Hoosiers land commitment from 3-star OL Nworah #iufb

Indiana offensive line coach Greg Frey traveled to the Houston suburbs on Wednesday to accept his latest recruiting commitment in person.

It came from 6-foot-3, 305-pound offensive guard Mackenzie Nworah, a three-star prospect from Manvel, Texas. Nworah originally committed to Missouri, before a coaching shakeup left him looking elsewhere.

On Wednesday, he landed with the Hoosiers.

“He really fell in love with coach Frey,” Manvel High School coach Kirk Martin said.

Frey made a strong pitch for Nworah, who is considered the No. 35 offensive guard in the 2016 recruiting class, according to 247 Sports.

Frey gave both Nworah and Martin pamphlets on Indiana’s recent developmental success, highlighting the first-team All-American honors earned by guard Dan Feeney and tackle Jason Spriggs, as well as the overall success of the line as a unit.

“That was a huge part of it,” Martin said. “That really piqued his interest early on.”

Nworah represents a significant addition to IU’s upcoming recruiting class. After decommitting from Mizzou, Nworah was considering offers from Oklahoma State, Maryland and Arizona State, among others. In addition to his IU visit last month, Nworah visted Illinois and took prior visits to Baylor, Houston and Oklahoma State as a junior.

Indiana made Nworah a priority over the last month, with Frey and coach Kevin Wilson both making trips to see him in Texas.

“Coach Wilson was in here a week or two ago,” Martin said. “He got to know him and they had a home visit with him and his parents. I just think he feels like it’s the right fit. He feels like he has a chance to go there and be developed into a great player.”

Nworah starred on a Manvel offensive line that helped the Mavericks to an 11-3 recrod. Offensively, Manvel passed for over 3,700 yards and rushed for 3,204 more.

Nworah is still relatively new to the game, but Indiana is intrigued by his ceiling. He grew up in Nigeria and arrived in Texas as a high school freshman.

“I found him on the basketball court,” Martin said. “I brought him over to football and the rest is history.”

He is the 13th member of Indiana’s 2016 recruiting class and the third offensive lineman, joining Lafeyette Central Catholic three-star tackle Coy Cronk and Ohio tackle Ryan Smith.

The Hoosiers upcoming class, which is expected to grow to approximately 20 members before National Signing Day on Feb. 3, is ranked No. 12 in the Big ten.


  1. Stone Mountain, Georgia DE Dennis Wonnum is the newest commit to IU. He is 6’4″ and 225 lb. and has played a lot of TE also.

  2. Another terrific get for IU along with Wonnum this makes Wednesday a great day for IU recruiting! Keep up the great work coach Wilson!!

  3. According to Wilson, from an article published in Inside Indiana, the serious recruiting period for football does not really begin until January 15. If that is true, I look forward to reading more positive news in the days leading up to signing day. But I’m surprised that IU’s 2016 recruiting class is only going to consist of 20 players. I thought, with some early departures, IU needed at least 24 to fill the scholarship limit.

  4. Good get coach Frey. Another youngster from the Houston area (Camiel) who sees an opportunity to compete and DEVELOP his abilities. BOOM. Go Hoosiers!!!

  5. It is good to see the class of 2016 shaping up. Welcome aboard Mackenzie Nworah, Coach Frey and others can develop you into one of the best OL men in the country. Pay attention to Dan Feeney and you will learn what a top lineman in the country does to develop those skills.

  6. I looked at film of DE Dennis Wonnum and I am impressed with the quality of recruit IU is pulling in. He is very physical while blocking from the TE spot. On defense I love his reaction to plays as that is something that is hard to teach. His effort and desire means coaches need to work on his strength and technique. IU keeps upgrading talent on their roster and I am expecting 2016 to be a better year than 2015 since I look for IU to turn a couple of close games into wins. I know we have important spots to fill but I do think our new DC can improve the defense and our young players along with the incoming players will make our defense noticeably better. Spring practice should be an indication of how good 2016 will be.

  7. v13, I too like the lay of the land in 2016 for Indiana FB. Can you imagine the camps headed by Wilson that Indiana HS coaches and players would flock to if IU can produce winning seasons.

    I’ve been studying up on the 4-2-5 D. I’ve never been a fan of the 4-4 but I can see some similarities that offer more options than even the 3-4 does. I really consider the simplicity of the 4-2-5 to be the best attribute for IU success. IU’s human resources fit well with the scheme as we presently have a bunch of hybrid players from DL though DB. The most exciting part is you don’t necessarily need a bunch of 330 lb. behemoths on the DL. Also it has made TCU and Gary Patterson relevant to big time college FB.

  8. HC: “Human resources?” Love the corporate-speak! I used to call ’em players, goof that I am. I’m with you on the simplicity thing. I’m not expert, by any stretch, on these defensive set ups. I know that Knorr was supposedly using a 3-4 last year but it looked to me like a four man front except one of
    em was standing up (Mangeri?) instead of in a down stance. Anyhow, let’s just beat the beatables this fall.

  9. A new defensive scheme will take some time for the players to get used to, but the good news is that any improvement in the fundamentals will produce significantly better performance. I’ll settle for improved defensive fundamentals in the first year of our new DC. As I said before, with just a marginally improved defense in 2015, Iu could easily have won 8 or 9 games.

