Hoosiers land 3-star Florida tackle Michael Cartwright

A Florida offensive lineman is pledging to become a Hoosier.

Michael Cartwright, a 6-foot-6, 285-pound tackle from Hialeah, Fla. made a verbal commitment to Indiana on Sunday, giving IU 13 players in its current 2019 recruiting class.

Cartwright played right tackle for Champagnat Catholic in 2017, where he was a teammate of IU freshman defensive back Noah Pierre. Cartwright also held offers from Central Florida, Nebraska, Pitt, Southern Miss and Florida Atlantic, among others.

“He has calves like bowling balls,” Champagnat coach Hector Clavijo told The Miami Herald this spring.

According to the Herald, Cartwright also ran the 40-yard dash in 5.0 seconds during a recent Nike combine.

He’s the third offensive line commit for Indiana during a cycle that has seen IU coach Tom Allen prioritize recruiting efforts on both sides of the line. Tennessee tackle Matthew Bedford (6-foot-5, 260 pounds) and Pennsylvania guard Michael Katic (6-foot-4, 270 pounds) both committed to the Hoosiers last month.

“I’m really really proud to say that I’m 1,000% committing to THE INDIANA UNIVERSITY,” Cartwright wrote in a message posted on Twitter.

In February, 247 Sports named Cartwright as a top performer after his showing at The Opening regional scouting event in Miami.

“Cartwright has the length to play tackle, and he won his fair share of one-on-one reps,” 247 Sports’ Luke Stampini wrote. “It’s clear Cartwright is still developing as a player, but from he showed on Sunday, his offer list should grow throughout the spring.”

Cartwright, a native of the Bahamas, also plays basketball and participates in track and field at Champagnat. He won gold at the 2016 Caribbean Basketball Confederation Championships while representing his home country in the U-16 tournament.

52 comments

  1. Cartwright has the body to be a very good OT down the road. He has a big upper body with a trim torso. He has work to do but shows some good traits on film. IU keeps the Florida pipeline going and it is good to hear he ran the forty in 5.0 with the size he has.

  2. Another long athletic guy with not a whole lot of power. Hopefully he packs on weight and strength quickly. Seems a bit of a reach. The guard he plays with is ranked #8 in the country- IU didn’t offer him.

    1. …a reach?…what’s not to like…a multi-sport athletic big man with good feet is a prime suspect to play tackle…

      1. Wes Martin is a bulldozer with a helmet. They’ve gotten 3 years of great product from him already. Wes Martin is also the strongest guy on the team. This kid clearly isn’t strong enough. He has trouble moving guys in high school. Yes he’s got a big frame and he’s quick enough to block defensive ends. But he lacks strength. Maybe they can build him up in 2-3 years but he looks like a project.

        1. He’s already turned heads in his last scouting event. Offers of Pitt, Huskers and So. Miss. + the weakling is a shot putter on his track team. He is the kind of player that flies high this season, receives significantly higher profile recruiting attention and de-commits before heading to a more prolific program.

          1. HC,
            I believe you pretty much nailed this but I did have one thought for discussion. I too am concerned this type player could de-commit and go to a higher profile program. What I did notice though was it appeared IUFB and other programs seemed to benefit with the signing period in December. Do you think IUFB will be able to hang on to more of these type commits with the new signing paradigm even if he does fly high this season as you suggest?

          2. It has to be considered an advantage from earlier years and I do not want to discount how much it can help the coaches who are good recruiters and evaluators of talent at IU. If it helps to keep 2-3 maybe more commits a year is priceless for the Hoosiers.

          3. IU has hit on 2 O lineman recruited in last 5 years with low recruiting ratings- Wes Martin and Harry Crider. There have been several others that couldn’t crack the 2 deep. What do Martin and Crider have in common? Superior strength. So you should be concerned when they pick a kid with low ratings that lacks strength. And the problem with trying to build him in the weight room is that the guys coming in with superior strength are working-out too. To get a kid like this to overtake them, he needs to significantly outperform other players in the weight room for 2-3 years. Doesn’t happen very often.

          4. HC,
            I am trying to remember for sure, but didn’t TA keep all of the commits last year? If I am remembering correctly it was largely attributed to the early signing date in December being available for the first time.

          5. Please name the players who never cracked the 2 deep. I can only think of 1. Even if they don’t contribute much until their 4th or 5th years big deal. Mature, developed LOS performers are coveted by every program in the country. Especially and particularly those with good feet. Think Jason Spriggs.

    2. No reach with Cartwright. He is the perfect OT to redshirt for his first year as he learns the IU playbook, participates in the strength and conditioning program and adjusts to college athletics and academics.

