Hoosiers add JUCO tight end Ian Thomas #iufb

Indiana landed its second junior college transfer in as many days Tuesday, taking a commitment from Nassau (N.Y.) Community College tight end Ian Thomas.

Thomas is considered a three-star prospect in the 247 Sports Composite rankings, and also lists offers from Idaho, Middle Tennessee State, New Mexico, South Alabama and Temple. The 6-foot-5, 225-pound Baltimore native joins IU’s program just as the Hoosiers graduate senior tight ends Anthony Corsaro and Michael Cooper. Next year, Thomas is expected to be in the mix at the postion with Jordan Fuchs, Danny Friend, and Austin Dorris.

In addition to attending Tuesday morning’s Pinstripe Bowl press conference at Yankee Stadium, Wilson apparently visited Thomas at his school. In announcing his commitment to the Hoosiers, Thomas tweeted a picture of himself with the IU coach. His verbal pledge to the Hoosiers comes one day after IU secured a commitment from three-star Cisco (Texas) College quarterback Richard Lagow.

In eight games this season, Thomas caught 23 passes for for 433 yards and three touchdowns. He finished fourth in the Northeast Football Conference with 54.1 receiving yards per game, and led the league with 18.8 yards per catch.

Thomas is one of four tight ends the Hoosiers have reportedly pursued during the current recruiting cycle. Indiana has also targeted three-star Missouri native Chase Allen, three-star University of Missouri commit Albert Okwuegbunam and and three-star Georgia prospect Robert Tucker.

According to Rivals.com, Thomas also lists interest from Illinois, Iowa State, Syracuse, Central Florida, Virginia Tech and West Virginia.

Indiana now has 11 players in its 2016 recruiting class, including three junior college transfers. By National Signing Day in early February, Indiana’s current class is expected to include upwards of 20 players.

17 comments

  1. Great pick up for the Hoosiers Football team!!! Seems we beat out some Good schools for Mr.Thomas, like to see them add a good Running Back to the class!!!

  2. Good getCongrats CKW and staff. Adding more depth & competition to a very important position in the form of young Mr. Thomas. Continue building this program the right way. GO HOOSIERS!!! #BOOM

    p.s.
    AD Glass that’s two BOOMs in two days, You’d better ink CKW while he’s relatively affordable.

  3. Steve, IU already has a very good RB committed Cole Gest which could be the reason Flakes decommitted after having visit he called tremendous.

    So far IU has filled areas that need help QB, DE, 2 DBs [one from juco], TE, etc with more big time recruits looking at IU. One of MN’ OL recruits looking at committing to IU along with a big OL from Texas [both players are 6’8″ now so we will have to wait and see. We should have an outstanding receiving corps with good depth next year so I am looking forward to seeing a couple DL signed this year. We have good experienced depth at LB plus the secondary gained a lot of experience but will be boosted with players that missed all or most of the season with injury.

    I don’t see any drop off on Offense and the Defense is looking like they could finally be a unit that makes offense work for a score. The defense will get a lot of extra work with practice for the Bowl Game.

  4. V13- to say the offense will have no drop off next year doesn’t give this year’s team the credit it deserves. Sudfeld, Howard, Spriggs and Feeney are GREAT college players. Not just good- GREAT. With qb by committee and rb by committee and an o line without any NFL ready talent, they can’t help but drop off next year. But if the d line can generate a pass rush and the transfer and juco corners can play, maybe we can get to a 5-6 win season. I’m not trying to be negative, I just think you have to be realistic with all the offensive talent we are going to lose to the NFL. Also, love to see them get another 5th year tight end and maybe there’s a kid out there that’s not NFL ready and wants to give it one more year at D end. We really need to find some more pass rushers to take the next step.

  5. Sudfeld, Feeney, Spriggs and Mangeneri are B1G loses. I think that Howard comes back to be the best RB in the country. Big #77 will be in the NFL from next year’s O Line. There is lots of time for recruiting to be great for 2016. This TE today and the QB yesterday are key recruits. That makes 11 with 9 more to go. Let’s get two 4 stars in those 9! GO IU!

