Written By Nick Holmes (@HoosierHolmes)
Members of the #CrimsonArmy15 set to Invade Bloomington this Weekend
Kevin Wilson and his staff are set to play host to several members of the Hoosiers’ 2015 recruiting class this weekend. The #CrimsonArmy15, as they so aptly refer to themselves on twitter, look to reinforce an Indiana football team that saw the departure of 23 seniors and redshirt juniors. Those members of the #CrimsonArmy15 set to invade Bloomington this weekend include Defensive Ends Joe Belden and Jacob Robinson, Tight End Austin Dorris, Quarterback Austin King, Offensive Guard Hunter Littlejohn, Outside Linebacker Omari Stringer, and Wide Receivers Leon Thornton and Nick Westbrook.
The three-star pass rusher had a strong senior season for the Avon Orioles, finishing the year with 62 total tackles, five sacks, three passes defensed and was named to the 2014 Associated Press Indiana All-State Class 5A Team. In a recent interview with HoosierHuddle.com, Belden touted his determination as one of the strengths he’ll bring to Indiana, “I am not the fastest, I am not the strongest, but I am not going to give up. You may knock me down, but I’ll get right back up.” The hard-nosed defensive end committed to the Hoosiers prior to his senior season on 6/18/2014. Belden is the 16th rated player in Indiana and also holds offers from Ball State, Bowling Green, Miami (OH) and Western Michigan.
The Westfield athlete recorded 58 total tackles, four sacks, and two passes defensed during his senior campaign, leading to his inclusion on the 2014 Associated Press Indiana All-State Class 6A Team. Robinson’s combination of speed and size provides the Hoosiers’ coaching staff with some flexibility, as he could see time at either defensive end or at the Bandit position. The three-star prospect, currently the 18th best player in Indiana, committed to the Hoosiers on 5/9/14. In addition to Indiana, Robinson has offers from Boston College, Cincinnati, Illinois, Minnesota, Northwestern, Purdue, Toledo, Wake Forest, Western Michigan, and Wisconsin.
The Shadyside, Ohio athlete had a successful senior season playing quarterback for the Tigers, landing him on the All-Ohio Division VII Team. However, when he dons the Cream and Crimson next fall, it will be at tight end. At 6-foot 5, 230 pounds, Dorris will provide Hoosier quarterbacks with a large, athletic target in the coming years, but will likely redshirt his first year on campus to physically develop for the rigors of the Big Ten. The three-star recruit is the 54th ranked player in Ohio and has offers from Air Force, Buffalo, Marshall, Miami (OH), Ohio, Toledo, and Western Michigan, among others.
The three-star quarterback from Alpharetta, Georgia became a member of the #CrimsonArmy15 on 12/15/14, less than 24 hours after de-committing from North Carolina State. King, 6-foot 2, 192 pounds, had a strong senior season for the Raiders, passing for 2,370 yards, 20 touchdowns, and just seven interceptions. With four scholarship quarterbacks returning for the Hoosiers next fall, there’s a strong likelihood that King will redshirt his first semester in Bloomington. In addition to Indiana and North Carolina State, the talented gunslinger had offers from Harvard, South Florida, Toledo, Troy, and UCF, among others.
The offensive guard from Olentangy Liberty High School in Powell, Ohio committed to the Hoosiers prior to his senior season on 6/18/14. Littlejohn, self-described as “relentless and hard-nosed,” shows good balance and quickness off the ball with the agility to get out and pull in his 2014 highlight tape. The talented lineman plays with a chip on his shoulder and takes pride in proving doubters wrong, as can be heard in an interview with Scout.com. The future Hoosier is the 59th best player in Ohio and holds offers from Akron, Boston College, Cincinnati, Duke, Illinois, Marshall, Minnesota, Purdue, Syracuse, and Toledo.
The fluid athlete from Illinois starred on defense for the Crete-Monee Warriors, leading to a Special Mention on the Champaign-Urbana News-Gazette 2014 Football All-State Team. Stringer possesses both the strength and agility to drop back into coverage or support the run, as seen in his senior highlight tape. Although he might benefit from a redshirt season, the Hoosier coaching staff could find it difficult to keep this explosive tackler off the field. Stringer, who committed to the Hoosiers on 6/30/14, is currently ranked 50th nationally at outside linebacker and is the 16th best player overall in Illinois. In addition to Indiana, he has offers from Connecticut, Illinois, Minnesota, Missouri, and Wisconsin, among many others.
The dynamic pass catcher from Lake Mary, Florida had a spectacular senior season making 80 grabs for 1857 yards, 19 touchdowns and was subsequently named to the Florida All-State Class 8A Football Team. The talented playmaker broke several school records during his time with the Lake Mary Rams, including career total receptions and receiving touchdowns, as well as single-game records in receiving yards and touchdowns. At 6-foot 3, 205 pounds, Westbrook provides Indiana with another big-bodied target that should make life easier for Hoosier quarterbacks. The three-star recruit committed to the Indiana on 8/16/14 and has offers from Boston College, California, Cincinnati, Georgia Tech, Kentucky, USF, UCF, and Virginia, among many others.
The three-star playmaker from Montini High School in Lambard, Illinois was named to the Champaign-Urbana News-Gazette 2014 Football All-State Team after making 66 catches for 949 yards and 12 touchdowns and carrying the ball 26 times for 115 yards and four touchdowns during his senior season. Thornton is ranked 74th nationally at wide receiver and is rated as the 13th best prospect in Illinois. The 6-foot 2, 200 pound athlete could press for time during his first semester on campus as the Hoosiers look to add some size at wide receiver. The talented wide-out committed to Indiana on 6/11/14 and also had offers from Cincinnati, Connecticut, Illinois, and Iowa State, among others.