Hoosiers pick up commitment from 3-star safety

Indiana added its first recruit in more than a month, picking up a verbal commitment on Monday night from Devon Matthews.

The three-star safety is a former South Florida commit, who landed an Indiana offer in September and took an official visit to Bloomington on Dec. 1. Matthews originally committed to the Bulls in late July before decommitting on Nov. 20. He also took an official visit to Cincinnati.

“I have talked this over with my mom and I have have made my final decision,” Matthews wrote in a message posted to Twitter.

Prior to Matthews’ decision, IU’s last commit was Chicago tight end T.J. Ivy on Oct. 23. With the new early signing period, Matthews and the other 19 members of IU’s 2018 recruiting class will have the opportunity to officially sign with the program between Dec. 20 and Dec. 22.

36 comments

  1. I know there is a long way to go and a lot can change, but IU is quietly assembling a rather respectable 2018 recruiting class. At least by IU standards. Quick check of Rivals this morning and the recruiting class is still checking in at #38. It has been done basically on the back of 3 star recruits. Interesting enough, I have seen other programs operate in this manner. They look for under the radar or under performing talent and coach them up into a much higher caliber finished product.

    Not saying Allen can pull this off at IU, but I am remembering a little school in South Mississippi many years that produced a QB by the name of Farve and a Punter by the name of Guy, using the same method of operation. They couldn’t go head to head recruiting wise with the big boys in the area, but loaded up on 3 star talent. Coached them up and managed to create havoc for several top programs. Might know some of them, one was located in Tuscaloosa and the other in Tallahassee. For the latter, one year they administered the worst beating of the Bobby Bowden era.

  2. Watch some video on this kid. He’s an old time Neal Colzie, Jack Tatum kind of hitter from the DB position. He also shows speed along with cover skills and will be a factor in kick coverage.

  3. It’s funny. These days I have more confidence in IU’s ability to sign quality defensive players than I do in our ability to sign quality offensive players. That’s the exact opposite of what it was just three years ago.

    Does anyone know if Allen and staff are recruiting JC players? I don’t recall any JC players on the list of IU’s targets.

  4. If a player is not 4 or 5 star do they just say he is a 3 star. I have not seen 3 star rating on this recruit. However, good recruit for T.A. and IU.

  5. The typical Hoosier fan optimistic outlook is a team of 22 defense/offense of Baker Mayfields for each position. Reality is player like that is one here and there (a few at respective positions and they don’t necessarily have to win hiesman). Basically, overachievers is the IU fans mantra. The result is a tradition as one of the most lowest ranked major conference fb programs in terms of win/loss record. However, this is a good recruit for IU.

    1. Yes, because that is exactly what I was saying. Where in the hell did you get that from my comment? Hope you didn’t hurt yourself stretching for that. I was just saying that there could be a Baker Mayfield on this team. I in way said there were 22 of them or even thought that, but thanks for letting me know what I was thinking. Brilliant.

    2. Kevin Wilson started a trend of signing classes with mostly three star kids. Prior to that, they were signing classes with a mix of two and three star kids. Take a look at Wisconsin’s last ten recruiting classes. They sign two to four 4 star kids and the rest is all 3 star kids. Building a good football program at Indiana was always going to be a huge mountain to climb. Despite their disappointing season this year, they are still trending in the right direction.

  6. The real question is, can Coach Allen and Staff elevate these players talent or lack thereof, with their coaching. Known misgivings out there regarding some of the Staff aside, the 2018 season will be put up or shut time for the entire coaching Staff. If IU has true aspirations to put a credible presence on the football field, 2017 results must be a blip, not a trend.

  7. iuhoosier. Hahaha. Though I used your statement to make a point I was not referring to you like only you. Rather, I was referring to most IU fb fans over course of IU football tradition/history.

    thinkaboutit. Your statement though positive, good, and on point is also very representative of IU football tradition/history.

  8. The teams in the East of the Big Ten finished exactly how they recruited for the past 2 years. Players win games more than coaches. And the best players generally start as the best recruits. IU has struck out again on signing a major quarterback. They offered 26 and have 0 commitments. DeBord does not run an innovative offense where he can plug in lower level recruits and succeed like a Mike Leach or Jeff Brohm. If he can’t sign better recruits, he doesn’t belong on the staff. IU needs to spend market price for a Big Ten OC and get someone that can recruit top talent. Baker Mayfield walked on to Oklahoma but was a scholarship player for Texas Tech and a higher rated recruit than any of IU’s returning quarterbacks.

    1. I can’t believe DeBord didn’t get the boot after the season. I think he is the biggest reason IU is home for the holidays.

  9. People need to put this ‘Baker Mayfield was a walk on’ nonsense to rest. That was just an odd situation due to program transfers. Everybody knew he was a great player.

