3-star Carmel tight end Kurt Rafdal commits to IU

Indiana scored a significant recruiting win on the eve of homecoming weekend.

IU coach Kevin Wilson accepted a commitment from three-star Carmel tight end Kurt Rafdal, giving the Hoosiers 15 recruits in their 2017 class. Rafdal has been a priority target for Indiana for months, choosing the Hoosiers over offers from Auburn, Nebraska, and Maryland, among others.

“I want to thank God, my family, and everybody that has recruited me for giving me the opportunity to take the next step in my journey,” Rafdal wrote in a message posted to his Twitter account late Thursday night. “I am very thankful for my coaches and trainers who have aided me in improving my game and growing into a man. After a long and enjoyable process, I have made my decision. I am officially committing to Indiana University to continue my football and academic career.”

The 6-foot-7, 230-pound Rafdal previously took official visits to Maryland and Auburn this fall. Considered the No. 6 overall in-state prospect, his commitment means Indiana has now secured a verbal pledge from seven of the top 20 ranked players from within the state, according to the 247 Sports recruiting database.

Rafdal is also the second Carmel senior to commit to IU, joining defensive end Britt Beery.

In July, Indiana took a commitment from Peyton Hendershot, a tight end from Tri-West. Florida tight end Michael Ziemba also committed to IU this past summer, but Ziemba also projects as a possible defensive end or linebacker in college.

According to 247 Sports, Indiana’s 15-man class is ranked No. 11 in the Big Ten, and No. 51 overall. It is expected to be one of the smaller recruiting classes in Wilson’s tenure.

With 15 players already in the fold, IU is expected to be more selective with the players it takes from here.

But on Thursday night, the Hoosiers landed a coveted in-state recruit near the top of their radar.


  1. This is excellent. KW and staff continue to recruit on a quality level basis. Putting things in perspective they continue to rank in the bottom half of big ten. As one of the top 2 conferences in the country if not the best it just shows the competition level of the big ten. Nevertheless, if IU keeps TA and current defensive staff in tact, KW and IU are right there at the top half of big ten. Hopefully, a really good qb will emerge from current stable or recruiting. This could be Lagow or even a couple years down the road the QB from Georgia. Then, another qb recruit for after them. I have noticed defense not giving up the 80 or so yard runs right up the middle of the defense for touch downs this year. That definitely equaled a win against the Spartans.

  2. A real prize for IU recruiting. If they get R.J. Potts it will be a big year for IU with Hoosier HS. Potts a 4* S from Fishers is a big, talented, athletic, quick missile against any ball carrier. He is a a bit of an IU lean but the big boys are in the hunt.

  3. The recruits for 2017 keep coming in and we know coach Wilson brings in a few closer to signing day. This class is a quality class no matter what the ranking says in the final analysis. Especially our defensive front will get better.

  4. Great news, especially given who we were competing against for this young man’s services. And as we’ve been seeing for some time now, Wilson is getting, relative to his predecessors, more bigger players.

    “With 15 players already in the fold, IU is expected to be more selective…….” As I’m sure Wilson appreciates, none of the 15 are “in the fold” until they sign the Letter-of-Intent in February, so I doubt Wilson and staff are relaxing their efforts.

    As for being ranked 11th in Big Ten, that still bothers me. I don’t know if that’s based on the traditional bias against IU football, or if we’re still not getting enough talent? We need our recruiting classes to be begin being ranked in the top seven or eight in the conference, just for the sake of notoriety, which provides momentum for future recruiting.

  5. This kid can play. Most tall guys have trouble getting out of their stance or getting off the line. But even though he’s 6’7″, he’s pretty quick off the line. He also has very good hands and is a fluid runner. He should develop into a great target in the red zone. He may not be really fast but has the height, length and hands to win a lot of the 50/50 balls. Kind of like James Hardy was for Coach Hep.

  6. They recruit ‘length’ these days. There was a kid that played hs ball with my son. Good player. Played TE and DE. About 6’4″ and fairly thin.

    Well, I was kinda surprised when Notre Dame came calling to the mountains of western North Carolina. By his junior year he was a beast and was starting at linebacker for the Irish.

    What our eyes see in a recruit is not necessarily what a recruiter is looking for. Length and speed apparently are the starting points.

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