Gutjahr first IU soccer commit for 2016

Jeremiah Gutjahr knows the Indiana University men’s soccer program well — really well. Born and raised in Bloomington, Gutjahr’s been attending IU games his whole life and known the IU coaching staff since he was 7.

He’s also long been good friends with Caleb Konstanski, the Bloomington South product who was a captain on the Hoosiers’ 2012 national championship team.

Rather than being a turn off, that intimate knowledge turned out to be exactly the reason Gutjahr recently became Indiana’s first verbal commitment for the class of 2016.

“I’ve known the coaches longer than the average recruit, going to soccer day camps and overnight camps,” the Bloomington North sophomore said. “I saw good times and bad times. I felt like there wasn’t anything they were hiding. I could see it all and who they were as people. I’m a big fan of all the coaching staff.”

Not that going to IU was by any means a slam dunk. Countering those personal connections to Indiana was his family’s connection to Stanford.

“My decision was always going to be between Stanford and IU,” Gutjahr said. “Both my parents went to Stanford, so I grew up being a Stanford fan, as well as an IU fan.”

But in the end, it was the honest dialogue between Gutjahr and Konstanski that helped swing the pendulum in the Hoosiers’ favor.

“I followed Caleb’s whole career and went to the national championship game,” Gutjahr said. “I was able to talk to Caleb a lot, and that was a big thing.

“I felt like (Indiana) could make me a better person, and (Caleb) said he became a better person through being in the program. That’s my main goal, to be a better person. I’m lucky to be playing more soccer, but that’s most important.”

On the field, Gutjahr is primarily a midfielder for the Indiana Fire Academy in Indianapolis, where he plays in lieu of the high school team for former IU soccer player Phil Presser.