Tuesday, December 14, 2010
Indiana Insight -- What Does Wilson Want In A Recruit?
Okay, we’re going to concentrate on Indiana football and not make fun of the Big Ten’s new Legends and Leaders division experiment because everybody’s doing it and we refuse to stoop to that level.
HH THOUGHT -- OKAY, WE’LL STOOP. THEY COULDN’T HAVE PICKED WORSE NAMES IF LADY GAGA HAD DONE IT.
Anyway, word is out that Kevin Wilson isn’t done with his Oklahoma job. He’ll work the Fiesta Bowl battle with Connecticut, but not in his previous capacity as offensive coordinator (quarterbacks coach Josh Heupel and receivers coach Jay Norvell have been promoted to co-offensive coordinators). Instead, he’ll coach tight ends and fullbacks.
Does this hurt Indiana? Not really. IU is in finals week, so players soon will be gone until the second semester begins in January. There’s also a recruiting dead period from Dec. 20 to Jan 3. So there’s not a whole lot going on for a team not in a bowl game.
Now, a cynic might say Wilson could spend the time hiring his staff (right now the number stands at zero), but that wouldn’t include athletic director Fred Glass. He figures Wilson will get some national exposure during a major bowl game, which can’t hurt the program.
In the meantime, IU’s commitment list for the Class of 2011 is down to 19 from a high of 22, with two going to Northwestern and one to Nebraska. Will more likely bolt before the February signing period? Probably. For instance, four-star athlete Raymon Taylor just visited Iowa and could end up a Hawkeye. Until Wilson gets his staff in place, there will be plenty of uncertainty around the program, and other schools are taking full advantage. This reflects the quality job former coach Bill Lynch and his staff did in lining up a strong class other programs want pieces of.
Anyway, Wilson is trying to keep as many commitments as he can, and perhaps get a few others depending on scholarship availability. So what does he look for in a recruit other than the obvious requirements for each position?
Glad you asked.
“It’s nice when you have a quarterback coming off a winning team, a championship team,” he says. “I like to have guys as much from a winning background as possible. I know there will be a lot of talented guys whose seasons didn’t go well, but the more you get guys used to coming out of winning environments, the better. They’re used to working hard. Their expectation level is high. That would be helpful.”
“The hardest thing to judge is a guy’s attitude, his ability to work hard, the talent of working hard. That’s a unique skill. It’s a skill we need to embrace. It’s also the hardest thing to measure.
“You can see if a guy is tall or can jump high or is fast or hits hard. Some things are obvious. But attitude is a hidden talent. In our limited amount of contact that’s the hardest thing to gage.
“You hope you’re getting a good character kid who had discipline. A do-the-right-thing kind of guy. A guy who comes from structure, who is used to working hard and doing things right. How do we judge that? There’s no stop watch for that.”
There is a stop watch for speed and Wilson will seek guys who have it. That means going outside of Indiana, to the southeast, Texas and even the West Coast. How hard will Wilson hit those areas?
“If you’re hitting them super hard all the time, how well are you doing locally? You need to look at that. We’ll take a smart look. We don’t want to do too much and spread ourselves so thin we’re not doing anything.
“We’ll evaluate that once the staff is here. If we have ties to certain areas where they think they might do some good work, we’ll go there. I’ll leave that open ended.
“I have some ties in Texas. That doesn’t mean we need to get in there. The Georgia area is good. It’s not that far away. So we’ll see. I’ll have a better idea once we get a staff.”
So there you have it. There’s more and we’ll fill you in with upcoming blogs.