IU flips Columbus East center Crider from Virginia #iufb

When Columbus East opens its season against Bloomington North on Friday, Harry Crider’s heart will be focused in two places.

The football field, of course, will command the bulk of his attention. But so will the surrounding events at Stafford Field, where the Olympians will host an event to benefit Riley Hospital for Children.

Crider, a center who committed to Indiana on Monday, knows the halls of Riley well, and the Kick-Off for Riley event is his senior project.

Crider was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes as a young child and organized the fundraiser for Riley as a way to give back.

“He’s a young man that spent some time at Riley because he was diagnosed as diabetic,” Columbus East coach Bob Gaddis said. “He’s their poster child for that because it hasn’t affected him at all with his performance and growth. He goes back and even acts as one of their spokespeople at conventions and conferences. He goes and represents them very well.”

Crider also represents his school well on the football field, where he’s considered a three-star center. He originally committed to Virginia in June, but picked up a scholarship offer from IU last weekend.

From there, things moved quickly.

Gaddis said Crider enjoyed his visit to Virginia, but preferred to stay closer to home and decided to flip for IU.

“When (Indiana’s staff) found out he was a Virginia commit, they went back and took another look at him,” Gaddis said. “They read through what he is. They wanted to take another look at him, they looked at him, got him up on campus and offered him. It was a pretty simple deal at that point.”

The 6-foot-4, 260-pound prospect also received offers from Buffalo, Eastern Kentucky, Illinois State and North Dakota.

Crider only recently turned 17 and Gaddis sees further development taking shape once he gets into a Big Ten weight room and becomes strictly a football player.

“He’s been a center for us, but when he was coming up through the system, he was actually a tight end,” Gaddis said. “He’s an athletic guy. He was not a lineman ever before that. He played on his feet as a skill player, then he was a basketball player and a baseball player. We moved him to center when he was a sophomore simply because we had a pretty good center graduate and we needed a guy. We went to camp early in the summer and our O-line coach asked if we could move Harry there. He moved him there and he loved it. He’s taken to it really well. He’s a pretty versatile athlete. We don’t start anybody two ways, but if we had to, he’d be our middle linebacker, too.”

Crider is the 14th high school senior to make a verbal pledge to Indiana’s 2017 recruiting efforts. He’s the third player projected to land on the offensive line, joining tackles Caleb Jones and Tyler Knight.

Ryan Smith, an offensive lineman from Ohio, signed with Indiana in February, but will not officially join the program until January while he recovers from a Lisfranc injury.

In Crider, Indiana appears to be getting a person dedicated to thriving on the field and off of it, too.

“He’s an impressive young man,” Gaddis said. “He’s a good one.”


  1. A center that also plays defensive end and middle linebacker. He looks like a tight end- seems to fit our mold of athletic lineman. Another really good pick up. And another solid prospect deciding to stay in-state and play for the Hoosiers. I hope RJ Potts from Fishers and a really, really good tight end, Kurt Rafdal from Carmel, are next.

  2. 123, you nailed it. Just got off the phone with Bob Gaddis, his high school coach. Gaddis told me Crider came up as a tight end and has that kind of athleticism as a three-sport athlete. He said East doesn’t start guys both ways, but they’d start Crider as MLB if they had to. I’ll have an updated story posted soon.

  3. I guess poaching players who have verbally committed to other schools works both ways! Glad to see IU’s staff using the same tactics. A guy makes a verbal commitment to a school in a major conference, and he suddenly appears on everyone’s radar, eliciting more offers from other major conference schools. What an interesting process college recruiting has become.

    Sounds like this young man has a lot of potential.

  4. Mike- He definitely fits the Jason Spriggs, Brandon Knight, Coy Cronk mold of athletic kids with big frames that they can build into mobile offensive lineman. I wouldn’t be surprised if he starts off as a blocking tight end because he doesn’t look like the kind of kid that can gain 30-40 lbs quickly to be a B1G lineman. I also think that his low 3 star rating is more a function of him playing for a mid-sized school. Purdue’s best running back, Markell Jones, came from the same school. Jones broke just about every rushing record there was and was still only a lower 3 star recruit. Did Crider’s coach say if IU plans to keep him at center?

  5. Purdue recruit of low 3 star is their best running back = trap of losing program currently. Bad example.

  6. 123, coach said IU was focused more on his athleticism than they were on projecting a position. He sounds like one of the typical Frey recruits — big, athletic kids who can move around. Seems like a good pickup in that regard. IU’s seems to be in good shape with tackles both in this class and in the program currently, but they could use a few interior guys, especially ones who have some versatility in their profiles. Getting in-state kids — there are now 6 in this class of 14 — is a plus, and he comes from a very strong program at CE.

    A couple other O-line tidbits from today. Sounds like Delroy Baker is really starting to come on strong. “He’s growing up, which is good to see,” Wilson said.

    Wilson also said Coy Cronk is in line to get some PT this season. “He’s probably as or more gifted than Brandon Knight, or Jason (Spriggs) starting out.”

  7. Wow, Wilson said “he is probably as or more gifted than Brandon Knight or Jason Spriggs starting out.” That is high praise!

  8. Crider looks like a very good fit for Coach Frey as he is a physical, athletic, player with the size to play several positions on the team.

    Mike thanks for the tidbit about Delroy Baker and Cory Cronk.

  9. Well, that’s very high praise coming from Coach Wilson, since he said four years ago that Spriggs was going to play on Sundays and then started Spriggs every game but one over his four years at IU. Comparing Cronk to Spriggs is setting the bar pretty high. Hope the kid really is that good.

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