2013 Recruiting Redux: Talent for the Future

Written by Lloyd Ribner III (@Ribner3)

 Hoosier Freshman Laray Smith displaying his All-Amerian Jersey

Hoosier Freshman Laray Smith displaying his All-Amerian Jersey

As already discussed in our first edition of Recruiting Redux, the 2013 Hoosier recruiting class is the most talented to walk on the campus in at least a decade, and very possibly of all-time.  One of the things that may have drawn them to Bloomington was Kevin Wilson’s penchant for playing the best players regardless of seniority. 

While the head coach has shown that to be true during his first two years at the helm, 2013 might be a bit of a different story.  No so much in that he won’t play the man who can do the job best, but because there are finally less spots to fight for in the lineup.  Indiana returns somewhere between 16 and 20 starters depending on varying definitions of the word, but nevertheless it’s a hefty quantity.  This being the case it will be hard for many of the true freshman to make an immediate impact anywhere outside of special teams.

Last week we featured five Immediate Impact players that could break into the rotation their first year in Bloomington.  However, just because a player fails to see the field during his freshman season it doesn’t mean he is less talented than the players who are, as there are varying factors involved.  The key influence the majority of the time is positional depth.  While positions such as defensive tackle are ripe for the picking, the same cannot be said for spots like wide receiver or offensive line.  This week we are taking a look at the most talented players who will be contributors down the road for Indiana football.

RB | Laray Smith | 6’1” 180 | 3-Star | 86 Rating | Xaverian (Brooklyn, NY)

New York City is known for many things, producing high-level college football talent is not one of them.  The Hoosiers were able to sign one of the few talented players from the area when they pulled Laray Smith out of the borough of Brooklyn.

The number two ranked player in the state of New York according to 247 Sports, Smith is considered an all-purpose back who has speed to burn.  He was a standout track athlete in addition to his exploits on the football field.  He was the top ranked runner in the Empire State in the 200-meter dash, as well as being timed at 10.82 seconds in the 100-meter. 

While Smith comes in as a cut-and-go type running back, he could see time all over the field.  With his speed, splitting him out wide could be an option and even using him at a  “pivot” position, which has become trendy of late, could be a realistic option during his time in Bloomington.  With all the experienced talent returning at the end of the month it will be very difficult for Smith to see the field, but down the line he could turn into one of the most important signings of Indiana’s 2013 class.


DE | David Kenney III | 6’2” | 4-Star | 89 Rating | Pike (Indianapolis, IN)

David Kenney was not just a recruit in the 2013 class, he was also a recruiter.  He was one of the leaders of the recruiting class and after giving his verbal commitment became a very active recruiter, trying to make his incoming class the best it could be.

While he did a great job in that function, the fact is that his future lies on the gridiron so that’s what we will focus on here.  He is the only one of the five “Down the Road” contributors that I even debated putting on the “Instant Impact” list.  Either way, Kenney will be making an impact during his time on the IU campus.  He is the prototypical long and athletic defensive end that coaches drool over, not to mention that he already weighs in at over 250 pounds.

Kenney didn’t just look the part during his time at Pike either.  He was incredibly productive in his final two years of high school ball.  The Indianapolis product picked up 21 sacks and 37.6 tackles in those years combined.

While it would not be completely shocking to see Kenney work his way into the defensive end rotation later in 2013, his true impact will be felt down the road as he gains more experience and becomes more polished.

WR | Anthony Young | 6’1” 175 | 3-Star | 83 Rating | St. Edward (Lakewood, OH)

Despite not being highly rated coming out of high school by the recruiting services, this Ohio native is not lacking talent.  College coaches took notice as Young racked up seven BCS-conference offers.

When watching him on tape his speed stands out immediately, however it is also obvious just how raw his is in terms of the nuances of the position.  Young is the type of player who has the potential to truly grow leaps and bounds during his collegiate career. 

In this case I believe it’s a good thing that the receiving corps is as deep as it is.  It will most likely allow Young to redshirt during his first year on campus, and learn behind the talented group of veteran receivers in front of him.  

OL| Maurice Swain | 6’5” 290 | 3-Star | 86 Rating |Troup County (Lagrange, GA)

Last year there were seven different programs that had offered him a scholarship, including three from SEC country.  However, despite all the interest closer in proximity, Swain decided that moving up north to Indiana would be the right move for his college football career. 

While physically Swain seemingly has all the tools needed to be successful on the next level, the offensive line position is one of the tougher jumps to make.  It very often leads to a redshirt year and often another year or two before the player is truly ready to handle a collegiate level pass rush.

The offensive line is another position group that would be rather difficult to crack in 2013, so Swain having to spend time at Troup County shouldn't be a massive loss for the team.  However, between his frame, physical tools and athleticism if Swain does finally end up in Bloomington he will be a difference maker for the Hoosiers.


LB | Clyde Newton | 6’1” 215 | 3-Star | 82 Rating | Charlotte (Punta Gorda, FL)

Newton is just another example of a player that the Hoosier coaching staff was able to pull out of SEC country, although I am sure it helped that his older brother, Leonard Bryant, also played at Indiana.  The Florida native is an athlete, but will most likely be fitting in at the next level as an outside linebacker as opposed to the running back position where he was so successful in high school.

While he was not heavily recruited, as evidenced by just two scholarship offers, that does not mean that he doesn’t have the talent to play in the Big Ten.  He has both the size and athleticism to play the linebacker position and his frame looks as if it should be able to take on weight.  His initial quickness and agility will allow him to make plays in space.

It is common to see running backs switch to the other side of the ball and take on a new role at the linebacker position when they get to college.  Newton will need some time including likely a redshirt year before he can compete for playing time, but he very well could be a building block for the future of the linebacker position.