IU keeps Tampa connection with McFadden commitment

When Micah McFadden officially joins Indiana’s football program next year, Bloomington may feel a little like home.

That’s because McFadden comes from Tampa football powerhouse Plant High School, which sent three players to IU during the 2017 recruiting cycle.

The all-state Florida outside linebacker joined the Tampa-to-Bloomington pipeline on Sunday afternoon, committing to Indiana as the 12th member of the Hoosiers’ 2018 recruiting class.

“I just took a visit last week,” McFadden said. “I loved everything about the coaches and the family aspect to them. It seemed like each player was the main priority for each coach. I loved the feel of the campus, especially the football team.”

To McFadden, the team felt like a family. For good reason.

At Plant, he played alongside incoming Indiana freshmen Juwan Burgess, a defensive back, receiver Whop Philyor and linebacker Thomas Allen, the son of IU coach Tom Allen. Together, the foursome helped Plant to the 2016 Florida Class 7A state championship game.

The 6-foot-1, 210-pound McFadden earned first-team all-state defense honors from the Associated Press after making 116 tackles last season, including 60 solo stops. According to MaxPreps, McFadden also posted 14 sacks and 45 tackles for loss on a tough Plant defense that allowed merely 13.5 points per game.

McFadden, who is unranked as a prospect in the 247 Sports Composite, received additional scholarship offers from Boston College, Toledo, Massachusetts, South Dakota and Southern Mississippi.

Indiana offered familiarity, as well as a coach McFadden believes in. McFadden said he watched Allen’s press conference at Big Ten media day last week and came away touched by the coach’s belief in a better future for Indiana football.

“He said we’ll win the Big Ten championship and we will have a winning season these next few years,” McFadden said, recalling Allen’s speech in Chicago. “Those are his goals. People may laugh about that, but this man is dead serious. That’s what he’s trying to accomplish.

“I think what he saw in me coming from Plant High School was a family aspect to it. It’s about the team before yourself — L.E.O., love each other. I think that’s what he saw, especially with those other guys, too. It’s about the team before anybody else. Football will come by itself, but if we have the aspects of a team and a family to it, that’s the most important thing to him. That’s important to me, too.”

In addition to finding a coach and a program he wants to play for, McFadden said reuniting with Burgess, Philyor and Allen is a sweet bonus to close his recruiting process.

“I never thought I’d be going to college with them,” he said. “I thought maybe I’d find somewhere else, but they were just always positive with me in the process. They were just like, ‘We’re your family. You make your own decision, but we’re being honest. This is a great place and I think you’d really like it up here.’

“It’s the cherry on the cake that I get to have four brothers up there that I’ve played with and can help me out.”

McFadden is the first linebacker Indiana has added to its 2018 class and the sixth defensive player. The Hoosiers are also waiting to see which school four-star Lawrence Central outside linebacker Cam McGrone will pick.

McGrone, who is down to IU, Michigan, Notre Dame, Tennessee, Vanderbilt and Wisconsin, is scheduled to announce his verbal commitment on Monday. Michigan is the favorite in the 247 Sports Crystal Ball.


  1. Though not rated I like this recruit. What would make it an excellent excellent get would be to get a commitment and signed McGrone. McGrone could wait his turn at Mich or make a faster impact for one of the top defensive minded coaches in the country. Which program puts him in the NFL. At Mich does he get lost in the shuffle, N.D. is not on such solid footing currently, IU closer to home than Wisconsin or Tennessee, or Vandy. I think T.A. w IU would be good for McGrone and NFL future

  2. Florida All State performer but not rated. Why the disconnect coming from a Florida powerhouse like Plant? Another recruiting situation similar to Tronti.

  3. Really good 2 Star, All-State in FL players are like “almost 4 Star” players everywhere else but TX and CA! I think that Toronti will be fighting for the starting QB position next season and we will like McFadden at IU for the 5 years he is here.

  4. Without higher rated players to go with such players as himself it is wishful thinking. It will get you a very tough struggle to play 500 ball as demonstrated in the past.

  5. IU recruits McGrone for a year. Wisky and N.D. start recruiting him. Harbaugh and Mich start recruiting McGrone for a few weeks. It was only a polite courtesy consideration for IU as in kinda safety net just in case. McGrone was never going to IU and thus frustration for IU recruiting. However, can’t blame him for driving one of the best vs fix or repair daily.

  6. Although it is less important for linebackers in some systems, I’m guessing his time of 4.68 in the 40 has suppressed both his rating and his recruitment by more top football programs. That time’s not slow, but he did not demonstrate the speed necessary to get rated as a 3-star or above. This young man is the reverse of those naturally smaller, thinner and faster guys who get transformed into linebackers through years of building mass and adding weight. He may also have gotten lost on a defense that was full of other talented players. Regardless, I trust Allen’s ability to evaluate defensive talent, especially at the linebacker position. Welcome to IU, Micah!

    Odds are the McGrone will go to Michigan. It’s just going to be tough for IU to sign the best in-state football talent for years to come when MI, MSU, OSU, ND, and PSU have their Indiana pipeline established. And it probably won’t change until IU starts producing winning seasons and winning bowl games.

  7. Yes, I can imagine, especially for a Junior. But that’s why him not being rated at all is weird. How does a player recognized as “All State” not get rated at least a three-star? How can these highly productive players, like our new QB, not be rated at all? It makes no sense and suggests something’s a little messed up with how Florida’s football talent is evaluated.

  8. Who cares? This obsession with rankings isn’t exactly meaningless, but the weight that we put on people assigning arbitrary #s to kids who play all over the country isn’t that important. Yes, Indiana isn’t going to be getting the kids who Jim Harbaugh and Urban Meyer are drooling over. Indiana is going to have to find a number of diamonds in the rough, mold, shape them and make ever recruiting agency across the country look like a joke at the end of the day.

    Tom Allen is a developer and shaper of talent. He took a pile of garbage and made them into one of the better performing defenses in the B1G. Scales and Fant are good, but Tom Allen is the difference in making them great. He ius the reason these kids, barring injury, will be playing on Sundays.

  9. If IU were getting higher star players you would think the higher stars were very important because in fact percentage wise they are very important. Players are evaluated to earn whatever star and number they are assigned. Since IU does not get the 4 star players many try to wishful think it isn’t important and they couldn’t be more wrong. A winning season won’t make much difference either. It would take 3, 4, or even 5 winning seasons almost in a row. Then, IU may get its share of 3 star players. Hopefully, eventually IU could get 3 (4) star players and at least 16 or 17 3 stars each year. Tha is pretty much the ceiling for IU fb recruiting and it is not in sight. Currently, IU is about 6 or 7 3 star players behind for 2018 recruiting class.

  10. No t, you don’t get to presume what I would think. You missed my point entirely. But its all good. I don’t really care to make it anymore.

    Looking forward to throwing an early wrench into Ohio State’s season. Onwards.

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