  6. Hoosier ’86 I give our current players credit for what they have done but let’s remember it was good enough to be 6-6. Our offense didn’t finish enough drives or they would have been 8-4 or better. I don’t blame them as the first team to break through is they have the hardest thing to do. On the other hand I remember with the OL full of soph and jrs with Nate and Tre at QB as soph the 2013 offense was the greatest O IU has put on the field as far as yards and points scored. I just have faith that coach Frey will do what he has every year and develop a very good OL. I also base it on a good receiving corps coming back with a great WR [Patrick] being added to the mix along with several freshmen from this year that didn’t play much due to inexperience or injury. I just evaluate that group to be eight to ten deep [not counting TE] so they can rotate in to put fresh WR against tired DBs. The one area that will decline is Rb if Howard doesn’t come back but it won’t be a disaster because with the improved passing game, defenses will have to weaken their run defense and we have RBs talented enough to run wild on 6 man fronts; by the way don’t count out Cole Gese playing in 2016 as he beat out the senior RB [MSU recruit] from his team when he was a JR. The final spot is QB, evaluating Lagow off his film I see him as an upgrade on Nate. Nate was a very good QB but his growth was limited due to sharing times as a sophomore and his injury as a junior. Lagow comes in with as much experience as Nate had his Junior year but our receivers will be the best group we have had at least since the 2013 group.

    I could be wrong about my evaluations but I am basing them on my coaching experience of having Div I athletes to coach. I had one go pro, and eleven Div I players so I think I have a decent ability to evaluate players. I miss on some players so I don’t say my evaluation is right, it is just the way I see the players that IU has coming in 2016. No low rating the players we are losing on offense, I just think the coaches are upgrading the talent to replace those players with some that as a team are even better. This is what up and coming teams do if they are to continue their climb.

  7. A little off topic but did anyone of the scoop guys cover the press conference at the Pinstripe Bowl last night. I am in NYC for business and it was on the YES network. It was really good. Both coaches, both ADs and even the organizers discussing why they invited these two teams. I enjoyed watching it. CKW was enthusiastic and genuinely happy to be there. It showed in his demeanor and his speech. I do hope that Glass has already discussed extension while they were out here for this.

    1. iuhoosier1992,
      No, we weren’t in New York, but I was following along with the livestream. I couldn’t find an online recording of it until this morning. I’ll post it momentarily.

  8. Iu ’92- wish I’d seen the press conference. Looked but couldn’t find it anywhere. Hope that someone can find a link and post it.

    V-13- always love your optimism. And I hope you are right. I do think the receivers will be the best KW has had as a group. Going in to the season, I thought Patrick and J-shun Harris would have been the best 2 receivers, now they will have to work just to get onto the field. I wish Patrick would have qualified. KW was almost giddy when they got him to sign. He was more excited about Patrick than Jordan Howard. So he must be a special talent. And the Juco QB does look talented. He reminds me of, well, Nate Sudfeld only with a 3/4 throwing style. I don’t think we can expect him to be as good as Nate out of the box. But all I want for Christmas is a couple cat-quick defensive ends! Can be 5th year transfers trying to hone their skills for the NFL. Doesn’t matter Santa, if you are listening!

  9. Hoosier ’86, I am with you wanting two top outside rushers that our opponents fear going into a game. Mangieri was a player they paid attention to and made sure their OT were aware of but he wasn’t the speed rusher that had teams quaking in their boots. I hope coaches are making those two rushers a priority. I know they already have two good DEs but I want to see two juco rushers with talent and experience.