  3. If there is #8 in country and is eligible with acceptable character IU would offer if they had a chance to get him.

  4. Currently, can’t really afford to lose any 2019 commits as there are only 13. It has been quiet.

  5. Wow, there are some serious pessimists posting comments on this string. A young man that size is going to be slower to develop his strength than other types of athletes. He’s just beginning to grow into his body! And if he was a perfect specimen for an OL, he’d be committing to another, more prominent football program. So use some common sense and accept that for the foreseeable future, IU is NOT going to be signing any 5-star offensive linemen, or any other 5-star rated football players. We have to recruit lower rated players that have the physical potential to become really good college football players. And I trust T.A. and his staff to be able to evaluate a kid’s potential better than anyone who posts comments on The Hoosier Sports Report. As for this kid, the fact that he is an effective athlete who has been successful at other sports is an excellent indication of his athleticism and potential. Once he focuses 100% of his time on football, I believe he’ll develop into a quality OL.

    And why all the fuss over the number of players committed for the 2019 class? It’s July! Early signing is in December. There is a lot of time left in the recruiting process and IU is coming off one of the best recruiting classes in its history. I see no reason to be pessimistic about the 2019 class at this stage in the recruiting calendar.

    1. Po,
      I am wondering if this is TA’s strategy. It’s not a new one and has been done successfully at other lower tier programs. Assumption is IUFB can’t go head to head yet for the 5 star player and a large portion of the 4 star for obvious reasons. Recruit instead for potential and count on S&C program to finish the work. I know a lot of other programs running the same theory, even the FB bluebloods to a certain degree (Although for the bluebloods their idea of potential is a 4 star instead of 5 star). The only difference is the bet on Ballou’s S&C program.

      If the theory on TA’s strategy is correct, then they are counting on the S&C program to be as revolutionary as V13 believes and many of us are wondering. I know and understand the naysayers counterpoints which are reasonable. If this is TA’s strategy then he is rolling the dice that it will propel IUFB out of the FB world dumpster. It may be a gamble on TA’s part, but one might also call it believing in yourself and your ideas.

  6. To move up in the B1G IU has to hit on players like Cartwright and wait for them to develop into B1G players. Not many HS players that aren’t 5 star or high 4 star players are physically ready to be D1 players as a freshmen. Most players at all schools need a year or more to develop into D1 players. Finding the players that will develop into starters is the key and not all players with potential will develop into D1 players. The more players IUFB find that develpp into D1 starters the sooner IU has winning seasons.

  7. thinkaboutit;
    To use the term “strategy” implies that T.A. has a choice. I don’t think T.A., or any IU coach over the last 20 years has had any choice but to recruit lower rated (i.e., 3-star) players who are being passed over by the top Power-5 Conference football programs. If T.A. continues to recruit big kids with upside potential while selectively recruiting JC players and Graduate Transfers, his “strategy” can work and he does not have to pursue 4 and 5-star players coming out of high school.

    The most important position, and the one that does require a highly rated player, is Quarterback. For that position, T.A. needs to continue to target 4-star rated players (if not 5-star) that fit the style of offense he wants to run (dual threat quarterbacks). A really effective QB can offset a team’s other deficiencies. And for the life of me, I can’t understand why so many highly rated HS QBs sign with teams that are already loaded with 5-star quarterbacks? Why risk being a bench warmer when you can be a starter and develop into a star at schools like IU? You’d think that their are a few intelligent young men out there that would rather be a star at a school like IU as compared to risking being a back-up for two seasons on a team loaded with All American quarterbacks. Then, if they want to play, they have to transfer, which may waste another year of their athletic career. Tommy Stevens and Gunner Kiel should be cautionary tales for every highly ranked High School Quarterback. Go to a school where you have a very strong chance to be the starter and then develop into a star.

  8. Po, would you feel the same way if you were a really big fan of a program /team/ school loaded with 4 and 5 star qbs?
    Don’t get carried away with 5 star. A few are but usually 4 star range and several 3 star as was or is Tommy Stevens.

  9. I also follow PAC-12 football. Every year USC recruits a 5-star, nationally top-rated QB out of Southern California (see cover of Sports Illustrated). The kid arrives to the QB room on his first day of practice and sees that there are four other former 5-star QBs in the room with him. And then he starts hearing about the up-and-coming 5-star QB being recruited for next season’s roster. Two or three of those QBs will transfer if they’re not named the starter as they approach their sophomore season. What a waste! They ride the pine for a year or two and then sit out a year due to transfer. At that point, they’re not likely to recover and make it anywhere near an NFL roster. There have been exceptions, but a lot of QB talent gets buried on the depth charts of Top Ten-ranked football powers. Just look at Clemsen’s QB room. Three of those four remaining QBs are not going to play other than a few minutes in garbage time (or blow-out wins) while each of them could be a starter on dozens of teams across the country. Seems stupid to me!

