News From Terre Haute, Indiana

February 26, 2008

Hughes News & Views: ISU football recruiting class highly ranked

By David Hughes

TERRE HAUTE — In college football, teams don’t receive points on the scoreboard for recruiting good players.

At least not right away.

No matter how much talent they bring in, they never know if it will mesh on the field and lead to victories.

Still, it doesn’t take a genius to figure out that great teams usually start with talent.

That’s what Indiana State is hoping will happen with the 31-player class it’s recruited during the NCAA signing period that started Feb. 6 and ends April 1. After enduring consecutive seasons of 0-11, 1-10 and 0-11, the Sycamores need skill and depth to improve and they think they’ve found both.

Evidently, two Web sites that specialize in recruiting agree with their assessment.

Rivals.com has Indiana State ranked 127th in the nation for its current recruiting class. The good part of that ranking is that it includes Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) and Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) teams.

More importantly, Indiana State ranked second in the Gateway Football Conference (behind Illinois State) and eighth among FCS teams.

Indiana State’s two-star recruits mentioned on rivals.com are defensive backs Aaron Archie and Julian Easterly of Detroit and defensive ends Lawrence Young of Detroit and Nate Williams of New Haven, Mich. Archie was listed as a linebacker when ISU announced its initial recruits.

Wabash Valley talents Koby Kraemer (Terre Haute South), Brock Lough (South), Travis Johnson (Marshall, Ill.) and Ryan Roberts (Hutsonville, Ill.) also have put their names on the dotted line to play for new ISU coach Trent Miles.

“There’s some more kids we’re targeting [before the April 1 deadline],” Miles said this week.

Even if Indiana State doesn’t get those kids, Miles will be pleased with this class.

“For where we’ve been [record-wise], to be recognized by these publications, it’s an honor and it’s what we should be doing,” he said.

Miles warned that recruiting is just “one phase of football.”

“It’s good to get a win [in this phase],” he acknowledged. “It doesn’t guarantee anything, but it’s a start and it’s a good start.”

For anyone who cares, rivals.com ranked Alabama No. 1 in recruiting among all NCAA Division I schools. Notre Dame is second.

Also worth noting is an Internet article written by David Coulson, FCS executive director of The Sports Network. He also spoke highly of Indiana State’s recruiting class as it compares to other Gateway teams.

“Joining Illinois State with a sparkling recruiting class is a team that has been one of the bottom-feeders of FCS, Indiana State,” Coulson said. “But the Sycamores have gained some excitement under new coach Trent Miles.

“Among the players who will try to turn around Indiana State’s fortunes are defensive backs Aaron Archie and Julian Easterly, and defensive ends Nate Williams and Lawrence Young.”

• • •

• More ISU football news — Miles, whose team is in off-season conditioning mode this month, said spring practices will begin March 31.

Public scrimmages will take place April 5, April 12 and April 19 at Memorial Stadium, with the latter being the annual Blue/White Scrimmage.

David Hughes can be reached by phone after 4 p.m. at 1-800-783-8742, Option 4, or at (812) 231-4224; by e-mail at david.hughes@tribstar.com; or by fax at (812) 231-4321.