Allen signs IU’s highest-ranked recruiting class

The pomp and circumstance is gone. So, too, is much of the drama.

The first Wednesday in February — long reserved as college football’s National Signing Day — isn’t what it used to be. The December early signing period has changed the landscape for recruiting, allowing coaches nationwide to ink the bulk of their classes during the days leading into Christmas.

That left the mood around Indiana’s football offices more understated than usual.

“In our staff meeting this morning, we were kind of commenting about how it doesn’t feel like a normal signing day,” IU coach Tom Allen said.

Yet, at the same time, it was a crucial day in Allen’s tenure as Indiana coach, one that could prove pivotal as his run continues.

Allen signed what currently stands as the Hoosiers’ highest-ranked signing class in program history, a 21-man haul considered to be the No. 37 class nationally by Rivals and the No. 38 class by 247 Sports.

The IU coach added only two players Wednesday, Pennsylvania offensive lineman Tim Weaver and Florida safety Josh Sanguinetti, leaving three extra scholarships available for potential transfers during the months to come.

Both the early signing period and the new NCAA Transfer Portal have changed the way coaches adjust their rosters during the offseason. And while Allen is excited about inking what appears to be the most talent-rich class during the two-decade-old recruiting service era, he may not be done yet.

“It’s kind of a whole new world for everybody right now to be able to go through,” Allen said. “It was great to be able to have some spots here at the end that we’ll be able to utilize and address needs and even go through spring and see what needs might be presented from that, as well, with the ones we already feel like we have. … It’s all new territory for everybody, but at the same time I really feel like we have a really good plan and also have really good flexibility now to be able to finish out the entire group before we get ready to go to fall camp.”

In Sanguinetti, the Hoosiers added a safety who held offers from Auburn, Boston College Florida, Michigan, Miami, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Ole Miss and Mississippi State, among others.

Indiana benefitted from a series of breaks in its recruitment of the 6-foot-2 defensive back from Fort Lauderdale, Fla. According to a story from the South Florida Sun Sentinel, Sanguinetti originally wished to commit to Stanford, but “confusion over paperwork” led to a breakdown in that recruitment. Sanguinetti also liked the idea of becoming a Michigan Wolverine, until a scheduled trip to Ann Arbor was reportedly canceled due to Michigan taking another player at Sanguinetti’s spot.

Sanguinetti, who visited Bloomington last weekend, chose IU over Mississippi State and Boston College.

“(He) is a young man that really brings a great skill set to our secondary,” Allen said. “A young man that had 24 interceptions in his career in high school, which is a whole bunch from a very good high school program. Very good athlete, a young man that (has) a ton of talent that we think will be a great addition to an already-talented young secondary that did a really good job last year.”

Weaver committed to IU on Saturday, choosing the Hoosiers over Rutgers. Both he and Sanguinetti are considered three-star recruits by 247 Sports.

“(He) has the flexibility to play outside and inside, and (we) really, really feel like he’s the kind of young man that matches the values we’re trying to look for academically and from a character perspective and comes from a great family,” Allen said. “So really excited about Tim.”

At the same time, IU also missed on some of its other remaining targets Wednesday.

Three-star receiver TJ Jones picked Penn State, while three-star defensive tackle Kristian Williams picked Oregon. The Hoosiers also struck out on the handful of offensive linemen they had been recruiting during recent weeks.

That’s an area that Allen could address as the offseason continues. Allen signed two offensive linemen, tackle Matthew Bedford and guard Michael Katic, during the early period. Another December signee, Antonie Whitner, can play on either side of the line.

Moving forward, Allen will weigh all of his options up front as he evaluates potential transfers and grad transfers in the portal.

“Now that we’re through the signing days and looking at some guys that would fit that profile for us on the offensive line, it kind of opens up a whole new opportunity for yourself, too, when you look at a chance to be able to bring somebody in that you could develop, as well, that may be looking for an opportunity,” Allen said. “You can still go through and develop them if they have to sit for a year, if they’re not a true grad transfer, so that’s also kind of another component to it that you would look at. Whether you took them out of high school or you took them and developed them, you’re still going to have a guy that’s not going to be necessarily playing as a 2019 season guy. So (we’ll) definitely continue to focus on the offensive line for sure.”

The Hoosiers have three more scholarships available for the months to come. In the meantime, they have quite the haul with which to work.

It features four four-star prospects — defensive end Beau Robbins, corner Tiawan Mullen, running back Sampson James and linebacker Cameron Williams — each of whom signed in December. There’s also a former four-star quarterback, Jack Tuttle, whose scholarship counts toward this class.

