Written By: TJ Inman (@TJHoosierHuddle)
Late Monday afternoon, 6’5” offensive lineman Coy Cronk committed to play football at Indiana University. Cronk, a 272-pound Indiana-native, is fresh off of winning a Class A state title with Lafayette Central Catholic and he chose the Hoosiers over offers from Illinois, Vanderbilt, Iowa State and others.
Cronk is a good offensive line prospect and he will be expected to flourish under the tutelage of this coaching staff that just helped produce two All-American offensive linemen. Perhaps just as important as Cronk’s talent is the fact that he is an in-state prospect. There were some concerns about Indiana’s lack of 2016 in-state commits and landing Cronk could spur other in-state prospects to jump on-board this growing class.
The Hoosiers now have eight players committed in the 2016 class. Those players hail from Ohio, Florida, Georgia and now, Indiana. If Cronk committing does have a ripple effect on other in-state players, he could end up being a very valuable piece of the program before he ever sets a foot on the field. The Hoosiers are pursuing several in-state prospects: Ben Knutson (OL/Penn High School), Trent Maynard (OL/Decatur Central), Jovan Swann (DL/Center Grove), Auston Robertson (DE/Ft.Wayne), Noah Burks (LB/Carmel High School), Collin Miller (LB/Hamilton Southeastern), Kiante Enis (ATH/Winchester Community), Chris Evans (ATH/Ben Davis). Some of those prospects are committed and would need to “flip” to their home-state school and some of those prospects are considered major long shots for the Hoosiers but, for the most part, these players are potential gets that could make a huge difference.
While one commitment from an in-state player doesn’t automatically indicate that Kevin Wilson’s staff is about to land another four or five “Indiana kids”, it’s a good sign that a player (and his high school coaches) saw enough from the program during the season and decided to pull the trigger and commit. The prevailing thought regarding the lack of in-state commits was that the prospects were waiting to see what happened during the 2015 season and what impact the results would have on the future of Kevin Wilson and his staff. The Hoosiers came through on the field and the commitment of Coy Cronk might just be the signal that begins a run of in-state recruiting success. Of course, this could also just be a one-off commitment that leads to nothing else but, it’s the holiday season and IU is in a bowl game, why be pessimistic?
Author’s Note: Be sure to check out Nick Holmes’ piece on the commitment of Coy Cronk and his excellent 2016 recruiting boards!