    Having the receiver corps we see will change the offense and minimize the loss of Howard if we lose him to the NFL. I really like Cole Gese because IU got a RB that beat out the back MSU has committed to their program. We need more of these kinds of wins on the recruiting circuit to be able to move into the upper part of the Big Ten. I really hope we get the big OT from MN who opened up his recruiting after committing to MN earlier. He is 6’8″ along with a big OT from Texas that is said to rate IU high in his decision. Getting a couple OL drafted this year to the NFL will raise the exposure of Coach Frey and our OL making it more enticing for top OL players to come to IU.

    I just hope next year’s team is even better than this year and Coach Wilson is contracted to IU so we don’t have to see him leave for another school. I worry a bit about keeping Coach Johns, Frey, and McCollough but I hope they all stay for years building IU into a real football school. We have been heartbroken too many times to see the program improving and get our hearts broken once again because a school can pay the coaches more than IU is willing to pay. If things keep getting better each year I hope Glass is prepared to pay the coaches what other top teams in the conference pay their coaches. My gosh Purdue pays their HC $1M more than we pay Coach Wilson.

  10. Reason and logic suggest that IU will experience a drop-off in its offensive performance in 2016. Too many key players graduating or leaving for that not to be the case. First and foremost is Sudfeld. That does not mean IU can’t win six games again next season. It just means IU’s offense won’t be as effective. I’m hoping that Big Ten teams with new coaching staffs, such as Maryland and Rutgers will be is such disarray next year that IU will defeat those teams. Furthermore, sooner or later, IU has to improve on defense. Any marginal improvement should go a long way toward stealing a victory that over the past five seasons would not have been possible.

  11. I don’t know how they will use Ian Thomas as he doesn’t have the weight that the others have. Maybe they will use him as a match-up problem for our opponents DBs or red shirt him to have time to gain the weight and muscle they want. It will be interesting how he fits in with the offense as he has the height but not the size for IU’s usual TEs. IU has some interesting options at receiver in 2017.

  12. One thing our secondary got this year, besides burnt, was experience. I have found that the biggest improvement in a player is his second year starting and if that holds the secondary should be much improved. Second, we are adding in some quality DBs to the mix as Greene from SC can play, a juco DB has been recruited, we have several projected starters in 2015 that didn’t play due to injury, along with a couple of recruits coming in with good size. The safeties need to do a much better job filling the lane on running lanes as they seemed to give up big runs several times every game.

    I saw the coverages improve and tighten up at least for the short to intermediate routes. They went from wide open routes to routes that were contested just not stopped. What really concerns me is how poorly they play deep passes. They are lost in coverages deep and lost in finding the ball as it comes into play. They were really poor at deep passes and I am concerned it won’t get fixed by next year. Either because it is poor coaching at that position or the players aren’t gifted enough to get the job done.

    I think the competition will be very intense and as a result the secondary will become a more dependable group on this team. I think they have the athletes they need, especially with who they bring in. The overall play of the secondary will depend on what type of front five we have in 2016.

  13. The running back from Cleveland is Cole Gest, not Gese, and he didn’t beat out anyone going to MSU. He’s not tall (5-9 tops) but he’s a player. The OL who de committed from Minnesota after Matt Limegrower was let go (Sean Foster) is from the north suburbs of Chicago. Although shown as a 4 star recruit, that’s more a function of his measurables rather than his play. His dad was an OT at Iowa and they haven’t offered, even he would commit to them immediately if they did. He’s a project and not someone that would probably be able to help IU. Nice kid though.

  14. In 2014 St. Edwards Sr. Andrew Dowell was the MSU commit who Jr. CG replaced at RB. Dowell was moved to safety early in the season as the HC wanted to add more on field play makers for St. Eds to build toward their championship season. Damn smart coach as AD shined at safety and Cole in essence won the RB job by increasing rushing production. Andrew a LB and his twin brother David a CB are both on MSU’s roster and Andrew played this year. A little more history on these 2 is they originally committed to Northwester and a couple of months later de-committed then committed to pUKe and a couple of months later de-committed again when MSU interest turned into offers. That happens many, many more times than we hear about.

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