  10. Fundamentals, that too. I’m just a kibitzer. I don’t know whether the 4-3 D beats the 3-4 D beats the 4-2-5 D (with the players we’ve got/can recruit/wish we had- or otherwise). Don’t know which def. coord. was available when and for how much $$$. But is it that difficult to assemble a mediocre/average/not-too-stinky defense? OK, I feel better.

  11. The way Hoosier Football hires and fires defensive coordinators, it should be referred to as changes in ‘Fumin’ Resources’ ….And it all begins with strong hiring ‘fumblementals.’

    1st down: Mallory, 2nd down: Knorr……Now it’s 3rd and a long Allen.. Wilson still under center ..And there’s the flag…Delay of game. Ball will be placed 10 yards back with a new contract and extra millions added to the scoreboard of bank accounts with no yardage…..Please reset the Hoosier play clock to 1984 and ‘Girls Just Want To Have Fun,’ by Cindi Lauper.

  12. Podunker, I think the learning curve for the 4-2-5 will be a short one as it simplifies the defense for players [of course the change will take some time just not a lot of time I hope] along with getting more athletic players on the field. The biggest change will be positive, that is Coach Allen’s fire and demand for perfection that we see on his tapes from practices.

    The biggest challenge I see will be getting the effort to get to the ball every play while staying sound in your field responsibilities. There are ways to hurt this defense IE inside trap plays, but with coaches creating the same attitude that exist on the offensive side, IU will have a team that can change the close games into wins.

    The song for this season should be Lennon’s “Imagine” as the fans, players, and coaches need to imagine what our team would be like to have a defense that plays like the 2015 D did in the 3rd quarters. I can imagine that the 3rd quarter was indicative of what our defense could do for an entire game. Maybe I am foolish but I believe that what the D showed in each 3rd quarter was what they had the talent and ability to do for an entire game. I can imagine what Coach Cater can develop in players through strength training and drills followed by DC Allen’s demand for precision work at practice will bring tangible results this season.

  13. My post at the end should read Coach Caton ….strength training and drills followed by Cpach Allen’s demand….

  14. Sorry, v13, no hippie music is good for football. I suggest “Stomp You Hands, Clap Your Feet” (original Slade version) for the moribund IU crowds.

  15. Actually Willie Taggart the HC Allen just left has gone through more DC’s than Wilson(albeit in 2 locations and not all through his initiative). Something like 4-5 DC’s in 6 seasons. Now that is change, wholesale.

    I’ve now read in 2 articles describing the 4-2-5 only takes 3 days to install completely. I reiterate “3 days to INSTALL” which obviously leaves much more time to practice the execution of the D for all personnel. IIRC Knorr’s 3-4 was over 2 weeks to install the base D. Being more simplified than a 3-4 or 4-3 should decrease thinking time and increases reaction opportunity. I do think we have athletes/talent/bodies/skills to satisfactorily perform the necessary hybrid positions. I did not feel as comfortable with our talent in the 4-3 or 3-4. After all I’ve read about the 4-2-5 I’ll be as anxious as everyone to see if Allen can perform his magic in Bloomington as he did at USF.

  16. Looks like another good recruit for the IU football team….great job by Coach Wilson, Coach Fry and the staff….as far as Brian Knorr, hate to see the young man lose his job in only two years, but i think it is all for the better…..never got the feeling that Coach Wilson and Coach Knorr where on the same football page…Knorr had the deer in the headlight look at some news conference….will having a new defensive cord make this team better next year?? IMO another .500 season….social media (football experts) has killed my expectations, from the stand point that IU has to find a new starting quarterback and running back….an now a new defensive cord….everyone expect the starting QB to be Richard Lagow, has all the qualification but it is his first year under Coach Wilson football system (a hard learning curve) and he is making the jump to the BIG 10….also the IU fan has been spoiled the past couple of years at the running back position with Tevin Coleman and Jordan Howard….Is Devine Redding ready? An how will the young players adjust to a new defensive systems? for now tho, IU fan just need to hope for a very good recruiting class in 2016

  17. davis, I am not suggesting playing “imagine” in pregame as it is too slow and laid back. I was talking about the term being our theme for this off-season. I much prefer your suggestion for a pregame song.

    HC, The 4-2-5 is designed to be simple so players can focus on techniques and adjust easily to different formations so it could be done in three days. Then the players can cut loose and play fast not worrying about having every call correct.

    IU79, another .500 season is realistic but the point about my imagine post is we could make the kind of improvement NW did this past year or what UM did within one year. As NU showed though just a few mistakes and you get regulated to .500 football even if your talent is good.

    I am afraid that we will miss Howard’s ability to run over tacklers however; Coleman didn’t run over anyone and we do have a couple of swift backs in the backfield in 2016. It will be interesting to see if Patrick plays at WR or RB.

  18. Ready or not, here comes Redding. To me it seemed like he improved a lot over the season, particularly in reading his blockers. Early in the year he seemed to miss the obvious (to me watching several hundred miles away on TV) cuts into the zone blocking scheme.

  19. davis, I agree that Redding is improving based on the last three games of the season. Majette and the other RBs are getting better so I hope Coach Wilson leaves Patrick at WR so we will have a beast WR. He would go along with the quick slot receivers and create real problems for defenses. However Coach Wilson may want to get him the ball on a more regular basis and also use him as a receiver out of the backfield. It will be interesting to see how things look in Spring football.

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