The bad news keeps coming for Indiana football.
One of its better recruiting commitments, Ohio linebacker Max Pirman, has reportedly dropped the Hoosiers for Nebraska.
For all the obvious reasons.
First, Pirman had a good official visit to Nebraska. Sure, you might wonder why a recruit would take a visit when he’s already committed to another program, but that’s the ruthlessly competitive nature of recruiting these days. Commitments don’t mean what they used to. Players sometimes give their word without honoring it. Some coaches are more aggressive than others in going after committed players. They will continue to pitch their programs unless the kid tells them to back off.
Obviously, Pirman didn’t.
Pirman was considered a three-star prospect. Losing him hurts, but doesn’t devastate the program. Figure other Indiana commitments, especially the higher rated ones, also will listen to other offers, partly because that’s the norm in college football these days, mostly because IU is vulnerable.
Recruiting, much like dating, can be a tough business unless you’re George Clooney or, say, Ohio State.
The fact Nebraska is 9-1 and ranked ninth is huge. So is the fact it will officially enter the Big Ten next season. It has a tradition to rival Ohio State, Penn State and Michigan.
The Hoosiers do not.
The record-breaking collapse at Wisconsin further accelerated a decline that has reached six straight Big Ten losses this season, 11 straight conference defeats overall. The fact that fans are calling for coach Bill Lynch’s firing despite a year left on his contract doesn’t help. Pirman, in fact, told Scout.com that when he saw the IU-Wisconsin score (83-20), he figured a coaching change was coming and didn’t want any part of it.
Still, this isn’t the end of the world. The Hoosiers still have 21 commitments, mostly three- and four-star players who make up one of IU’s best recruiting classes in memory.
Even better for the Cream ‘n Crimson cause is that Indiana’s best recruits, linebacker Zach Shaw out of Ohio and athlete Rayman Taylor out of Detroit, are still committed. So is super talented dual-threat quarterback Tre Roberson out of Indianapolis Lawrence Central. The 6-1, 170-pound Roberson might be the No. 1 football prospect in the state and likely will win Indiana Mr. Football honors. He’s led Lawrence Central to a 12-1 record by throwing for 2,366 yards and 21 touchdowns, against two interceptions. He’s also rushed for 1,717 yards and 19 TDs.
Meanwhile, it’s looking more likely that Indiana quarterback Ben Chappell will play against Penn State Saturday. He basically played just one quarter in last Saturday’s disaster at Wisconsin because of a hip injury. With him the Hoosiers have a chance at a victory. Without him, well, it’s grim.
What’s not grim is Indiana’s 3-0 basketball start. Forward Christian Watford continued his season-opening offensive surge with 18 points as Indiana beat Mississippi Valley State 71-54. He’s averaging 19.7 points.
Watford, you see, is committed.