When Tom Allen got Indiana’s head football coaching job in December, he said the state of Florida would be a top recruiting priority.
He proved it with Juwan Burgess, a three-star prospect out of Tampa, who backed out of a commitment to USC to commit to play for IU as part of the Class of 2017.
That’s right. A guy who was going to the University of Southern California, changed his mind and decided to become a Hoosier.
Or course, given that we’re less than two weeks from the national signing day, nothing is etched in stone, but it’s still an encouraging sign.
Burgess also had offers from Florida, Arkansas, Alabama, Florida State, Clemson, Auburn and a bunch more.
That’s an impressive group. The fact the Hoosiers are positioned to win out over that kind of firepower is impressive for a program that hasn’t had a winning record since 2007.
Of course, Indiana has gone to two straight bowl games, so progress is being made.
Burgess plays for Plant High School, which was the state runner-up last season. He’s the third Plant player to commit, joining linebacker Thomas Allen and receiver Whop Philyor.
The IU coach has a strong connection to this group given his son is Thomas Allen. The elder Allen knows all the Plant players well.
When it comes to recruiting, you can’t have enough connections or relationships.
The Hoosiers also just got a commitment from another Florida player, Craig Nelson out of Miami. He’s considered a two-star prospect.
That gives Indiana 21 commitments for the Class of 2017. Six are from Florida.
Rivals.com, a national Internet recruiting service, rates this class No. 57 nationally and 13th in the Big Ten. Only Purdue, which is No. 71 with new coach Jeff Brohm, is worse in the Big Ten.
In the end, ratings don't matter.
How well these guys play does.