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Monday, May 27
The Indiana Daily Student

Bill Lynch blazes recruiting trail

IU will always be a basketball school, but it’s time people start paying attention to coach Bill Lynch and the football team.\nThe basketball team and IU Director of Athletics Rick Greenspan have captured the headlines the past few months because of NCAA rules violations committed by former coach Kelvin Sampson and his staff. The fallout from these violations will be felt for years to come as the basketball team seems poised to miss the post-season and additional punishments from the NCAA may be on the horizon.\nFlying under the radar is Lynch, who is making all the right moves to position the football team to build off last season’s success. Hoosier football fans will never forget the highs and lows of the 2007 season. From Coach Hep’s death to Austin Starr’s game-winning field goal against Purdue, 2007 can be remembered as the season that put IU football back on the map. This can only be achieved if Lynch and the Hoosiers continue to be a competitive squad who make bowl appearances a regular happening in Bloomington.\nIf the past 12 months are any indication, Lynch is up to the task.\nIU has traditionally not been a destination school for blue-chip high school football players, but Lynch has shown skill on the recruiting trail. Last season as the interim coach, Lynch was able to keep many of the recruits who committed to Coach Hep and added highly sought recruits running back Darius Willis and defensive back Cortez Smith.\nThe Hoosiers had an additional coup this off-season as former Warren Central High School standout Jeremy Finch decided to transfer from the University of Florida to Bloomington. The former four-star recruit, according to recruiting service, originally committed to the Hoosiers in 2007 before choosing the Gators on National Signing Day. Finch will have to sit out the season because of NCAA transfer rules, but he should give the Hoosiers a boost in the secondary when he returns to the field in 2009.\nLynch has carried this recruiting momentum into the class of 2009, his first full recruiting class as the head coach for the Hoosiers. \n“Defending the Rock” should be easier in the coming years as Lynch and his staff have put together an impressive start to the 2009 recruiting class. Eight prep players have committed to the Hoosiers, including five three-star recruits, according to Rivals. The 2009 recruiting class is stacking up to be the most talented in many years for the Hoosiers.\nRecruiting will become easier for the Hoosiers as the facilities improve and the North Endzone Project is complete. Lynch should be applauded for this increase in talent, but classes like the 2009 recruiting class need to become commonplace before the Hoosiers can find themselves consistently in the top half of the Big Ten.\nRecruiting obviously is not the only measure of success in a program, and the Hoosiers certainly have questions to answer coming into the season. What is the status of star QB Kellen Lewis? Can Lynch turn these recruits into a successful team? Will fans show up to the games?\nIn time the answers to these questions will reveal themselves. However, Hoosier fans should be confident that Lynch is the man to lead the team to future success.

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