3-star DT Derrius Mullins is latest lineman to choose IU #iufb

Indiana’s 2017 recruiting class got bigger on Saturday.

Much bigger.

The Hoosiers landed a verbal commitment from three-star Ohio defensive tackle Derrius Mullins, who weighs in at 6-foot-3 and 354 pounds. It’s another sign of IU’s commitment to addressing a need on the defensive line, where the Hoosiers’ coaching staff is currently valuing bigger bodies in the middle.

Not only is Mullins big, but the Columbus native can move, too.

“I think the reason he’s so marketable is because of how athletic he is and how good his feet are for a guy that size,” St. Francis DeSales coach Ryan Wiggins said. “A lot of times, guys that size are projects, or they’re slow. He happens to have all of that.”

Indiana now has 11 recruits verbally committed for the 2017 season. Of that bunch, six are projected to play along the defensive line.

According to 247 Sports, Mullins chose Indiana over offers from Pittsburgh, Purdue, West Virginia and Wisconsin, among others. IU coach Kevin Wilson’s staff offered Mullins a scholarship last November and have continued to pursue him hard during the ensuing months.

Indiana offensive coordinator Kevin Johns was one of Wilson’s staffers who made regular check-ins with Mullins.

“They were one of the first Big Ten schools,” Wiggins said. “Being in Columbus, there’s a lot of Big Ten hype. They were one of the early ones. I think a lot of times, when somebody is early like that and gets to know you, kids remember that stuff. From what he’s told me, he felt really good about their coaching staff. He liked them.

“They were one of the top schools from day one, and continued to be all the way through. Coach Johns recruits our area and does a great job. Him and his mom, his family, they thought it was the right move and he wanted to commit and put that behind him.”

Mullins is the third defensive tackle to commit to Indiana this cycle, and the second player to do so this week. IU also picked up a verbal pledge from 6-foot-4, 368-pound defensive tackle Juan Harris on Monday night. Ben Davis tackle LeShaun Minor committed last month.

Texas end Alfred “Lance” Bryant, Carmel prospect Britt Beery and Florida’s Tramar Reece are the other defensive linemen committed to IU for 2017.

According to IU’s recently updated roster, Mullins and Harris weigh more than anyone currently inside the Hoosiers’ program.

Mullins was recognized by the Columbus Dispatch after his junior season, making the paper’s All-Metro First Team Defense. Mullins posted 70 tackles, including 23 for loss, and added four sacks, two hurries and a fumble recovery for a touchdown in 2015.

“There are plays where he’s completely dominant, where he’s got a quick takeoff and his hands are great and he’s very, very dominant,” Wiggins said. “I’d like to see him be that way all the time. I know that sounds like coachspeak, but that’s what we’re after.”

22 comments

  1. This is a great pick up for IU’s defense especially if Harris turns out to be a solid commitment for IU. It is clear coach Allen is going after big guys in the middle to help stop the run. With this type of size, don’t forget about Johnson that came in this year, Minor and others could be moved to DE making IU’s front four very formidable. Add in the size they are now recruiting in the secondary and IU will become a very big defensive team in the near future.

    Welcome to making IUFB a B1G power Derrius Mullins.

  2. They will still have some versatility in the future as there are an even number of spread and pro style teams in the big 10 so they’ll be able to be flexible

  3. Well if there was still a question as to whether or not Coach Allen was going to improve the defense, that question has been answered. I’d say this is already the best defensive recruiting class I can remember- ever. This class will make the defense better based on talent alone. Huge and talented tackles, explosive speed rushers and sold, set the edge defensive ends. Plus solid cover guys that like to hit. And we are only in July. What other surprises do they have up their sleeves? Hard not to be excited about what this program can achieve in the next few years.

  4. 123, Coach Allen and Hagen are definitely making an immediate change to IU defense with increased talent and size. The DTs Johnson, Minor, Mullins, and Harris make a physical change that is easy to see. Posters that question the change that Allen will bring now will be able to see for themselves what that is. It is up to Coach Canton, Hagen, and Allen to make sure these players can play at a high level. As the old saying goes “you can’t teach size” and all 2017 recruits except for Bryant are 6’3 or bigger including LB. IU will no longer be undersized at LBs. IU was good height in the DL last year but our LBs are shorter players. It is clear IU defense will be huge at every position while working to maintain athleticism. It is also encouraging that the size of our DBs are increasing so they will be able to match up better with opposing WR.

  5. Height in a LB doesnt matter as long as he finds the ball carrier and hit the ball carrier the game has changed anyway in that vane with mostly spread offenses in vogue you need safety type LB’s

  6. V- Size, length and speed. They are pulling in the same kind of guys that Allen got at Ole Miss and Hagen got at Texas A&M. It also tells you that what we see with the current d line is kind of what they see- a bunch of guys but not a lot of impact players. I wouldn’t be surprised if all 3 tackles work their way into the 2 deep rotation next year. I really like both the speed rushers in this class too. We got destroyed in the 2nd and 4th quarters last year because we didn’t have depth. This class with give us instant depth up front and impact players for the next 4 years. I think this is just the start- I say they add four more 4 star recruits by signing day. I’m hoping RJ Potts is next.

