Tallahassee safety Fields commits to Indiana

Brian Knorr has been in office as Indiana’s defensive coordinator for all of two days and he’s already helped Indiana land a recruit.

The Hoosiers had been after Tony Fields, a 5-foot-11, 209-pound safety from Godby High School in Tallahassee, Fla., for some time, and coach Ronnie Cottrell was impressed by how dedicated the coaching staff — head coach Kevin Wilson especially — had been in keeping constant contact with Fields and making every permissible visit, phone call and other communication. However, former defensive coordinator Doug Mallory had been one of the point men on Fields’ recruitment, doing what Cottrell called “a tremendous job,” in pursuing Fields, and it set the process back some when he was fired.

Knorr visited Fields Tuesday, however, and convinced him that he would not only fit his defense, but fit it better than he would the 4-3 defense that Mallory ran.

“Coach Knorr runs a 3-4 defense and that’s what we run here at Godby,” said Fields who transferred to Godby from North Florida Christian before this season. “One of the benefits of coming to Godby is that we run a very complicated defense. We disguise blitzes from all areas and do a lot of things that colleges are doing. That type of defense allows me to be a playmaker, use my instincts and make plays for this team.” 

Said Cottrell: “Most college coaches now utilize their safeties in the run game and bring them closer to the line. In the 3-4 package, the safeties are forced to be alley players, and that’s what Tony really does well. He’s an outstanding coverage back and he’s going to be a perfect coverage back for what Coach Knorr and the Indiana coaches do.”

Fields recorded 71 tackles — 42 solo — and four interceptions last season at Godby, helping the squad to a 10-2 record. Cottrell said he has the perfect athletic blend for a safety.

“He’s a very physical player, but he’s able to cover,” Cottrell said. “Tony weighs about 209 pounds and he’s gonna run 4.5 minimum (in the 40-yard dash) every time. He has a tremendous knack as far as for reading the play. That mostly comes from his preparation. He spends a lot of time really studying film and being prepared. He’s a consummate safety, helping to get guys lined up. He’s a very productive player he understands all aspects of what we’re trying to do and he understands the opponent.”

Fields had narrowed his choices to Indiana and Missouri and said Auburn, Texas Christian and South Florida had also been among his top schools. Rivals.com listed offers for him from Georgia Tech, Louisville, Michigan State, Mississippi, Mississippi State and North Carolina State among others. However, Indiana went after him hard and he said he felt a bond with both the coaches and the players.

“I knew in my heart it was where I wanted to go,” Fields said. “Me and the players had a great chemistry. I like the character of the players and the coaches. I think Indiana has something special going on. They have one of the best offenses in all of college football. The only thing holding them back is the defense and as a freshman I’m trying to help them out there and change the program around. They were the most consistent school in my recruitment and that showed from the beginning. You have to be able to trust schools and the trust becomes consistency and that eventually turns into love. It’s a great fit.”

Fields becomes the 22nd recruit in Indiana’s Class of 2014. National Signing Day is Feb. 5.


  1. Great job Coach Knorr! When you read this young man’s comments on recruiting and Indiana you see a very sharp mind at work. I can’t wait for him to be on campus. Welcome to B-Town Tony Fields! As I have said before you can NEVER have too many defensive recruits from FL!

  2. When you combine film study and off the field preparation with a 4.5 40 at 209 lbs, you have an opportunity to get on the field early. Allen, Murphy and possibly Flo Hardin are the only safeties with much experience. So this young man has a shot to see some meaningful snaps this fall. Welcome to Hoosier Nation Tony Fields, thanks for believing in CKW’s vision for our program. Go Hoosiers

  3. Sounds like an outstanding young man who will see the field early at IU. Our defense will be extremely young this fall, but the talent level continues to improve, and hopefully with Coach Knorr, we will see significant improvement. Tony seems to possess the physical and mental tools to compete immediately and I look forward to following him this season.
    Let’s hope Antonio Allen will be back to 100% by August and that Rashard Fant is putting on the necessary muscle/weight to play in the BIG. In time, we could have a pretty good secondary!

  4. Agree with these comments. I think our secondary will be improved particularly if A Allen gets healthy. However, the secondary will perform far better if our Dline play improves. Among the issues that hurt us this past season is that with very few exceptions, every offensive play we defended went to the second level.

  5. Tony Fields comes across as an exceptionally bright and articulate young man. I’m getting excited about this recruiting class.

  6. Two other points about this recruiting class:

    First, I doubt Tony Fields will play at over 200 pound next fall. Some sites have him weighing 185 pounds. At 5’11”, 209 pounds would be a bit heavy. My guess is he’s either not that heavy or will get trimmed down to about 195 come September.