    1. Po,
      I think it is a shame too for these HS kids to be wowed by the bright lights of the big time programs only to ride the pine most of their careers. Too many kids who could have had nice runs at other schools if they could understand this, but we are dealing with kids normally still teenagers. The only thing I know which could possibly break this up would be enough media attention on the issue. Whether through social or traditional media, the focused attention might help these kids understand the next new thing mentality of college sports. If your a 4 or 5 star number 3 or 4 in the depth chart, you know the next new thing recruited will like be where the efforts to develop will be focused.

      btw for t, the UM incoming QB is coming from Ole Miss, not state. Really good QB fleeing NCAA problems at Ole Miss.

    2. USC – PAC 12 last seven starting quarterbacks – Sam Darnold, Cody Kessler, Matt Barley, Mark Sanchez, John Booty, Matt Leinart and Carson Palmer 6 of the 7 where all top NFL draft picks. If youo are a true 5* quarterback and you have done your work in practice (proper player development) all you need is one year to impress NFL scouts (i.e. Cardale Jones – Ohio State). I think Indiana has only put Nate Sudfield and Trent Green in the NFL in recent years…….Also you have to realize that these 5 star quarterbacks are usually surrounded by 5 star players (receivers, offensive lineman, running backs, etc). Which gives you a better chance to shine (look good)….Why would I as a 5 star quarterback go to Indiana University and my wide receiver targets are 2* and 3* star receivers, I am waiting on to develop. The resume of the offensive cord (Michigan 1997-1999, Michigan 2006-2007 and Tennessee 2015-2016) an the only quarterback he has in pros is Joshua Dobbs….As a 5 star recruit I would take my chance at any Power 5 school that is National ranked consistently, on National television (exposures) at least two, three or more times a year, an where I might (more than likely) get better quarterback training than Indiana. Lets compare if I am a 4* quarterback would I go to Purdue or Indiana — Jeff Brohm (ex- NFL quarterback – head coach consider offensive guru) —- Tom Allen (very good defensive coach – maybe a genius turning IU defense around).

      1. 79,
        They has been a lot of fussing about DeBord for only 1 season, too early to tell in just one year, two years will tell much more. I’m waiting on how this season goes before I pass judgement on DeBord, but you might want to rethink his credentials. OC for the ’97 UM team which won the national championship. QB was one Brian Griese, the backup who later stared was some fellow called Brady, played a few years in the NFL for the Patriots.

        btw the way when former HC Carr left UM, DeBord was in the running for the HC job but lost out to RichRod, we’ll never know how things would have went if they went with DeBord.

        1. He very well could have been more successful than RR. But so far he is 0-1 with lower level talent. So far his only success has been with talent on the level of Dobbs. He sure showed last year at best marginal results. He does have an opportunity to redeem himself with better talent this year but he best not squander it early in the season with plain vanilla play calling. I suspect because what he is familiar with + his age will make much change insurmountable. Hope not but I’m standing in Missouri on this 1.

          1. HC,
            I’m not going to disagree with you that DeBord has a lot to prove beginning this year. Not sure the rationale for saying he is 0-1 with lower level talent unless you’re talking about his stint at Central Michigan. 0-1 to me means we are placing the entire blame on him for the personnel he inherited. May blame him for not getting in the recruits quick enough, but he had a short span to do so after being hired.

          2. His 0-1 record was earned last season at IU. I know all about his work with lower level talent at CMU. He is a lightweight with anything less than top notch talent in every test so far. I predict he takes up fishing, grandkids and sightseeing after this season. His only reprieve is a little better talent and possibly a more favorable schedule this year may smooth the path.

          3. HC,
            You may be right, but I have a funny feeling the season won’t hinge on the offense this year. I am wondering if it will all turn on how well TA can bring a young defense up to speed.

          4. Think, I want to be clear I do believe there is enough offensive talent for them to be solid in the B1G with consistent QB play. I still think Ramsey is the MAN. He has enough size and plenty of savvy. His passing accuracy cannot be undervalued for a team in the Hoosiers position of wanting to reduce turnovers. He has speed and wiggle. Also observed last year what that anonymous B1G coach said he saw, PR was never rattled. I still question DeBord optimizing the advantages.

