Written By: Nick Holmes (@HoosierHolmes)
Even before taking a carry beneath the Friday Night Lights, Brownsburg’s Toks Akinribade had already emerged as a target on the Hoosiers’ recruiting radar. The Indiana coaching staff became acquainted with this talented running back during one of their summer camps in 2012, spurring their interest in the athlete months before he was set to play for the Bulldogs.
It didn’t take long for Akinribade to prove that the interest he was receiving from the Hoosiers was well warranted, carrying the ball 18 times for 84 yards and one touchdown in his first varsity high school game. He finished his freshman season with the Bulldogs by racking up 908 yards and 13 touchdowns on 179 carries.
Despite being aware of how talented the young back was coming into high school, even Brownsburg head coach Bret Comer was shocked by how quickly and to what extent this freshman was impacting his Bulldog’s team. “We certainly didn’t anticipate him being our horse this year. Let’s put it this way, we’ve known he’s been coming since he was in little league tearing people up. But you never know if a kid that tears people up when he’s an eight-year old or nine-year old, that doesn’t always project to being a varsity player.”
What did Akinribade have in store for an encore to his outstanding freshman season? To start, he became an even more efficient runner, rushing for 9 touchdowns and 1,073 yards on just 178 carries, an improvement of nearly a yard per carry from 5.1 yards in 2012 to six in 2013. His sophomore performance led to his inclusion on the 2013 Associated Press Indiana All-State Class as an honorable mention.
The Hoosiers decided that they had seen enough, awarding the Brownsburg back with his first scholarship offer the following June.
While his first two seasons on the gridiron for the Bulldogs were impressive, they paled in comparison to what he was able to accomplish in 2014. He rushed for 15 touchdowns and 1,579 yards on 220 carries, further increasing his yard per rush to an astounding 7.2 yards per carry. Also for the second straight season Akinribade was named an honorable mention on the Associated Press Indiana All-State Class 6A Team in 2014.
The Hoosiers aren’t the only school to take notice of this skilled back, as his recruitment has skyrocketed over the last couple of months. In January alone he added offers from Iowa, Illinois, Ball State, Toledo, Cincinnati and Miami (OH), preceded by an offer from Western Michigan back in September.
The three-star running back is ranked 30th nationally at the position and is the number six player in the state of Indiana according to Rivals.com. He possesses good vision, balance, and has a knack for finding creases to run through, as seen on his Hudl highlight tape. While he is listed as a running back on most recruiting sites, his combination of size and speed could make him on option for the defensive side of the ball, potentially at linebacker.
Now as the versatile athlete nears his final season in high school, Coach Wilson and staff are hopeful that their early expression of interest and the relationship they have cultivated over the last three years will ultimately lead to his commitment to the Hoosiers.