News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Sports

February 3, 2011

Hoosiers land Indiana Mr. Football Tre Roberson in signing day

New IU coach signs 21 players

BLOOMINGTON — Considering the late start in recruiting for new Indiana coach Kevin Wilson and his staff, the Hoosiers kept a lot of the players who had committed to Bill Lynch.

“We reached out to a lot of the in-state kids that were committed elsewhere to see if they have interest,” Wilson said Wednesday. “We think as a state institution, we can provide a great education.”

Indiana signed 21 players in Wilson’s first recruiting class, including seven each from Indiana and Ohio.

The signees include Indiana Mr. Football Tre Roberson — the fourth Mr. Football to sign with Indiana but the first since Martinsville’s Earl Haniford in 1995.

Eight of Indiana’s signees are linemen, four on offense and four on defense.

“We got a good mix of guys up front and skill guys,” Wilson said.

Wilson was hired Dec. 7 to replace Lynch. He said his first priority was to recruit the team he inherited and give them direction going into the holidays.

“We didn’t get into the recruiting until January,” he said.

Even so, the Hoosiers were able to reel in a class that includes one four-star recruit in Ohio linebacker Zack Shaw and 16 three-star recruits.

While stressing that he didn’t guarantee playing time for anybody, Wilson said he expects the incoming freshmen to be ready to play this fall.

“We need competition, we need special teams help,” Wilson said. “My goal is every freshman plays if he shows he can.”

The Hoosiers have the space to add more players, including some recruits who had said Wilson told them their scholarship offers had been rescinded.

Wilson stressed that there was miscommunication.

“I told them that, based on what I had seen, I wouldn’t have recruited them,” he said.

But that was an opinion based on watching tapes of their play as juniors, he said. He encouraged players to submit senior highlights for him and his staff to evaluate.

“I think they all landed on their feet [at other schools],” Wilson said. He said the Hoosiers would be in touch with those players this week to make sure.

Three of Indiana’s recruits have family ties to the Hoosiers.

Mike Replogle, a linebacker from Centerville, Ohio, will be the third Replogle brother to play for Indiana. Adam Replogle is a junior defensive tackle and Tyler Replogle just finished his senior season with the Hoosiers.

Louisville safety Forisse Hardin will join his brother, Drew, also a safety who redshirted in 2010.

And Roberson’s grandfather, Larry Highbaugh, played defensive back and ran track at IU before a Hall of Fame career in the CFL.

In addition to the recruiting class, Wilson announced more changes to his coaching staff. Defensive tackles coach Jerry Montgomery and cornerbacks coach Corey Raymond left for jobs at Michigan and Nebraska, respectively.

Wilson said there were no hard feelings with the departures.

He announced that former Air Force running backs coach Jemal Singleton would take the same position with Indiana, as well as being the Hoosiers’ recruiting coordinator. And Nebraska assistant Brett Dierson would replace Montgomery.

Raymond’s replacement is expected to be named soon.

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