IU coaches discuss 2015 signing class

Indiana assistants joined Greg Murray for a special Signing Day show on BTN this morning, discussing this year’s incoming class and what they like about each of the 24 players who have currently signed for 2015.

A brief — and partially abbreviated — transcript follows:

Cornerbacks coach Brandon Shelby
Shelby on Andre Brown: “Andre makes you really excited. He does a great job being physical in the run. In this class we did a great job of being bigger and more physical and, in this league, that’s what you have to do. You have to defend the run and stop the pass.”

Shelby on Jameel Cook: “He comes from great stock. His dad played in the Big Ten and he grew up knowing what type of league this is.”

Shelby on Jonathan Crawford: “We’ve done a great job of going down south and getting some speed and athletic ability. Jonathan has a big frame at 6-foot-2, 185. He is a receiver as well, so he has great hand-eye coordination but he can also get in the box. He’s physical and I’m excited about what he can do helping us in the secondary.”

Shelby on Tyler Green: “He plays a little corner and what we tried to do is get long guys. He has a bigger frame. We can go man-to-man, but also blitz and be physical and make plays on the run.”

Offensive coordinator/ receivers coach Kevin Johns
Johns on Austin Dorris: “He’s a really tremendous athlete, a young man that we had in camp going into his final season. It’s really about the weight and strength we’ll put on his frame. He played quarterback (in high school) simply because he was the best athlete.”

Johns on Donavan Hale: “He’s a true dual threat quarterback. We’ll bring him in and start at quarterback. You watch the highlights and he can do a lot of things with the ball in his hands. We’re excited about his frame and size. He can do a lot of things for us.”

Johns on Isaac James: “He was a top five player in this state. He played quarterback, wide receiver, running back and played DB. He was a return guy, so he can really do it all.”

Johns on Austin King: “He’s a true pocket, drop-back, pocket-passing quarterback. We’ve been recruiting him a long time and we’re excited about his leadership ability. He’s a young man we’ll feed as much as we can to him early and see what he can handle.”

Johns on Mike Majette: “He’s a lot like Isaac. He does a lot of things his program. I think he’s a very smooth athlete. He transitions really well with a tremendous change of direction — all those things you want.”

Johns on Camion Patrick: “He’s a JUCO player, so he’ll be a couple years older. … He’s able to separate on long routes and we’re excited about his ability to come in and compete for us.”

Johns on Leon Thornton: “I think he adds extreme explosiveness. He catches the ball well and he’s a young man I had a chance to watch in the springtime run routes. I knew at that time we had to get him on our team.”

Johns on Nick Westbrook: “He’s probably as long and explosive as anyone we’re bringing in this year. I think he has a frame to add a lot of muscle and weight, and I think the sky is the limit for Nick.”

Linebackers coach William Inge
Inge on Reakwon Jones: “Something I was excited about was that he benched pressed 400 pounds, so we know that he’s strong. He also has the speed to do things we know he can do in space.”

Inge on Omari Stringer: “Thinking about the big build, he was more of a safety so we’re really looking forward to having him on the edge and in space at the linebacker position.”

Running backs coach Deland McCullough
McCullough on Devonte Williams: “You can expect versatility and explosion. His productivity is amazing. This year he played more of a spread to show his various traits and offensive threats. Great return guy, great kid. He’s got a chip on his shoulder and I’m excited to see him meld into our offense and make some big plays.”

McCullough on Marqui Hawkins: “Marqui is coming in to show what he can do. Big bodied kid, big strong possession type. He’s really working hard to blend in and do what he needs to do.”

McCullough on Jordan Howard: “He’s gonna be a great fit. He had the second-most carries in the country last year. He has a true tough guy mentality that fits perfectly in our room. He’s experienced and savvy playing in big games against SEC opponents.”

Defensive line coach Larry McDaniel
McDaniel on Joe Belden: “We were fortunate. We had Joe come down for our camp. We can’t speak enough about what camp evaluation does for young men. Joe’s not the biggest guy, but what we saw in camp is that he’s a guy that plays with an extremely high motor.”

