Former commit Kristian Pechac now a walk-on at IU

Indiana is giving running back Kristian Pechac another chance.

Pechac, who originally accepted a scholarship offer from IU in April 2017, only to decommit two months later, will now join the Hoosier football program as a walk-on.

The 6-foot, 205-pound rusher was ascendent following his junior season at Bloomington South; he amassed a school-record 2,030 yards and 28 touchdowns on the ground in 2016. Pechac received more than a dozen scholarship offers from Division I schools, including Louisville, Cincinnati, Kentucky, Minnesota, and Northern Illinois.

When Tom Allen became the Hoosiers’ head coach in Dec. 2016, his first scholarship offer went to Pechac, whose father, Mike, is the director of player development for the football program.

The younger Pechac verbally committed to the Hoosiers, but when he reversed course in June 2017, reopening his recruitment, it started off a chain of disappointing outcomes for the four-star prospect.

Pechac hurt his ankle in South’s opener at Brownsburg. The senior returned to play in five more games but rushed for just 204 yards and two touchdowns on 55 carries. When the Panthers went to play for the sectional title in Martinsville, Pechac was no longer with the team.

Pechac graduated from South a semester early and spent the spring at Pima Community College in Tucson, Ariz. Now he returns to Bloomington and the Hoosiers, looking for another chance to earn a scholarship.

One of Pechac’s former classmates will join him on the roster. South grad Chris Bomba, a preferred walk-on, will be a freshman receiver for the Hoosiers. Despite missing the first three games of his senior season with a hamstring injury, Bomba led the Panthers in receiving yard with 754 and finished his career with 1,901, which ranks second in school history.

27 comments

  1. IU could be getting a diamond that hasn’t been faceted yet. I hope he gets back to his performance when he was a JR and has rid himself of whatever issues he had during his senior year.

    It is also good to hear Bomba is going to walkon. He had good hands in HS and good production.

    1. v13,
      I’m looking at this from another angle as well. Should be instructional for future recruits that things are not always what they seem with other programs. When you are offered a sure thing you might want to stick with it and not listen to the outside hype. Thinking of Tommy Stevens at Penn State, another year coming up of holding the clipboard on the sidelines. Supposedly projected to be the 2019 starter, but we all know how those things can change.

  2. Dr Brad Bomba would/should be very proud of Chris. Pechac has a real chance to be a player at IU. Good luck to each of these kids.

  3. Good with potential type pick ups. However, IU football sure does get its share of projects. in this case a past 4 star project. It’s IU football.

    1. IU needs to hit on project kids that surprise people like Whop has. IU is unlikely to get high rated players until they have several winning seasons. There are quality athletes out there that aren’t rated as high as they should be yet go to college and play much better than many think they will. JJ Watts wasn’t a high rated player that played in the B1G at a high level. IU needs to hit as many of those type of players as they can.

      I hope Pechac lives up to his potential he showed as a junior in HS. Hopefully, he has learned a lot in this past couple of years. I hope he has given him the drive to prove he can be a quality B1G RB.

  4. Given that there is little to no cost associated with IU “getting” these “projects,” I applaud T.A. and staff for their open-minded and creative recruiting. And I agree with v13, “IU needs to hit on project kids”, especially when those protect kids were four-star recruits coming out of High School. Sometimes, the chip on a kid’s shoulder or the threat of losing something you cherish drives people to a higher level of motivation and to over-achieve. Plus, I trust T.A.’s ability to assess talent.

  5. I was wondering what happened to this kid. Give him a year to get his bearings straight and in 2019 he might be getting meaningful carries. Good pick up for T.A.

  6. I give the staff credit. This kid thought he was better than Indiana. Now he must earn that scholarship. We shall see!

  7. I said they were good pickups without being more than what they are….Yes, the many project type players that have played IU fb in big ten have strolled to a couple 6 win 7 loss seasons as their best so far this century. To many project type players and to many so called diamonds in the rough if they make up to much of a team don’t offer much hope playing in big ten east to be feasted upon usually on Saturday afternoons. This includes big ten West Lafayette.

  8. The whole recruiting things brings out all kinds of personality types. I mean here at the Scoop, not the players! Pessimists, optimists, realists, idealists, cynics, cheerleaders, you name it. i’m sure it’s not limited to IUFB fans. One of my N’western friends told me that a lot of ‘Cats backers thought Hunter Johnson was sure to pick the Hoosiers. Why? ‘Cause his brother is a dentistry student at IU. I’m sure that’s the kind of “inside information” some of these TV sports-yakkers use to make their predictions.

  9. Assembling a winning football team at Indiana is far more difficult than pulling teeth. ….although we really don’t have to pull them because OSU, Michigan…and Penn State are usually kicking them in….
    There are also a lot of cavities(empty seats) in the Memorial stands in desperate need of filling. Best take care of the cavities soon and ‘fill’ the decaying attendance….or another Podunker root canal to simply get on our nerves is surely in the works.
    IU football serving as metaphors for dental procedures is sort of fun….By the end of the season, most of us have been ‘numbed up’ to the point that we just wish we would have been ‘put under’…..Feels like my whole face is sagging after watching IU Football. How long will it take for the numbing agent to wear off? Oh, and we do our waiting room music in decades…The dentist office is a cakewalk compared to IU Football….