  10. Mayfield was a great HS Quarterback who lead his team to a record of 25 – 2 in two years and the Texas 4A Championship his senior year. He finished his HS career with gaudy stats (6,300 yards passing, 67 TDs, and only 8 INTs). But he was considered undersized (6’1″, 200 lbs.) coming out of HS, and was only rated as a 3-star recruit by both Rivals and Scout (ranked the 69th QB in the country that year). He received offers from FAU, New Mexico, Rice, Washington State and Tx Tech. And while the rest of his story is history, I wonder what might have been if IU had made him an offer? I wonder if IU’s recruiting process is designed to “discover” players like Mayfield, located in areas that are not traditional recruiting territories. No one has a crystal ball, and I’m sure a lot of college coaches regret letting him slip through the cracks, but Wilson came to IU from that area, and any Texas HS quarterback playing at that level of competition, who leads his team to a state championship, and produces those incredible stats, should have warranted a close look by IU. Somehow, IU’s recruiting always fails to discover the Baker Mayfields across the country. And this is what I’ve been saying for years now. IU football has to cast a wider net in order to find hidden gems like Mayfield from distant locations. They have to “hunt” in football hotbed states where guys like Mayfield get overlooked by the major programs. We’re doing that with some success in Florida, but with few exceptions, it does not appear that IU is doing much in Texas or anything in California. “Hey Baker, come and take a look at IU and compare our campus and the opportunity to play in the Big Ten to the opportunity to play for FAU, Rice, New Mexico, and WSU.” Are you kidding me!

  11. And by the way, according to USA Today’s December 7th issue, IU’s Football Assistant Coaches’ compensation budget in 2017 was $2,499,362, ranking IU 11th of 13 Big Ten schools for which data is available (Northwestern is a private school and does not reveal that data). Michigan is first in the Big Ten and 4th in the nation, spending $5,645,000 per year on their assistant coaches’ compensation. The last time I looked that’s more than twice IU’s budget. Purdue’s budget for assistant coaches is $3,050,000. You get what you pay for, don’t you Fred!

  12. It is not a matter of IU not trying to recruit. Recruits don’t want to come to IU as in qb’s. Texas Tech and such places are a higher priority for them. However, Reese Taylor could be an answer for IU in that regard. If they get him signed with receivers and backs and block for him (OL)….in 4 or 5 years we can look back and will know. Even Purdue gets good QBs.

  13. VP Glass used naming rights to get large donations for his upgrading of sports facilities. Maybe he should use the same technique to upgrade coaching salaries. “Name of donor” running back coach,
    “name of donor” outside linebacker coach, etc. To encourage donors, that person could perhaps be on the sideline during games, attend team meetings & perhaps for an extra large donation even call a play or two.

    1. Every player position and every coaching position at USC has an endowment. There is a name associated with every one.

      1. Including backups. I was reading an SI story about it’s a matter of prestige in certain LA social circles.

        People I will never meet…nor care to.

  14. what makes you think that any QB recruits wants to come to IU and play for Mike Debord?? First off Mike Debord does not have a great reputation for developing quarterbacks. An second off he is sixty plus years in age and was initially thinking about retiring before signing a contract with IU. Any new quarterback recruit would see this as a negative, in the fact that the offensive cord might not be here my whole three to four years. I for one am of the opinion that if Kevin Wilson could not consistently recruit a quarterback to IU, that any coach or offensive cord is going to have a very hard time recruiting a quarterback. Mike Debord and staff will have to find a quarterback that is rough around the edges and develop this recruit (Peyton Ramsey, Nick Tronti). Which brings about the big question can this offensives staff (no reputation or past for developing players) really develop “ANY” football recruit.

    1. IU79,

      Just another perspective. If you were contemplating a move at the OC or any offensive staff spot would between now and next Friday be a good time to rock the boat? If they have something that might pop during the early signing period you don’t want to jeopardize that. If however, nothing changes and there is still no major offensive recruiting coups in the making, then a shake up could be in order after the 22nd. Would still allow for some time before the traditional February signing period for new staff members to make a mark on any potential prospects out there.

  15. So best case, TA schedules a presser on the 23rd and announces DeBord wants to spend more time with the grandchildren but will stay on until the position is filled. Hopefully the next week, a charismatic PJ Fleck-type is announced as the OC.

