- Adam Rittenberg, ESPN Staff Writer
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Recruits: 25 (22 high school seniors, three junior college players, four players already enrolled)
Top prospects: Among the high school seniors, linebacker Ishmael Thomas stands out as a guy who can help a position of need. Indiana's three junior college signings -- linebacker Jeff Thomas and cornerbacks Andre Kates and Lenyatta Kiles -- all will contribute immediately this fall as the Hoosiers lose five of seven starters in the back half.
Sleepers: Athlete Kofi Hughes is an interesting prospect who could be a playmaker at quarterback or another spot. Indiana has recruited the wide receiver spot very well in recent years, and Logan Young should help there. Running back Matt Perez could be a factor if Darius Willis struggles or gets banged up again.
Needs met: The secondary was an obvious need as Indiana loses three starters, and the staff found immediate help with three juco players. Indiana also addressed the defensive end spot, where it loses both starters, though Jibreel Black would have been a nice get for Bill Lynch.
Analysis: Indiana started very fast in recruiting, securing 20 of its 22 commitments from high school seniors before the 2009 season. The class lacks many superstars, but the three junior college defenders address pressing needs at both linebacker and cornerback. Lynch's staff has done a nice job of recruiting offensive skill players, and this class should produce a few more. But if the defenders in this group don't produce, Indiana will have a rough time winning games this fall.
Scouts Inc grade: C-minus
What Bill Lynch said:
"Our staff did a great job last winter and spring identifying kids. We work really hard to get them here in the summertime. Of the 22 high school kids we signed, 21 of them were here last summer on unofficial visits. Selfishly, Bloomington and Indiana University is quite a place in the summertime. They get here and they see the campus and get to meet us in a relaxed atmosphere, and that went a long way toward getting those commitments."
(On Andre Kates) "When you get a commitment like that, a quality player who has a great chance to compete right away, you certainly don't want to lose him. Because you count on him all through the recruiting process. We've got two JC corners, [Lenyatta Kiles] is in school now and then Andre will come in the summer. That was a real priority of ours because we did lose guys in the secondary."
"Kofi Hughes is an outstanding football player. He's a quarterback, real athletic kid. Like we told them, 'If you're going to play and be a starter-type player, we're going to play you. If not, we're going to redshirt you.'"