    Secondly, I was reminded that six new recruits are already on campus and will participate in spring camp. I predict that’s going to spice up the competition and make for a much more competitive spring football camp. The QB from California is among those six recruits already in school. He’ll be the back-up to Nate and Tre which will be valuable for his development for the future.

  7. Football season is nine months away…

    A college football team has how many on a roster? On average, how many spots need filled/recruited every year?

    And to think we were eying a national championship in basketball over the past couple years…

    Now, in the heat of basketball season, we must read posting after posting of every young man that is considering one of the least winning college football programs in the history of division 1 football?

    I can only presume that all the passion for basketball is gone and the Establishment is more than delighted. Seth Davis working the Big 10 network smiling ear to ear as Hoosier fans get goosebumps over 3-star football recruits while dreams of hoops ever restored to its once elite days fades further and further into distant memories of complacency(and here we are only six games into the Big 10 season and hardly a hopeful basketball comment to be found..After getting out their frustrations on Hollowell and calling our offense the “worst in college basketball,” I guess the thirst has been satisfied).

    Wow…I think I’ve given up less on Crean and his pipeline players than those that have already grown cynical, bored, and silent. Sorta confirms what I always believed… The choice to bring in Crean never had anything to do with bringing winning basketball to Indiana. The silence and the obsessions over college football recruits in January speaks volumes…The complacency(other than the hating on a couple players and the cynical/snidely remarks at our sluggish and confused appearance in running any offensive sets) with substandard and uninspiring results only one year out from a season many believed defined our program’s solid and proven evidence to be “back.”

    “Because it’s Indiana,”…Tom Crean once proclaimed. Because in mid-January in the heart of basketball season and the maple echoes to a safety from Tallahassee. I wonder if “everything hinges” on Fields?

    What do you think, Dustin? We’re talking about a freshman safety in January instead of basketball…I tend to think Seth arrived for the viewing and Crean is the MSU guy turned mortician for candy stripes. Skybox seats coming to Assembly for the privileged to stare at banners three decades outside the last setting sun of elite consideration. When in couldn’t even happen with Cody and the “Movement,” it guess the last straw of hope broke the bridge. Bridge year, my a$$…

    Harvard has given up less on the pipeline than those that built it and sold how far more dangerous a basketball team we would become…Rather ironic.

  8. Harvard, chill out with a glass of wine or two. Tony Fields is a good get for IU football. Why make this a BB vs FB issue. I, for one, am glad Dustin covered this commitment. The Peegs site is loaded with articles about IU BB in the news stand section.

  9. I’m not into the pay sites…Hell, you can’t even view comments on the ITH page without a membership. Screw them….They’ll find out. As IU basketball fans become more complacent and the passion fades(in mid-January, no less), their greedy blogs and pollyannaish zombie crowd previously propping up their sites will waste away in same fashion.

    HT is wise to say abreast with football…It just saddens me that in the heart of basketball season(an chances still plenty alive to make a run at an NCAA berth)in a state that was once so proud of its unparalleled roots in the game, the passion for hoops has become so blasé.

    The only place there’s any interest is on the LiveChat…But it has nothing to do with wanting more and keeping the passion alive. It’s just a bunch of jokers trying to out-clever each other with cute remarks.

    The Establishment has won.

  10. Harvey, why did you have to come in and take a big dump on the floor in this thread? That was mean.

  11. I don’t bother with Harv’s posts much anymore ’cause they’re (lately) weird basketball diatribes- which is a shame ’cause his earlier work was often interesting and fun. Every artist has his dry periods, I guess.

  12. Well, I think it’s “mean” to ignore our basketball team simply because it’s off to a slow start while the Zellermania hope left for the NBA instead of bringing these pipeline young guns, undersized fiery point guard, blue collar Movement leftovers, and AZ transfer a shot in the butt and the lifetime memory of winning an NCAA championship.

    Zeller was “mean” to abandon Crean and home state school without a banner for three decades. And it’s even more “mean” to not still be fully on board with the kids that have proven their more “Indiana” at heart than some of former players that call the backyard of Bloomington their home.

    I’m liking the pipeline ballers…And it’s pissing me off that the shallow fan base has given up on their season and the Indiana “Movement” left to face unfair criticism and mockery. I mock those that came on the huge sales job and didn’t love Indiana enough to truly put it back where it belongs.

  13. H4H, have you ever just considered Dustin is just doing his job and keeping us posted as all news comes in…in all IU sports?

    Thanks for the info, Dustin!