Altogether, IU’s 2019 class edges the 2013 and 2014 classes that Rivals ranked 38th nationally.

Yet by Wednesday afternoon, Allen was already looking to the few classes waiting on deck.

“We have to stack a good class upon another good class and another good class,” Allen said. “Everybody talks about top 25. I like to talk about top 25 offense, top 25 defense, top 25 football team. So next goal is to be a top 25 recruiting class. That’s kind of how I would approach this. To me it’s attracting better and better players to help us get where we want to be on the field.”

15 comments

  1. I could use a little more education on what the options are for adding more talent to the roster for players available for the 2029 season: 1) JUCO; 2) true graduate transfers; 3) others? IU has 3 scholarships to use, let’s use them wisely. When must the decisions be made by? What names are in play? Coach Allen and staff have done well so far. How does IU rank versus the other B1G schools? Versus our 2019-20-21-22 opponents? Thanks.

    1. Wheatly, is he the son of the running back that played at Michigan? Heard his dad was leaving the Michigan coaching staff to take a head coaching job. Morgan St. I believe. Not sure if this had anything to do with the transfer or just playing time concerns at Michigan.

    2. 123- exactly what the doctor ordered! Excellent information. I like your picks! But there are many good players to choose from if IU has a good presentation. Go Coach Allen and staff!

  2. Reading between the lines, one could begin to have concerns about IU’s O-line coach when you continue to read comments like “The Hoosiers also struck out on the handful of offensive linemen they had been recruiting during recent weeks.” IU has improved its recruiting of defensive players (i.e., Sanguinetti), we’ve been doing well recruiting Offensive skill players (running backs, wide receivers, QBs), but I’m not seeing the same improvement in recruiting Offensive linemen. With the new OC/Associate Head Coach, one wonders how long Hiller will survive, especially when he’s being paid a high compensation package (relative to other IU position coaches)? There are limits to what a Strength and Conditioning coach can do for the big guys that are essential to having an effective offense.

    1. Po as soon as DeBord announced retirement Hiller became the 1st. question in my thinking about a new OC’s scrutinizing evaluation. FWIIW, the Fresno St. OL coach was just promoted by Tedford. In a new OC’s eyes his OL coach must be the most capable on the offensive staff. I’ve never felt DH was B1G material. I’m sure we’ll find out.

  3. BP, as we witnessed last year, I predict T.A. will use his three remaining scholarships on grad transfers, which will arrive after the spring semester is concluded. And my guess is that two of those three transfers will be offensive linemen.

    It is unlikely that IU will sign guys who played for Big Ten teams, unless IU is not scheduled to play those teams in the one year they’ll be on the team. My guess is that the grad transfers will come from schools in other conferences. It’s tough to justify playing against your former teammates at schools like Penn State. I wonder if we’ll see any grad transfers from Fresno State or Western Michigan signing with IU over the next few years?

    1. Po- I thought the same thing about Darren Hiller. He also struck out on several o lineman during the 1st signing period. They can’t coach ’em up unless they are on the team. As far as grad transfers, several Big Ten basketball players have transferred within the conference including Max Bielfelt who went from Michigan to IU. So I don’t think that will be an issue. IU also had a cornerback and lineman that transferred from Ohio State. I don’t think either worked out that well but it does happen.

  4. As for transfers, we might see an old relationship influence one player to sign with IU. Spencer Perry was a defender for South Alabama and is transferring. He was originally signed by ND. He might know our new DC.

    As for O-linemen, I’d love to see Drew Richmond (from TN) and Oge Udeogu from (Iowa State) come to Bloomington. And since IU does not play IL next season, as 123 suggested, Reuben Unije (IL) could be a target.

    1. Forget where the transfer is coming from! If the kid wants a new home and can start at IU, then pick him up and play him in all 12 + 1!

  5. I may be wrong, but I think Hiller’s salary is a little over $400 K per year. If that is correct, for that kind of money, I’m betting you could attract a lot of up-and-coming O-line coaches from mid-major programs that want to advance their careers and coach in the Big Ten. Hiller may do a good job coaching up his talent, but all these position coaches must also be excellent recruiters, and with the exception of QB, no other position is more important that the O-line.

  6. Respectfully disagree, PO. Gimme a couple of lock-em-down-tight corners who can go man-to-man with the opposition’s two best receivers and I’ll show you nine other guys freed up to wreak a lot of havoc.

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