  7. Wow..Seems so hard on the heart to play with that sort of size. Can’t help but think of poor William Perry….After his football career ended, he went from a fridge to restaurant walk-in. Sad to only be adored for being the most gigantic take-home stuffed animal from the state fair..Tragic how many years are likely erased from their lives ….Football has become a steroid and fat race with no finish line in sight….The game isn’t better because of the race…It’s only more brutal and detrimental to the lab rats plumped up for the services of our entertainment.

  8. Wow only u can come with that soliloquy not surprised though u have that knack for sayin stuff like that

  9. 123, I do hope Potts comes to IU along with more 4 stars down the line. The 2016 team needs to have a winning season by knocking off a few bigger teams that others think are better than IU. I hope Patrick is 100% health in the MSU game and come in to show how good he is as a RB. He would be like Howard but faster running over defense players. I also hope the defense play like their enthusiasm they show. There is enough talent to play and replace tire players. If IU does play hard and win 8 or more games then the 4 stars will come to IU [Bowen I hope].

  10. I wanted to add that it is good to see IU can go up against better football programs and get players to come to IU. It will happen more often the more they win. It will be good to see which freshmen play this season and how much they add to the offense, defense, or special teams. There are some freshmen that can add to the team and help IU win games.

  11. A nice recruit, but as usual, we are still at the back of the pack. 7 B1G teams in the top 25 with Northwestern at 26. IU ranks 58th- just ahead of USF. IU seems to be getting better recruits but all of the B1G is getting better recruits (except Purdue which is currently behind that great football power, Texas San Antonio). KW needs about 10 recruits rated where this kid is rated to really move up to the rest of the B1G pack.

  12. I agree we need to move up in the recruiting rankings but we always do. Most of our best and most highly rated recruits have come late in the cycle. We are looking good right now, but if we knock off a Michigan State or Penn State or Nebraska, those 4 stars will start flowing our way. And I think we will beat at least 1 of those teams.

  13. 123, what most of the posters miss is how many recruits commit at this time of the season. For OSU, UM, PSU, etc they get commits early in the year while IU and others at the end of the B1G don’t get most commits until the signing day nears. It will take beating several of the bigger B1G programs to start getting commits in sooner and higher recruits. Imagine beating OSU, UM, and Iowa last year instead of losing at the end by one score. It will take that kind of season to start moving up in B1G recruiting list. That is why I say this season is a critical year and IUFB needs to step up and beat a couple of the teams you listed or the two B1G programs. If IU doesn’t do it this year then they will fall back in recruiting players. The IU team should believe they can beat these teams after their experience last year and having DC Allen changing the defense culture.

  14. I’d like to see a feature in the Scoop that compares the list of players who make verbal commitments to the players who actually sign LOIs in February. It could be done retroactively too. It would be interesting to track the percentage and number of verbal commitments to LOI signings and compare them to previous years. Is IU improving its “close” rate for players who commit verbally, or since we’re recruiting higher quality players (relative to past coaching staffs), are we loosing more to poachers? Do the stats change from Offensive recruits to defensive recruits? My sense is that now that we have an improved defensive coaching staff, the numbers will show significant improvement in IU’s retention of players who verbally commit. Is there a correlation between a player’s star rating and his willingness to sign an LOI after making a verbal commitment.

  15. Po, it would be interesting to see how the numbers break down. I would really like to see how the different levels work out. Do 5 star players switch teams more often than 2 star players. Do certain programs have more flips than other programs? This listing would provide a lot of info and a different perspective than just who signs with teams. It gets into the geeky numbers so there may not be many willing to do the listing.

  16. I’ll take a reasonable guess- 5 stars flip more than 2 stars because they get recruited earlier, harder and by more teams. I think IU benefits more from guys that flip their commitments than just about any other team I know. Already, Harris decommitted from Iowa 3 times before committing to IU and the tight end we got flipped his commitment from Ball State. We get a lot of recruits late and most of those kids have already committed to another school before “joining the family”.

  17. 123, 5 star recruits would be my guess too. They have more options and with the way young men think I can see them changing to the flavor of the month depending on which schools are pushing hard to get their attention. I agree with you that IU seems to get more flips than any school I know. I hope this time next year we are talking about the 4 and 5 star recruits committing to IU following a 10-3 season this year:).

  18. And let’s not kid ourselves, 5-star recruits are often poached by schools offering illegal benefits. It becomes a bidding war. Just look at the scandal surrounding Ole Miss after this year’s draft. It explains how they went from the SEC outhouse of the SEC Penthouse in such a short amount of time.

    As for the data on verbal commitments vs signings, it does not have to compare IU to other schools, just IU this year compared to IU is past years. It would answer the question, “are we signing the majority of the players we’re recruiting early, or are we just putting a target on the kid’s back?”

    Here’s another question. Does IU’s coaching staff encourage a player to publicly announce his verbal commitment, or is that entirely the kid’s choice?

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