McDaniel on Jacob Robinson: “He’s a versatile player, a guy that can play our four, possibly our five and he may be big enough to play our three. He’s another hard-nosed football player from in-state. He’s a blue collar kid that works hard.”

McDaniel on Brandon Wilson: “What Brandon gives us is that pass rush. He’s a guy that’s athletic enough (and) one of those guys that, when you watch him on tape, he’s long, lean and bends well. All those things you look for when you look for a defensive lineman.”

Offensive line coach Greg Frey
Frey on Brandon Knight: “He’s a special kid and he comes from a special family. To me, Brandon is an undervalued recruit. He’s a pretty good offensive tackle.”

Frey on Hunter Littlejohn: “With Hunter, we’re getting an athletic guy — a kid that probably grew up as more of a baseball player then grew into an offensive lineman. He projects at the guard or center positions. Very physical. I think he’s a 365 bencher right now. He’s a kid that fits well inside what we’re trying to do.”

Frey on DaVondre Love: “DaVondre was a guy during the season we watched develop and he played inside. He’s gonna project at tackle for us. He moves really well and is a kid that has a good development and work ethic from getting around and being around him. He’s a great person. We’re really excited about him.”

Frey on Simon Stepaniak: “He’s a great, great, great get. He reminds me a lot of Dan Feeney, who’s on our current roster. Same style, same build, same temperament.”


  1. I’m disappointed in the coverage dedicated to this year’s football recruiting class by the BHT and The Hoosier Scoop. Compared to other publications located in major university towns, TBHT’s coverage seems weak/sparse and gives credence to the argument that TBHT’s coverage, or lack of it, contributes to the Hoosier Nation’s general malaise about IU’s football program. Then again, with only a few people posting comments on the few stories published in the Scoop, maybe the brain trust at TBHT realizes it would be a wasted effort. Given that this recruiting class has apparently been rated higher (relative to the Big Ten Conference) than almost any class in recent history, you’d think we’d have seen more stories in TBHT as to why that is the case, what makes it better than past classes, and why, after numerous consecutive losing seasons, Wilson and staff are apparently gaining momentum. Referring to and attaching stories published in other newspapers is nice, but I suggest that TBHT should be leading the charge, not following the pack. Would a highly successful IU football program be a good thing for TBHT? Would it be good for Bloomington, IN? Would it be a good thing for the Monroe County economy? Hello? Anybody there?

  2. i agree with you Podunker!!! more coverage would be nice!! an yes this is a great recruiting class….filled with a lot of good athletic…..considering where Coach Wilson and IU where at the beginning of signing day. Indiana made some major strides…for a change we have recruiting classes that are not the bottom of the Big 10….we are trending in the right direction….three recruiting classes near the middle of the Big 10….now just like Coach Wilson said if these recruits provide the foundation for more Wins.or provide the foundation for this program to compete in the future provide Indiana with 7. 8 and 9 win season…….yes, i know a 9 win season in football at Indiana in football is a big dream!!!! but Coach Wilson gives me that dream with his recruiting and this team!!!

  3. I agree! FB coaching staff has done a great job of selling the program and getting quality athletes to come to IU. The relative ranking of the class is less important than the consensus that our recruits no longer rank dead last! Have always said that our primary issue has been talent and now we are bridging that gap and I agree that this accomplishment demands far more recognition from the media.

  4. Can’t think what else can be said of this recruiting year that has not been said. The overall picture of the class as a fine class is established, how it fits into Indiana’s needs is made clear, the individual achievements of each recruit couldn’t be noted any further without stepping into hype bordering on b.s., Any more and it becomes publicity/marketing.

    While I’m a hopeful fan, this is exactly where those who understand what this is about say, ‘there’s the practice, let’s see what you got’. Hard to understand for some, but perhaps they are the nightmare tge Hoosiers have faced for 30+ years. Time to shut up and play football.

  5. Since moving to Tennessee (Knoxville) I have read articles about the Vols about 3 times a week..Since signing day I think today the 15th is the first day that nothing has appeared in the paper. That is one of the many reasons that football is the in thing here.. It would be nice to read at the very least one article on IU football a week..Come on guys. .One note to all .Dustin fans ,he seems to be doing well down here great stories..

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