BOZICH BLOG: IU Leading U of L, UK in 2013 Football Recruiting - WDRB 41 Louisville News

BOZICH BLOG: IU Leading U of L, UK in 2013 Football Recruiting

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IU football coach Kevin Wilson is going nose-to-nose with the Big Ten's best, including Urban Meyer in recruiting. IU football coach Kevin Wilson is going nose-to-nose with the Big Ten's best, including Urban Meyer in recruiting.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Bobby Petrino dominated the local headlines when he agreed to become the Western Kentucky football coach Monday.

Last week was Charlie Strong Week after Strong said, "No," to Tennessee to remain with the Orange Bowl program that he has built at Louisville. Mark Stoops has created a buzz with his arrival at Kentucky. Stoops and his staff are eager to sell the Southeastern Conference experience – and they're working hard at selling it in Louisville.

But two months from college football's national signing day, there is an unexpected recruiting leader among the local schools, according to the national analysts:

Kevin Wilson and his Indiana University staff.

Wilson and his assistants have already secured 18 oral commitments, and they appear to be building the highest-ranked class the Hoosiers have ever recruited.

The Hoosiers' potential class is ranked 45th nationally by Rivals as well as by  247Sports. Scout.com puts the Indiana class at Number 51. In football, IU's signing classes are typically ranked in the 70s or 80s.

On the field, IU increased its victory total from one to four last season – and lost four games by a total of 10 points. Getting to six victories and bowl eligibility will require major improvement on defense by Wilson's team, which ranked last in the Big Ten and 116th in the nation in rushing defense. But the Hoosiers have eight home games next season.

Recruiting rankings are debatable and easy to question. I do it every year, preferring to evaluate the performance of classes as they are leaving school. But the commitment board shows that Indiana has focused on improving its defense.

IU has four prospects who have earned four-star recognition form Rivals – three on defense.

Another way of evaluating a class is to look at the schools Indiana was recruiting against for its commitments. Wilson's three top defensive prospects appear to be Big Ten quality.

Defensive back Antonio Allen of Ben Davis High in Indianapolis had offers from Michigan State, Iowa, Ole Miss, Kentucky, Louisville, Cincinnati and others. Defensive end David Kenney (Pike High School) decommitted from Iowa and had offers from Nebraska and Tennessee.

Massive defensive tackle Darius Latham decommitted from Wisconsin. Latham, who is also considering a walk-on role with the IU basketball team, had offers from Florida, Michigan and Notre Dame. He is 6 feet 5, pushing 300 pounds and likely to start from the first snap.

But remember: It's Dec. 12. Prospects cannot sign national letters of intent until Feb. 6.  There will be more commitments – and de-commitments.

Louisville lags with only eight commitments. The Cards are ranked 87st nationally by Rivals, 71st by Scout and 104th by 24/7, trailing IU and UK across the board.

Stoops and his new staff are only getting warmed up at UK. The Wildcats are listed with 14 commitments – if Stoops keeps all the players who thought they would be  playing for Joker Phillips. Kentucky is ranked 61st by Rivals, 62nd  by Scout.com and 70 by 24/7.

The coaching turnover situation is similar at Western. Petrino takes over with nine guys who agreed to play for Willie Taggart. The WKU class is ranked 81st by Rivals, 89th by Scout and No. 78 by 24/7.

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