’ll play guard on offense. I’m wondering, based on need and the depth of IU’s respective lines, if Wilson might have him play defense, at least his first year. Could you see Hoff playing nose tackle? Is he too tall for that position? If not, given his weight and strength, he could really clog up the middle against the run. Ad another ten pounds by September (easily achieved for a man his size), and IU could have itself a formidable run stopper in the middle of their defense. As you know, that is often determined, in part, by the player’s personality.

  16. Sorry, Po. I didn’t elaborate very well. While being “only” 6’2 makes you slightly shorter than the prototypical O-lineman, weighing 300+ with the strength to bench press a Buick still makes you a behemoth in my book. It wasn’t intended to be an indictment of his size, only that I hope height doesn’t get him pigeonholed into (or out of) any particular position. If he can block, let him block. If he can stuff runs, let him stuff. This coaching staff seems competent enough to use players where they’re most valuable and effective, not where their measurements say they should be. Great point about…uhh… crotch height, though. Makes perfect sense. I just wasn’t aware that was even a consideration.

  17. (Meant to say “Sorry Tsau.” But Po might also be on to something with the nose tackle suggestion.)

  18. Podunker, Punjab…I agree with both of you and Punab’s point that CKW and staff seem to closely look at the variable and move their pieces to fit those attributes. It may be offensively or defensively, guard or tackle. I was just merely trying to make the point that with these attributes he seems to be what CKW is looking for, a football player.

    I also very, very much agree that CKW and staff do seem very competent and, I trust, able to find the round hole for round pegs, etc… Every time I read Wilson, seems as if I’m finding a jewel of a thought/statement full of wisdom and content. Basically, I trust his coaching and let my mind move on to how we make him want to stay here to establish a successful program and his career as a Hoosier. I think that is doable, but we should be ready to make it happen.

  19. From the mouth of Coach Wilson last night at the Fort Wayne Tailgate Tour. They may trim down the size of Nate Hoff and consider him a DL as he believes he has enough interior offensive linemen.

  20. HC, I’m not sure why they’d want to trim him down from 320 to play defensive line. Did Wilson make a reference as to why that might be necessary? Any thoughts? Obviously, I’m missing something. But at 6’2″ and given his experience on defense, he looks like a nose tackle. If that is so, you’d want him heavier, not lighter, so that he’d be able to clog up the middle and “protect” the linebackers. A 330 pound nose tackle is bigger than most centers and is a real load in college football!

    Aside from a dynamic offense, the biggest change we’re seeing from Wilson, relative to his predecessors at IU, is the size of IU’s players. We still have a ways to go before we’ll challenge Wisconsin, especially on the offensive line, but Wilson’s staff has made enormous progress. I will be excited to see how much bigger some of the players have gotten since last year.

  21. Podunker, I’m just curious about your perception of ‘big’. Under any circumstances I consider 6’2″,320 lbs. not just bi9g, but ‘fat’ and really don’t see the point of having him carry the extra ‘fat’ weight that does not add to his strength, speed, quickness or agility.

    When Wilson first arrived at IU, oe of the first things he did was to really go on a program to trim (I assume he was trimming fat) his players to later rebuild them with muscle weight. Watching them last year, I was impressed with the ‘lean’ look of the 250+ players. And, as I recall, Wilson always spoke, with some frequency and very adamantly about their need to ‘trim’, ‘loose baby fat’ and ‘add muscle strength’, which he set about doing. Intuitively (to me), it made sense

    Maybe I’m missing something, but I fail to see what an extra 50-70 lbs of ‘fat’ weight (I have no problem with net muscle gain weight) can possibly contribute to a football player and can think of all kinds of negatives (including, and in particular, to his long- and short- term health). And, it seems to me that fat is simply like loading the player with 50-70 lbs in bags of sand and ask him to carry them around while he tries to play football.

    I’d really like to know the basis and logic of your argument Podunker (as I said, perhaps I’m missing something). I’m not talking about giving away 70+ lbs to Wisconsin, but I’m not obsessing and indeed feel it is to our advantage if we are ‘big and quick’, which is my belief is what the pros look for in their talent search for.

    BTW, the Bears signed a Wisconsin lineman, Babe Carimi, as their first choice 2-3 years ago. Carimi fit what (perhaps wrongly) I see as your description of ‘Wisconsin size’. I was partially conscious of him because, at the time, you and I were already having this discussion…so I followed him with some interest. His first year he got injured (in pre-season I believe)and didn’t play at all. His second year (after much hype as to how he would be the key to the Bear offensive line problems at either off. guard or tackle), he got another boo-boo and was mostly useless. In fact, if I recall correctly, some second string someone just emerged and beat him out and sent him home to spend his bonus on pizza. This yer, when the Bears called for their ‘voluntary off-season practices’ a couple of weeks ago, for the first time since I can remember, ‘Baby Fat’ Carimi declined to come and announced ‘he was working out on his own in Arizona’. (I suspect the pizza delivery guy in Phoenix is getting much more of a workout than ‘Babyfat’ Carimi. Of course, fans here, …the City of the Big Shoulder, want to throw him in the middle of our sewer works. Which takes me to the last point. I’ve always considered fat people as self-indulgent and believe there is a strong correlation between ‘fat’, self-indulgence and failure. I would suspect that Wilson’s vision has little room for big, ‘fat’ players.

