Hoosiers nab three 2020 commits in a day

Sunday was a big day for Indiana football — and not just with its bowl announcement.

Three recruits from the 2020 class verbally committed to the Hoosiers throughout the day, including running back Tim Baldwin Jr. (Va.), safety Bryson Bonds (Tex.), and tight end A.J. Barner (Ohio).

The first of the day was Baldwin, a former Michigan commit, who was ultimately swayed by IU and running backs coach Mike Hart, a Michigan alum. The Nokesville, Va., native rushed for 1,367 yards and 23 touchdowns as a senior.

The 6-foot, 200-pound back is considered a top 50 prospect for his position in the 2020 class. He chose IU over West Virginia and South Carolina.

Bonds, who stands 6-1, 190 pounds, chose IU over Kansas, Minnesota, and Texas Tech. As a junior, the Crowley, Tex., native had a breakout campaign with 103 tackles, five interceptions, 15 pass breakups, and six fumble recoveries.

The run of scholarship commits ended with a nighttime commitment from Barner, a 6-foot-5, 225-pound pass-catcher. He was originally an Ohio commit but ended up receiving interest from Michigan State and Pittsburgh, as well.

Like Baldwin and Bonds, Barner is a three-star prospect. The Aurora, Ohio, product is considered the No. 49 tight end prospect in the country by 247Sports.

IU now has 18 verbal commits for the 2020 class, as well as a graduate transfer, Dylan Powell, from Stanford.

The Hoosiers also added a preferred walk-on Sunday night who should already have some cache with the state’s football fans. New Palestine running back Charle Spegal, who set state records with 10,867 career rushing yards, 175 touchdowns and 173 rushing touchdowns, announced his commitment via Twitter.

11 comments

  1. t, like usual for IUFB how many of the recruits turn out to be far better than their rating and how many develop into major players for the B1G. This season should provide jump in recruiting for 2021 as this 2020 class was already set in most cases. It is good to see the flurry of recruits here this week as IUFB finishes up the class.

    1. As someone who stressed the need for fans to look beyond the overall rankings and focus on the star and indivisible player averages, I’m curious how you square that with IU’s national ranking well north of 50 on both Rivals and 24/7 and 13th of 14 in the BiG in both service’s rankings?

      1. BD,
        Right now it is kind of weird on the Rivals rating service. 247 usually rates slightly lower than Rivals, but Rivals has something kind of strange going on right now. 2 of IUFB’s recruits on Rivals have no ratings, but we are told they are 3* recruits and 247 is showing them that as well. 2 other recruits are showing as 2* on Rivals while 247 is showing them as 3*. At this point IUFB should be showing solid 3* average on Rivals as it is on 247, not sure what is going on with Rivals.

  2. Any time IU is getting commitments from kids recruited by schools like Michigan, OSU, West Virginia, South Carolina, MN and Texas Tech, or transfers from schools like Miami and Stanford, or any other power-five conference school, that’s a positive sign and evidence that recruiting continues to improve relative to IU’s past and our current competitors.

    Look, IMO, the biggest remaining factor that will limit IU’s FB recruiting is the Hoosier Nation’s level of support and passion for our FB program. IU is never going to sign a bunch of 4 and five-star FB players when we can’t fill Memorial Stadium for home games, or when a third of the fans leave the stadium at half time. The next step in IU’s FB evolutions is increasing the Hoosier Nation’s level of support and passion for FB. It may take time and some key wins, but that’s what must happen in order to allow TA and staff to take recruiting to the next level.

    If IU beats TN in the Gator Bowl and produces another winning season in 2020, I predict IU’s 2021 recruiting class will be its best ever and probably ranked in the top 30 in the nation.

    1. Podunker, You hit the nail on the head. We (the fans) must support IUFB like we do IUBB. Then we will get the top recruits to compete with the top teams in the B1G.

  3. IUJIM, I think it’s obvious, but I continue to be surprised by the number of people claiming to be Hoosier fans who remain so deeply cynical about IU FB. It’s almost as if they’re looking for reasons to justify not attending IU home games!

    I mean, just look at the “chicken-littles” on so many IU fan boards who became distraught at the recent news that Fresno State’s head coach retired. They panicked at the thought that IU might lose DeBoer. The irony is that they don’t seem to understand that the greater level of fan support, the less likely IU is to struggle finding great coaches! More fan support means more money to hire and retain the best coaches. TA is trying to build a program, not just produce a winning season once in a while. And fan support is essential to having a successful program which is sustained in spite of coaching turnover.

  4. Po, I agree with you but I am not sure IUFB will ever have the support until they are considered one of the top 15 teams in the country. It is a shame it will take that much of a change to convince people to support the team but I think that is what it will take. Playing in the B1G East makes it tougher to achieve that status but when the team can pull off a few of the games against the big boys it will lift them to that level.

  5. Just read that T Mullen has been named First Team Freshman All-American. That is outstanding. Not sure any IU freshman FB player has ever received that honor before. Hope he has a great game against TN and is even more dominant next season. If he stays healthy, we’ll see him playing in the NFL in three years.

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