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Saturday, April 20
The Indiana Daily Student

sports football

Hoosiers snag several highly ranked recruits

A slew of commitments for the 2011 class have come in the past week, with several recruits verbally committing to play for Bill Lynch and the Hoosiers.

The 2011 recruiting class now has 16 members, with all but two players having at least a two-star ranking and two rated as four-star recruits.

One of those four-star athletes is Raymon Taylor. Taylor is the most recent player choose to come to IU. The 5-foot-10, 167-pound prospect had seven interceptions with two pick-sixes on defense along with 40 receptions and six touchdowns on offense during his junior season.

Taylor, who had offers from Akron, Cincinnati, Illinois, Toledo and Wisconsin, chose the Hoosiers mainly because he has the opportunity to see significant playing time as a freshman.

“I know if I go (to IU) I have a chance to start my freshman year,” Taylor said in an interview. “They told me if I work hard, I would have a good chance to start.”

Four of the other recent commitments were also in high demand, as they were ranked three-star recruits.

Nick Stoner, a 6-foot-1, 170-pound defensive back, also had offers from several schools in the Midwest. However, Stoner chose the Hoosiers for a multitude of reasons, citing both the proximity and the coaches.

“The facilities are amazing,” Stoner said. “They are the best that I had seen. The coaches there are great people...Also, a lot of my family lives in Bloomfield, which is near Bloomington, so I have grown up being a Hoosier most of my life.

“All the attention I got from them showed me that they really wanted me, and what’s better than going to a place you’re wanted that much?”

Following Stoner’s commitment  was fellow three-star recruit CJ Robbins. Robbins, a 6-foot-4, 240-pound defensive end, also had offers from six other schools. Robbins decided to commit after attending a camp last week.

“After the camp, I sat down and I talked with Coach Lynch,” Robbins said in an interview. “He told me that if I went there, that if I wanted to, I could start out at defensive end, but he thought I looked like their tackle (Rodger Saffold)...when he first got to college, so he wants me on offense. He said that I look just like him and I have the same build and everything.”

The Hoosiers have a strong 2011 class, with very few athletes unranked or even ranked as two-star prospects. Commit Kenny Mullen is one of those two-star recruits.

Mullen had interest from several area schools — including five other Big Ten institutions — but only received an offer from Indiana.

However, one was enough for Mullen, who felt the Hoosiers provided the right fit for him.

“After visiting IU, I felt very comfortable with everything IU had to offer from academics to athletics, which made it stand out beyond the other schools involved with recruiting,” Mullen said.

Mullen also had a connection prior to committing, as he spent two years playing with current Hoosier Lawrence Barnett.  

“LB played a big part, being that we grew up together and are very close,” Mullen said. “But he also stood by me when I was leaning towards other schools. He didn’t pressure me, but he helped me keep options open, and that option happened to be IU.”

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