However, success doesn’t come to mind when considering IU football.
The program has been to two bowl games in the last 20 years and has won only 10 games in the last three seasons combined.
But the program is headed in the right direction under IU Coach Kevin Wilson.
This year, the Hoosiers showed glimpses of a team that could compete with other Big Ten programs.
They only won four games, which doesn’t seem like a lot, but it’s still a major improvement from the 2011 season.
Two of those four wins were against Big Ten opponents.
Close losses plagued the team, though.
Four out of their eight losses were by four points or less, including a narrow three-point loss to undefeated Ohio State.
Although these weren’t wins, they were signs that Wilson’s young squad has a bright future.
That future got even brighter when Wilson signed 22 players on National Signing Day on Wednesday.
“We are very fortunate to have a good amount of returning starters, but we backed that up with what, on paper, is a very, very strong class, which is critical in building our program,” Wilson said.
According to Rivals.com, Wilson’s class ranks 42nd in the nation and sixth in the Big Ten conference.
The 22-man class includes four four-star commits, 13 three-star commits and five two-star players.
This is easily the best class in IU history dating back to when recruiting sites started to rank players and teams.
This class is impressive, because there are players who can start right away next season.
Two players to watch out for are defensive back Antonio Allen and defensive tackle Darius Latham.
Allen has the ability to help out a secondary that gave up too many yards to opposing teams last season.
The Hoosiers ranked ninth in the Big Ten, allowing more than 230 passing yards per game.
Allen can start right away, because he has excellent speed, and he is a very hard hitter for a secondary player.
He was once an Ole Miss commit and could have been part of a top-10 recruiting class, but he decided to stay in his home state and play for the Hoosiers.
Latham is a big defensive tackle who will bolster a weak defensive line.
IU was ranked at the bottom of the Big Ten in rushing defense, giving up more than 230 yards per game.
The Hoosiers lost senior defensive tackles Adam Replogle and Larry Black Jr. to graduation.
The good news is Latham is a player who could come in and start immediately.
Latham is another Indianapolis native who had offers from Arkansas, Auburn, Florida, Michigan and Notre Dame.
His size and ability to stop the run game made him a coveted recruit.
Both players will help out a weak defense that hurt the team’s chances for success last year.
The talent coming in should help the Hoosiers right away and put them in position to win more games next year.
If Wilson can consistently earn commitments from talented players, then the program will have a lot more success in the upcoming seasons.
The 2013 class shows that the future of the IU football program is headed in the right direction under Wilson.
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