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Friday, June 14
The Indiana Daily Student

sports football

Griffith becomes first IU football 2013 commit

An hour after leaving IU Head Football Coach Kevin Wilson’s Football Camp on Sunday, Isaac Griffith made his choice.

The Homestead High School (Fort Wayne) junior wide receiver knew he wanted to spend his college career in Bloomington after just one visit.

“With IU, it’s just a place I can feel comfortable at,” Griffith said. “They made me feel a part of the team even when I wasn’t part of the team. They made sure I hung around with players and harped on becoming part of a family, and that’s what I feel a part of now.”

His father was immediately supportive, and fewer than 24 hours after participating in the Elite Camp portion of Coach Wilson’s camp, Griffith became the first player to commit to IU’s 2013 recruiting class.

While the camp serves as a chance for IU football to gain commitments such as Griffith’s, it is also a place for young football players to improve their game.

LaVincha Wilbon, a junior defensive end from Crete Monee High School in Park Forest, Ill., was shocked at how helpful coaches were.

“Their instructions were mind-blowing about the things we can do that we didn’t really know that we can do,” Wilbon said. “It was a great experience.”

Elijah Daniel, who is rated as a four-star prospect by Rivals.com, also said he has seen improvement during camp.

“It’s going pretty well,” Daniel said. “I got a lot accomplished. I think I’m getting better with my technique and getting closer to the D-line coaches.”

Daniel’s teammate, Jalen Edwards, hopes to get an offer from IU. Edwards said that as long as he continues to work hard, he could earn one.

Edwards has been in IU’s sights even before he entered high school.

“Eighth grade year, they were actually looking at me, and I knew a lot of their coaching staff and was real iffy about them,” Edwards said. “This coaching staff, Coach Wilson brought in a bunch of guys from Oklahoma. They’re really cool and laid back and their style of offense I love.”

Like Edwards, Chase Dutra is waiting on an IU offer with high hopes after growing up in IU and Purdue country. He plans to visit Iowa soon, but if IU offers him a scholarship, he said he might forego his Iowa visit.

Camp continues through Sunday, and this coming weekend will include visits from many out-of-state players such as Andrew Billings.

Billings has received offers from 21 schools,  including top-tier programs such as Baylor, Texas and Missouri, as well as IU. The 301-pound junior said he didn’t grow up cheering for any college football teams and location isn’t a huge factor in his decision.

“I’m taking it pretty seriously,” Billings said of his IU offer. “I just haven’t had a chance to go up there and see what they have to offer, so that’s what I’m going to do.”

Billings will attend a cookout with IU coaches Saturday, and Griffith, who is IU’s only 2013 commitment so far, will be there to convince him to stay.

“I’m trying to get kids to believe in IU football again,” Griffith said, “and be a part of something special and be able to build something from the ground up.”

RECRUIT PROFILES

Jalen Edwards

High school: Avon (Ind.)
Position: Wide Receiver/Defensive Back
Height: 5-11
Weight: 170
Top offers: Cincinnati, Western Kentucky
Where IU stands: Edwards has drawn interest from many schools and will visit Utah and Minnesota soon, but has yet to receive an offer from IU.

Andrew Billings
High school: Waco (Texas)
Position: Defensive Tackle/Offensive Lineman
Height: 6-1
Weight: 301
Top offers: Baylor, IU, Mississippi State, Missouri, Northwestern, Texas
Where IU stands: Billings said he is taking the IU offer very seriously and is set to visit Saturday.
 
Elijah Daniel
High school: Avon (Ind.)
Position:
Defensive End
Height: 6-4
Weight: 253
Top offers: Florida, IU, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Tennessee
Where IU stands: Daniel was in Bloomington for camp this week, and IU is the only Big Ten school in his top 15.

Chase Dutra
High school: Brownsburg (Ind.)
Position: Athlete
Height: 6-1
Weight: 188
Top offers:
Western Michigan
Where IU stands: Dutra has been awaiting an IU offer for some time, but has been developing relationships with other Big Ten schools such as Iowa and Purdue.

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