          5. HC,
            I too believe there is enough offensive talent to be respectable in the B1G. I don’t discount that PR could be an effective QB and possibly have a break out season, especially with some health receivers back and a hopefully much improved OL. I was impressed with PR’s abilities last year, wish he had a little stronger arm, but I’ll take accuracy over a slightly weaker arm. What I am hopeful for is a serious battle for the QB spot with a least the 3 most often mentioned showing their capabilities.

            I would hate it for PR because I believe he is a really good kid and QB, but it would not hurt my feelings if he were to be beat out by one of the newcomers and by a substantial margin. Reason being, it would mean a substantial upgrade at the QB position. A position which I believe all things being equal PR could do a credible job this year, and he is probably significantly improved over last year. However if one of the newcomers is that much better than an improved PR, then it bodes quite well for the offense and the QB depth it may possess.

            As for DeBord’s offense and his play calling, I am not sure how much he was limited by personnel issues last year. Losing two pretty good receivers from a team at the level of IU is a hard hill to climb, especially with a retooling and young OL. With the talent he may have this year, I believe we may have a much better look from which to judge his value as OC. I expect to see much different play calling this year, wouldn’t be a bit surprised if we found out TA was demanding it.

  10. I don’t disagree with you. I suppose it depends what individual players are trying to achieve in life.
    I have used PAC Ten examples before. I noticed maybe a couple 5 stars with others being recruited with other 4 stars in locker room. (not all of them 5’s). Point is still made though). Realistically, for IU Brandon Peters/Avon H.S. @ Michigan getting lost in shuffle, and Miss St transfer is suppose to be starter with Harbaugh stating they have 4 qb’s that can play. Hunter Johnson/Brownsburg H.S. transfer to Northwestern from Clemson as he corrected his course. However, getting to a higher 3 star like Tommy Stevens at Penn State. I wonder what he will think when he is 30? At IU he may have been a star qb. At Penn State he does get a degree probably with being a member of team and used sparingly. Dennis Franklin and Harbaugh along with their staffs among others have a lot of B.S. to keep talented players in the wings on the bench supported by winning tradition. If IU gets a couple of qbs (and not highly rated) at same time the conversation starts; which one is going to transfer?

  11. I would think H.S. coaches and parents etc. would also have impact on what college players (their kd) (qbs) go to. My guess is that more times than not they would be for their kid going to a higher rated or blue chip program. Their kid is special and he can get it done type thinking. Even that type of reality doesn’t work in IU’S favor.
    Thanks, for Ole Miss correction, think.

  12. Good discussion, but let’s back up a bit. First of all, under T.A., IU is going to prioritize “dual-threat” quarterbacks. IU is not likely to recruit “pro-style” quarterbacks under T.A.’s philosophy. So we’re not likely to be in the running for the type of quarterbacks recruited by USC, etc. Also, we have to assume that we can “sell” the concept that playing (for IU) within the first two years on campus is better than riding the pine for two years at a top Power-five program, because a QB develops faster from game experience. As I’ve said before, it is ironic that T.A., a defensive coach, seems to be more effective at recruiting quarterbacks than Wilson, an offensive coach, ever was. I’m just surprised that more kids don’t think that it might be better to be a “big fish in a smaller pond than it is to be a small fish in the ocean.”

    1. Po,
      I know there will always be exceptions but I can think of an example of what you are suggesting. I seem to remember a QB several years ago who went that route. Had a pretty decent college career at what would be considered a lower tier school, but managed to find the right fit in the NFL. Name was Bret Farve.

  13. There are always exceptions…and I would submit there are more exceptions than one might think especially at qb. Names pop up kinda out of nowhere and next thing you no and that player (qb) is successful in nfl.

  14. Great point, think. Favre is a good example. And there are others. Last year’s Super Bowl MVP, Nick Foles is a more recent example. Recruited by Arizona State but going to Michigan State, after one year at MSU, Foles transferred to Arizona, where he became the starter and was able to showcase his skills. He was drafted in the third round and eventually became a starting QB in the NFL.

    One school’s bench warmer is another school’s star QB.

  15. Penn State gets another 4 star qb recruiting commitment giving them 2 for class of 2019 among their 14 commits. Life after McSorely and Stevens is so easy for programs like Penn State. Did I say in 1 class year? So, in a four year recruiting cycle I would assume though a qb could play different positions, Penn State will have a solid stable of highly regarded qb’s to choose from. Probably less of them would transfer than probability of IU qb transferring.

    1. …and yet…

      It shouldn’t be. Who is going to have a better shot at the NFL? A quarterback on a 6-6 Indiana team who threw for a billion yards or some kid at an 11-2 Penn State team who threw 37 passes during garbage time?