    Please take this as an earnest effort to understand your view and have it as a friend’s disagreement. I may learn something.

  22. One side comment Podunker. When I first heard of this kid and saw his ‘vitals’, I immediately thought the reason he was leaving the USNA Prep School and foregoing attending Annapolis was that I saw no way he could meet their physical standards and the demands that he meet the physical rigors of being a Midshipman (though not West Point, they are still demanding). Not saying this was it, I don’t know with certainty…One thing’s for sure, they weren’t thinking of Hoff for the Submarine Service.

  23. I’ve always considered fat people as self-indulgent and believe there is a strong correlation between ‘fat’, self-indulgence and failure. I would suspect that Wilson’s vision has little room for big, ‘fat’ players.

    That seems rather cruel. They fatten up some of these young men up like prize pigs at the county fair.

  24. Fridge, it’s not cruel by intent but probably an overreaching observation. Certainly aware it is not universal, and that’s why I wrote ‘a strong correlation’. I have found it to be true more often than not.

  25. Po, I consider many of the Wisky lineman as having that too heavy look. I think maybe Coach Wilson probably considers Hoff is 11 pounds too fat or maybe only 4 or possibly 16. I think I read he was 289 as a HS Senior and now is 320 after prep school. Sounds to me like too many malts, pizza and Big Macs. No doubt after a Summer at the IU training table along with conditioning and training at the BiG level he will become leaner and stronger. Also the nose tackle references may be a tad off as IU’s 4-3 D puts at least 1 of the D tackles in a standard 3 technique position between the center and the guard and usually the 2nd also. Now no doubt with a strong DT candidate stunts and blitzes could position him at nose tackle. Even though I like the looks of Green, Latham and Todd I will take a flyer and say Hoff is going to be an IU stud in the B1G.

    TTG, I read somewhere NH went to a service academy because of his families strong military background but after attending their prep school he did not feel the career path ahead of him was what he really wanted. Sounds as if he is also a clear thinker on concerning matters.

  26. Tsau, there was recently a lieutenant here at Scott AFB who was an AF Academy grad and good enough lineman to make the Denver Broncos roster. While awaiting word on whether he would be officially released from his commission to join the NFL– I believe he was ultimately released from active duty and put on Guard or Reseve status– he had to balance maintaining strict AF fitness standards while also remaining bulky enough to to make the grade as a potential NFL lineman. His vitals were something along the line of 6″6, 305 lbs. Although he had an extra 4 inches to distribute all that weight, that’s not an easy frame to maintain when your max abdominal circumference can’t exceed 39 inches. Takes a lot of discipline and dedication. He’s probably more the exceltion than the rule, but it can and has been done.

  27. Punjab, I used to go through Scott quite a bit. With the MAC located there, back in the day, if you could get a hop to Belleville and you had a green military ID, you could fly just about anywhere in the world for free. Sometimes getting back in time proved to be a challenge.

  28. I would fly out of Norton AFB. This was during Nam and I can’t remember any flight I took from Norton to Wright Patterson AFB actually landing at Wright Patterson. Landed in Nebraska, NJ, Texas and Alabama. Did lot of hitchhiking. But the price was right.

  29. To make my comment completely clear. Podunker and I have had a long discussion (and respectful and friendly) on the issue of “Big”. He gives it a lot of importance; I think it is a variable but not as much as Podunker does. And, I have no real idea beyond the intuitive. Much of my position has been influenced by close friends who are (or were) coaches at the major college level or in the pros. I get the idea that at nearly every position they prefer quickness and speed (two entirely separate criteria) to size- though then they will smile and say they would prefer to have a 6’6″ behemoth who weights 347lbs and runs a 40 in 4.3 seconds.

    I think Clarion’s take is perhaps the closest to accurate. Hoff may be carrying extra pounds and Coach Wilson will likely ‘restructure’ their deployment which is why we pay CKW the big money. But, I honestly have no idea what Hoff may look like now, beyond a guess.

    Absolutely nothing wrong with what he is bringing in. A very good potential now in the hand of very capable coaches. And, a prospect with a most impressive background. In my opinion, anyone invited to one of the Academy prep schools is likely of great character, has solid academic credentials (which, in some cases need to be polished since the Academies are so demanding and rigorous) and someone who has given evidence of strong leadership skills.

    HC’s likely scenario, that Hoff may have considered the Academies and simply military life was not for him (having lived examples of this at the USN Prep School (I believe it is in Newport, Rhode Island). That seems a well-informed and thought-out decision that other great candidates make each year as well. I also think that experience is a strong predictor that Hoff has a lot going for him, besides athletic skill, weight and talent.