  16. While it is obvious that top-rated HS quarterbacks are not interested in playing for IU, you’d think that a lot of the talented, but overlooked quarterbacks (like Baker Mayfield coming out of HS) would jump at the chance to compete for the starting spot on a Big Ten team. I mean if your choices are mid-major schools, FCS schools, or IU, it should be a no-brainer! I guess what I’m saying is that maybe IU should stop trying to compete with the major programs for top rated HS quarterbacks and spend more time evaluating more Nick Tronti-types quarterback; guys that are overlooked by the major programs. Maybe Nick Tronti will be the next Baker Mayfield? I don’t know. But I know that what IU has been doing (regarding recruiting quarterbacks) has not produced the desired results. Did anyone happen to watch the Conference USA championship game between North Texas State (coached by IU’s former O-coordinator, Seth Latrell) and FAU? Both teams’ starting quarterbacks were better than any quarterback on IU’s roster. Both Jason Driskel (FAU) and Mason Fine (NTS) would have been IU’s starting QB this season. Neither of them are “pro-typical” college quarterbacks, and neither are likely to play in the NFL. But both of them are highly effective, athletic and strong armed quarterbacks who lead their teams to winning seasons. They’re out there. IU just has to find them.

    1. Po is exactly right on this one. IU has to be able to find and coach up under the radar talent. It is the only way to get a perennial loosing program turned around. It can and has been done elsewhere, with Kansas State being the best example. Coach Snyder took over a program arguably as historically bad as IU and turned it around. You have to do what you can do, which is prove you can win with less.

      No question Allen can do this with the defense, can it be done as well on the offense? A similar offensive leap to what has been seen over the last 2 season defensively and you have the beginnings of a respectable program. Only problem, easier said than done.

    2. I’m not gullible enough to think that either FAU or North Texas State quarterbacks over a 12-game season would have success in the Big Ten.

  17. Podunker, great name drop (Seth Latrell)!!! Seth has done a wonderful job at North Texas State. Hated to see him leave IU. Truly a up and coming football coach. Has an eye for finding and coaching college quarterbacks (football players). As an offensive cord would have been well worth a million a year (IU will not pay). He was at IU between 2012 and 2013, some of IU best recruiting (offensive) classes. Probably will be a BIG 12 head coach in a year or two.

  18. Most of the time it is hard for IU to recruit a good big league qb. Even Tre Robison under K.W. would not stay as second in line and bolted for power house lol Illinois State. When Suds was injured Tre would have been the guy for that whole season….and due to lack of respect for IU fb program / tradition other qbs transfered and decommitted as well either to play in smaller leagues or set on the bench at Penn State for example.

  19. Talking endlessly of a 3-star recruit for the same old football team that went 2-7 in conference play?
    Why don’t we just talk about the latest advances in replacement toilet seats?

    1. Dang H4H,

      Are replacement toilet seats your field of expertise? Who would have thought? We just learned something new and exciting to talk about.

      So . . . .. exactly what can we expect from your field of expertise to deal with most of the conversations posted here?

      ‘Tis the season for fun and frivolity.

  20. Well, my previous suggestion is based on the assumption that IU will continue to pay their football coaches at a level that is below the Big Ten and Power-Five Conference averages, which makes it harder to have a recognized, proven winning head coach. If IU ever hires a head coach who has proven he can build a winning program, that man might be more effective recruiting higher rated players (especially quarterbacks). But otherwise, and assuming IU’s Football Coaching compensation will remain below average, then IU had better begin casting a wider net and start looking for those under-the-radar players across the country. I mean, how do you fail to see Baker Mayfield coming out of High School? And “casting a wider net” requires a bigger recruiting budget, which is necessary to build relationships and create a presence in areas of the country where IU has not recruited before. Seth Latrell originally recruited Sudfeld out of a school in California when he was the OC for Arizona, and then brought him to IU when Rich-Rod took over at Arizona and he was then hired by Wilson to be IU’s OC. Every year there are numerous guys in Texas and California that get ignored by the major programs in their states/regions who would be superstars if they played HS football in Indiana! Is IU failing to notice guys like Jason Driskel and Mason Fine, do they “see” them but choose to pass on them because they’re not the proto-typical 6′-5″ rocket-armed QB, or are they too focused on making offers to higher rated QBs who will not sign with IU? My guess is that, at least when it comes to quarterbacks, IU’s coaches have failed to realize that their reach exceeds their grasp. Without a highly recognized head coach who has proven he can build a winner, IU needs to do a better job finding those hidden gems. In the meantime, “Nick Tronti for the 2019 Heisman Trophy!”

  21. IU has two RBs coming in the 2018 class with one rated a 4 star and the other a big fast back rated 3 star mainly because after a great JR year he was hurt early [his foot] in his senior year. Film of the OL recruits show big bodies that have a big punch and follow through on the blocks. Reese is one of the under the radar QB on a state championship team with great stats. IU now will have two Mr Football QBs on the roster. Things have improved in recruiting once again after two down years. Give this staff time to show what they can do as recruiting wise they are showing success.

    Defensively IU is bringing in very good players once again this year. They seem to be reloading on defense. IU has a top 5 kicker coming in on scholarship so STs aren’t being ignored.

    For a first year recruiting this staff has done a very good job. There are two QB looking at IU and we will find out in another week or so if one chooses IU. Reese is an outstanding QB and getting one more good QB will balance out the QB room.

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