  10. Adding this local talent is a positive for the program with no downside for IU. You can’t read this any other way. He needs no scholarship as his Dad is employed by the university. What’s not to like? He may become a valuable offensive performer. At the least he is a FB athlete that could shine on ST’s. He easily could be the type to benefit greatly from the S&C program to maximize honing his physical talent into skills. Go for it!

  11. JPat, I’m not sure the kid thought he was better than IU. He may just have wanted to get out of town and experience a different part of the country. I graduated from a HS in the Chicago suburbs. The vast majority of my classmates would attend schools in Illinois. I was determined toattendcollege out of state. I remember getting teased by my classmates who would say, “What, you’re too good for The University of Illinois?” That wasn’t it at all. I just wanted to experience something different, and IU was the perfect place. Or Pechac may have wanted to get away from his father and cut his own path. If you think about it, when he was being recruited a few years ago, IU had some great running backs who are now playing in the NFL. Unless he was delusional, I doubt he thought he was better than those guys.

  12. Po, I’m nervous if I go into detail that Tsao will come back and tear me down. Even if it’s first hand info from athletics like a few years ago. Not sure if you remember that all, it was crazy and over the top…and I was right about everything lol.

  13. Yeah…All the ‘jerks’ end up with jobs at Ohio State….lol (minus one basketball coach who didn’t go back to Ohio State and brought three banners to McCracken).
    JPat- Though you may have been “right on everything,” the sweetest confirmation of “righting” our program is to have a football team that can actually beat something better than OSU’s back-up scrimmage team.

    Translated: I also miss Tsao….and I’m very worried that he may have moved quietly to the top floor unbeknownst to us all.

  14. Thanks Clarion. Harv, I don’t wish death on anyone, but I don’t miss him a bit! Also, we will be just fine with our current classy head football coach that cares about his coaches, staff, players, athletics staff, university, community and winning!

  15. JPat, I too have confidence in our HC. As you know I liked Wilson because he was tough and he single handedly changed the soft underbellied culture that was IUFB. I think Allen is just as tough. He just doesn’t have the exterior bark. I do have doubts about some of the coaches on the offensive side of the ball. But Allen is sharp enough and tough enough to lead them to higher levels of achievement or replace them if they don’t meet his standard. Absolutely believe his D staff is at the point of the lance. Hard to fathom how good the D would be with 5 or 6 higher level talented players. Only 2 things stand in TC’s road to success, IUFB history and the B1G East.

  16. Clarion, well said and I can’t disagree with anything you wrote. On paper the O line and RB stable look great. What a group of QB’s, wow! As always, hoping for the best. You just never know!

  17. Completely agree(other than ‘TC’ was used instead of ‘TA’)….
    The BIG East stands in front of Tom Allen as Ali, Norton, and Frazier stood in Jerry Quarry’s ‘road to success.’
    We get some good shots in early, but by the later rounds(fourth quarter) we’re usually getting pummeled …and then we fade.
    How many football games have IU fans witnessed over the years that should have been stopped?
    But talent disparities can’t hide in boxing…..nor repeat themselves without severe repercussions.

    He fought Floyd Patterson, Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier, had two shots at the heavyweight championship, earned $2 million in purses and posted a record of 53-9-4 with 33 knockouts. But by age 50, Quarry experienced severe memory loss and crippled motor skills from dementia pugilistica — brain damage caused by repeated blows to the head. His only income was said to have been Social Security disability checks (courtesy: New York Times).

  18. HC- are you sure that dad working for IU = tuition waiver for children? I assumed most universities did that until, pondering my children’s future, I reached out to a colleague at UWisc several years ago to see if I could land a gig there and save on college tuition x 3. No dice. My friend explained that the number of employees at schools the size of IU, UW, etc. is too large to allow so many free rides. Maybe there’s an exception for tenured faculty and a some other chosen few?

    1. Too small? He’s an 1″ shorter than Burgess but 9lb. heavier and he has posted a 4.65 forty. Those are all Sr. season HS #’s as a 17 maybe 18yo. Burgess will be 21 just before the Bucket game in Nov. Noah Joseph wanted both JJ and Burgess. I’ll trust his call. You must have good connections as the Spring game was cancelled to the public in April and JB did not enroll the year prior till June 5th.

  19. I’m glad this kid is not on scholarship. IU has too many projects. The Indy Star had an article on Jordan Jusevitch our of Lowell. He was a great, great, great high school football player. But he’s a step slow and too small for the Big Ten. IU gave him a scholarship to play safety. Watching Juwan Burgess in the Spring game instantly shows the difference in potential. Burgess is a difference maker and Jusevitch is destined, most likely, to be a career backup and special teams player. IU is dead last in the Big Ten for recruiting. They would be better off resisting the temptation to offer kids like Jusevitch so they can bring in more 5th year transfers that can give 1 year of great play. If IU was in the ACC or even the Big Ten West, they could afford to spend scholarships on long-shots. But the Big Ten East has too much talent for IU to waste limited opportunities to improve the team. No matter how well Pechac plays, IU should not put him on scholarship given his family’s ability to pay his way. IU is a talent poor team compared to all but Rutgers in the division. Our scholarships matter more because our talent pool is always less.

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