Jake Reed is a versatile guy, which means he fits right in with what Indiana football coach Bill Lynch likes in a recruit.
Reed, in case you missed it, is the 6-4, 231-pound Columbus North standout who just committed to the Hoosiers. He’s IU’s third commitment for the Class of 2011 and the first from Indiana.
That in-state label is important because Lynch targets Indiana hard and if he can consistently sign the state’ best talent, he’ll go a long way toward building a consistent winner. He and his staff hope Reed is the first of a strong group of in-state players who will commit in the next few months.
Reed is both a tight end and a defensive end. Which position he plays in college is uncertain. He’s taken a couple of unofficial visits to IU. At one, he spent time with the offensive coaches. During his latest one, last Saturday, he was with the defensive coaches. He’s fine with playing on either side of the ball.
At Columbus North, he’s been mostly a blocking tight end, although he did have eight catches for 147 yards last season.
His physical play could serve him well on defense at the college leve.The Hoosiers have gone to a 3-4 defensive scheme (three defensive linemen, four linebackers) and sometimes they want ends who are fast and agile rather than power guys. With a 4.88-second time in the 40-yard dash (bet the house Reed will improve that time in college), Reed is fast enough to be a speed rusher, yet athletic enough to drop back into pass coverage.
Reed, by the way, is a four-star player out of Rivals.com’s five-star system (UPDATED NOTE -- I might have jumped the gun on his rating. Let's just say he's well regarded). The Hoosiers need that kind of quality to get the program to bowl contending status.
Reed joins offensive lineman Kirk Harris and linebacker Mike Replogle as IU commitments. Figure IU will sign 20 to 25 players, so a lot of work lies ahead before next February’s signing day.
The Hoosiers are working now with spring practice development. Lynch continues to juggle the roster in the quest to develop depth, determine who the best players are and maximize potential. Freshman linebacker Jack Denton has moved to tight end. For now the move is temporary, but you never know. Denton, by the way, graduated high school last December so he could get an early jump in college.
In another move, redshirt freshman safety Nick Zachary is working with the wide receivers.
Finally, here are some players who are done for the spring: defensive tackle Jarrod Smith (back injury), safety Jarrell Drane (knee), offensive lineman Cody Faulkner (ankle), and cornerback Lawrence Barnett (wrist). Barnett is set to have surgery to fix ligament damage. He's had a strong enough spring to convince the coaches he's ready for a significant role next season.