  30. Punjab, yeahh…after reading your comment I searched out and got the Navy roster from last year and saw they had between 5-10 players over 285, perhaps 3-4 over 300 lbs). Expect it is a challenge to carry that weight and meet strict service academy standards. Thanks.

  31. Chet and Ron, once all the kids are out of diapers and the wife is comfortable enough sending them to grandma’s for a week or two, (if we’re still here, of course) we plan on finally utilizing those hops and head west to the Pacific or east back to Europe– whichever is available. It’s a phenomenal benefit that we haven’t been able to take full advantage of yet. But it’s in the works. In the meantime, Scott’s a great spot to be stationed. I’ve been all over the world– and enjoyed every minute of it– but the Midwest is still home.

  32. I know a pretty fair amount about physiology and performance coming from different directions (academically, personally, as a parent and coach) and my opinions, I have found, often run contrary to the prevailing wisdom.

    For example, I NEVER let my kids cut weight in wrestling, even in college, and they were rarely beaten by wrestler who did. My son who went the farthest in the sport probably suffered more from adequate practice competition as he was at a small program. He may have done as well as he did BECAUSE the competition cut weight. At the end of the day I have no way of knowing.

    I have always been in Tsao’s camp as far as the performance of big men. If they can lift as much (or more) while carrying a few less pounds surely they could perform better. They will definitely live longer. Speed, quickness, agility, etc., I have always thought would be improved by the lighter weight.

    Of course, you will ways have force = weight X velocity, or whatever, to contend with.

    That all being said, it seems that virtually no one in the upper echelons of coaching and training for college and professional football share that view. Now, you have outliers, players who simply are too heavy to adequately function at their weight and EVERYONE feel they need to lose weight. But those big bellied guys we see on Sundays, for the most part, are right where their coaches want them to be.

    I’ve read stories of linemen losing weight, against their orders, because their personal physicians told them that they were on a dead end road toward diabetes (personal note, it irritates to snot out of me when some larda$$ says “I’m overweight because I’m diabetic”. You become diabetic because you’re overweight, not the other way around.).

    So, while I tend to agree with Tsao and my knowledge of the physiological aspects are also in that camp, the guys that do this stuff for a living seem to be in agreement that what WE think of as fat is not what THEY think of as fat.

    Maybe we’ll have a big time coach decide to go off in the other direction. It would certainly help those guys live longer.

  33. Chet, I don’t think I disagree one bit with your comment. And surely pro and college teams have both medical and physical training staffs (as well as dietitians)trained to deal with these issues and accountable for the well being of a player.

    I do question a criteria based on bigger-biggest that falls outside sound heigth/weight tables. Since these are based on empirical ‘medians’ we are looking at a range. But, even then what is good health practice should licensed and certified to give their opinions and not on some vague definition by those whose interest lies on game performance and not the longer range interest of the individuals physical health. Basically, exactly what you implied with your parental supervision of your son’s health.

    I had a friend who was a wrestling coach at Miami of Ohio. He used to tell some hardly believable but all-too-true anecdotes of competitive wrestlers cutting from an already trim 154 to wrestle at 105, 112 etc. They self starved, spent hours in sweat rooms, took excess laxatives two hours before weigh-in, were forced to regurgitate and all the ridiculous stories you probably know more about than I do. It’s ridiculous; no different than parents who give their kids growth hormones (I’ve seen it happen in more than one case), have them lifting weights before their growth plates close or encourage other types of steroid use.

    I have no problem with Podunker’s wanting to field a ‘bigger’ as long as we do so within reason. Wisconsin’s practice may be successful- out of convenience- in the short run, but I can not see where allowing 19 and 20 year-olds to be 40-50 lbs over good health standard recommended weight is of benefit to them individually and socially. I’m merely calling attention to the fact that there are absolute limits all predicated on the individual athlete’s well-being.

    Great you had the strength to teach your kids how to say ‘no!’

  34. Chet, just after I wrote the above, I saw (agagin) the commercial on television of the 4-5 8 year-old or so seated around a kid’s table with a grown up announcer and he asks: “Is faster always better” (or is ‘bigger better’, or is ‘more better than less’) and the kids explain. Made me think of us all still sitting around a little 2nd. grade table sitting around debating. It was funny. The little blonde girl explaining ‘more, more, more!!!)

  35. Punjab…meant to add this yesterday ref. your vacations. Most of the armed forces services have ‘guest houses'(for temporary assignments) on their bases that they will rent out to service members (of all services)when not in use. A great, great way to have vacations for the entire family (these houses often have 3 bedrooms and complete facilities) all over the U.S. We vacationed in Key West (twice), staying at the Naval Base there; Hawaii, San Diego, Colorado and the Carolina shore.

    You have to plan ahead (we usually tried to sign up a year ahead) and we used it for family gatherings. (Key West is perfect because you can simply take bikes with you and never need the car). Anyway…good luck with the diapers, etc…but, not to worry, another 16-17 years and you’ll reclaim your life.

    And this Memorial Day, a huge, HUGE thanks to you and your family (and you too Chet and family for your past service) and all your friends for your service. You truly are the best America has. God Bless!

Comments are closed.