      Ask Nate Sudfeld.

      1. Good question and answer. Here’s another question, how do we get the Tommy Stevens’ of the world to understand the difference?

    2. “Life after McSorely and Stevens”… Give me a break! McSorely is going on as a 4 year starter and star. Stevens is a sort of quality back-up who has never led an important drive in 4 years. Stevens might be a good QB, but as of now, he is a nothing.

  16. Or another example is Babe Laurfenberg (however he came to IU) and made it to NFL.
    The reality is, it seems to be the norm that has played against IU. A question may be do they understand the difference and prefer to go with status of elite or even good solid traditions rather than the other. Maybe, it just means more to many individual players not just (qbs) but players at all positions.
    QBs at IU in recent years transferred to lesser level programs who were not that great (however there could have been an issue with K.W. and staff. QB transfers could have stayed and competed especially when Sudfeld was injured. Transfers were already gone.

    1. Good example.

      While he never made much of a splash he had a longer career then Ryan Leaf. Remember when there was talk of picking Leaf instead of Peyton?

      Lots and lots of big time NFL quarterbacks did not play for elite college programs.

      Drew Brees, Aaron Rodgers, Matt Ryan, Phillip Rivers, Eli Manning, et al.

  17. Eastern Illinois University has produced two QBs that were completely overlooked coming out of HS by Power-5 Conference schools, but that went on to be successful starting QBs in the NFL. One of them, Jimmy Garappolo, recently became one of the highest paid players in the NFL. The other, Tony Romo was also a highly paid NFL star. Those two examples reinforce the notion that it may be better to go to a “lessor” college football program where you can play than it is to go to a major power football program where you risk getting stuck on the bench. Neither Romo or Garoppolo were considered viable NFL prospects when they graduated from HS. But they went to a school where they could play and developed into legitimate NFL prospects. Kurt Warner’s experience is a little different, but he could serve as another example.

    I think one element of this is that many 18-year old HS QBs may not be thinking about playing in the NFL, but they get their egos stroked and are drawn to schools that offer the bright lights, big crowds and passionate fans. They’re attracted by the “rush” of game days. And let’s be honest, the rush created by IU’s home games is nothing compared to the experience of these major Power-5 conference football programs. If you don’t believe that, attend a PSU, OSU or MI home game and compare that experience to an IU home game.

    1. I think you are exactly right. The trick is to use that to your advantage. It is a different kind of recruiting strategy but, strangely enough, it should appeal to the more savvy recruit.

      If your favorite school just recruited the next Cam Newton you need to understand the odds of ever seeing the field are not in your favor.

  18. And there are NFL quarterbacks from Indiana who were not overlooked by big time college programs ….and were basically very disappointing in the NFL. Thinking of Rex “Butterfinger Bear Claws” Grossman who handed Manning and Indy their one Super Bowl win….and Jay Cutler of Santa Claus, Indiana…who brought 140 million dollars of extreme pouting and punting to Chicago.

  19. John: I want to play in college.
    Parent: Johnny, where do you think you would get a good education.
    John: Undecided. I am thinking.
    H.S. Coaches: Your size is a consideration.
    John: I know.
    Parent: Well Johnny what are you going to do?
    John: Well, I Johnny Unitas all 145lbs of me am going to enroll at Louisville and not give up.

  20. Alabama hasn’t produced a Super Bowl quarterback since Ken Stabler. Ohio State and Penn State are zero for forever. LSU never has. Texas, Texas A&M, Clemson? Nope.

    Southern Cal? Georgia? Nebraska? Uh uh.

    Oklahoma? Not OK.

    Playing for an ‘elite’ program certainly is no guarantee of greatness.

  21. That is the point….most (almost all) want to play for a very good to elite program and they want to give it a shot (they think they can do it). It is comparable to going to a party with the Rolling Stones with the best party atmosphere and perks that may go with it for potentially 4 years… to going to a party at the Monroe County fair after watching the rabbit judging contest.

  22. 22 players (defense and offense) plus special teams plus the bench or depth make up all positions involved in game at a time. They all make each other better by creating opportunities for each other. That’s why coaches who can coach have elite programs.

  23. People forget about a QB coach DeBord had by the name of Tom Brady. Another example of a small school QB is the Eagles QB Carson Wentz. QBs come in all kinds of packages but the good ones learn how to be winners somewhere along the way. IU has had some very good players in the past but not many that could make the winning play with the game on the line. Just think back the past few years at games IU could have beaten the big boys but came up short. Coach Allen and staff have focused on players coming from winning programs and I hope he translates into making winning plays in the B1G.

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