  14. And one more thing…I would immediately stop recruiting the Indiana kids that play for Adams and Indiana Elite. J

    I’m ready for Crean to stick it to the homers…Start recruiting Chicagoland and stay with the East Coast pipeline. Start hitting California more as well. Take some hard looks down South..Texas is producing a lot of talent..Alabama(home of DJ White) is worth serious looks…He should have never put his faith in Zeller..nor been a puppet on a string to the middle-Indiana homers(Dakich) that would have labeled Crean a failure if he hadn’t appeased the meddlers wishes(the same insiders that forced him into recruiting Adams’ A-Hope projects)that have left our bench substandard. Now Dakich does nothing butt mock our team on ESPN.

  15. And I loved how Troy Williams shut Dakich’s big mouth shut…when only seconds after Dakich was telling a national audience that he couldn’t shoot the ball, Troy buried a beautiful 20-ft jumper outside the right elbow.

    So, yes…I’m frustrated. Get behind this basketball team. I may not like everything about Crean, but I’m starting to feel we’re being very small by abandoning our faith in young men that believed in their coach and believed in Indiana.

  16. If anyone couldn’t shoot the ball, it was Dan Dakich. The only thing he can shoot is his mouth. He wants Indiana to fail..He feeds off of it because he was rejected to be the head coach. Grow up and get over it, Dakich.

  17. Wow…Fields has potential to be one awesome and intimidating SS! Now let’s get Nilijah Ballew at FS and the secondary has the potential to be a force for years to come.

  18. Harvard-I understand what you are saying. But this isn’t 1976. Because of football’s enormous growth, and money has been spent to upgrade IU’s FB program, it only makes sense that we can talk about it all year long now.

    The hoops team is so average right now, that chatter is quiet. What’s there to talk about? The team is so inconsistent it’s tough to get behind players whose growth should have reared its head by now.

    When the FB program is getting four star recruits, that gets everyone’s attention and wanting to see what’s next. I’m not sure what’s so wrong with that.

    Yeah, the luster has worn off the hoops team. It’s hard to believe we’re coming up on the 30th anny of the last Nat. Champ. but most people still have passion for the basketball program. There are just other things occupying our time.

  19. And as far as Dakich goes, yeah he can be World’s Largest Freestanding A$$, but he speaks the truth. Troy Williams hit a jumper that changed the course of his season? Williams has been a no-show the B1G season. I don’t need DD to tell me that, and it’s ok to bang on players when they have enormous potential like him but show no growth.

    If you listen to his radio show, when the Hoosiers are rolling, he is their biggest cheerleader, so your claim that he wants them to fail is completely false.

    In recalling the events that led to his demise in coaching the Hoosiers, he has a beef in my opinion and he brings it up in relevant situations. We don’t know exactly what happened then but there are a lot of things I learned about those idiots that gave up on that team. He was in a no-win scenario. And only Jim Kirk can get out of a no-win scenario.

  20. No one can hijack and ruin a string like Harvard.

    Most people can walk and chew gum at the same time. Most sports fans have the capacity to follow and discuss more than one sport at the same time too. Thank goodness their are still IU fans that care about football, even nine months before the next season begins.

    Oh, and don’t we pay attention to IU’s basketball recruiting news even when it’s not basketball season?

  21. Yeah, you care about it so much that we have to never stop with the “shame on us” routine. And then we hear of your cute make believe friends that say things like…”Football? Indiana has a football team?”

    Why didn’t you tell that jerk to shame on all the other Big 10 schools that never win football or basketball championships.

    The best of the Big 10 rarely go to Rose Bowls without getting a major thrashing….And Penn State? What wonderful luster they gave off for one of the finest programs for decades…? I think they took down some statues?

    We fired our basketball coach for ‘zero tolerance’ in grabbing some disrespectful dweeb’s soft arm. But know we so desperately want the bad man back to shake Mr. Puritan’s gentle and forgiving hand. Wow…the horrors of Bobby Knight. Yeah, I don’t think we need to be burying our football heads in the sandbox of shame for being a little distracted while our basketball team was kicking the a$$ of every school in the Midwest for 20 years. Bobby kicked a few shins in his day…At least he didn’t bring children into locker rooms.

    Let your friend throw his “shame” and “who has a football team” on those despicable animals.

    Our banners are not tainted nor is our football program.

    Giving up on our basketball season already? Only 1/3 into the Big 10 season? Wow, it is no exaggeration…Establishment has won.

  22. PO and H4H- please quit egging each other on. I takes two to tango. Believe it or not, all you basketball posters here, some people really don’t care for the game. I’m glad when IU does well in any endeavor and saddened when it doesn’t, but I don’t follow the IUBB team (or any other), so kindly post hoop stuff where it belongs. Thanks, everybody. And its only about 6.5 months to two-a-days!

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