ty-wise-indiana-football-ten-commits

For those closely following the Indiana football hashtags on Twitter, they have seen no shortage of recruitment tweets from the staff and commitment tweets from prospects. Clearly Tom Allen and the rest of the program are working hard on the recruiting trail and have been rewarded with a hot streak. Starting with OLB Ty Wise, the first 2020 commit, and the latest announcement from DT JeJuan Sparks’ to play at Indiana University, the Hoosiers have now received ten total commitments from players in the class of 2020. That class is highlighted by the highest ranked recruit in program history WR Rashawn Williams.

In terms of recruiting pipeline, the Hoosiers have made their commitment to the state, bringing staff from all over Indiana and building relationships heavily with in-state high school programs. We are now seeing the fruits of their labor. Tom Allen’s equally emphasized “Inside-Out recruiting,” a term coined by basketball coach Archie Miller, has enabled the Hoosiers to land four of the first ten from the Hoosier state. The previous ties to Florida from Tom Allen’s time in Tampa and a developing pipeline between Indiana and Michigan (largely influenced by Michigan’s all-time leading rusher Mike Hart who is now on the Indiana staff) have resulted in two commits each for the class of 2020.

The only two players outside of Indiana, Florida, and Michigan are QB Dexter Williams (Macon, Georgia) and DB Christopher Keys (Collins, Mississippi).

Around the Big Ten, Indiana still has room to improve despite the optimistic start to the class. Even with a class of one four-star player, and nine three-stars, the Hoosiers currently hold the 11th place recruiting class in the Big Ten, 60th in the nation.

Certainly recruiting classes vary year to year due to the number of available scholarships that each program can utilize each season; however, the root analysis reveals just how tough of a football conference the Big Ten is now – top to bottom.

For reference, the Hoosiers finished with the 36th best recruiting class last year, according to 247Sports, but that was still not enough to crack the top half of the Big Ten.

With a new offensive coordinator and a number of returning stars on both sides of the ball, the excitement building with Indiana fans is warranted, especially considering the future of the program. That being said, let’s take a deep dive into the first wave of 2020 commits for the Hoosiers.


Ty Wise

  • Position: Outside Linebacker
  • Height: 6-foot-2
  • Weight: 210 pounds
  • Committed: March 7, 2019
  • Hometown: Carmel, Indiana
  • High School: Carmel High School 
  • Rating: 3-Star
  • 247 Sports Composite Rankings: National (1658), Position (112), State (20)

Ty Wise was the first to commit to Indiana for the 2020 class. As an in-state recruit, his commitment will keep Indiana ties to Carmel High School strong and connects him with former Carmel teammate and incoming Hoosier freshman Beau Robbins. At 6-foot-2 and 210 pounds, Wise would be slotted in the Weakside Inside Linebacker position for the Hoosiers as he plays well in space, can cover, and is quick to the ball carrier. His strength enables him to shrug off blockers and finish his tackles all the way through. He also has the speed to cover in a zone defense and hold his own with receivers in man-to-man reads. 

When lined up as a walk-down backer he has shown the ability to get off the line of scrimmage quickly in a blitzing situation and apply heavy pressure to opposing quarterbacks. Time will tell to see if Wise can play with the size and speed of Big Ten Offenses, but nonetheless his excitement and energy he plays with will bring a sense of familiarity to the defense which is what Tom Allen loves to see in his players.


Luke Wiginton

  • Position: Offensive Tackle
  • Height: 6-foot-5
  • Weight: 275 pounds
  • Committed: April 6, 2019
  • Hometown: Fort Wayne, Indiana
  • High School: Bishop Dwenger High School 
  • Rating: 3-Star
  • 247 Sports Composite Rankings: National (1185), Position (102), State (13)

The second commit for the 2020 class is another in state player in the form of Luke Wiginton from Fort Wayne, Indiana. Wiginton chose to come to Bloomington over several other Big Ten schools such as Illinois, Wisconsin, Nebraska, Northwestern, and Purdue.

At 6-5 and 275 pounds, Wiginton is a good athlete that can play either tackle position. He is fast and powerful when coming off the ball, and his film shows his ability to drive defensive linemen to the next level into the laps of linebackers. He stays low and finishes off his blocks until his matchups are in the ground, which will give running backs like Stevie Scott, Sampson James, and Ronnie Walker plenty of room to run through. Luke Wiginton stays engaged with his hands on pass-blocking and he keeps his feet moving that he is prepared for quicker defensive ends. With development at the next level as he adjusts to the offense and playing against stronger and faster collegiate talent, Wiginton should be a solid two-year starter for Kalen DeBoer’s offense.


Rashawn Williams

  • Position: Wide Receiver
  • Height: 6-foot-1
  • Weight: 185 pounds
  • Committed: April 29, 2019
  • Hometown: Detroit, Michigan
  • High School: Martin Luther King High School 
  • Rating: 4-Star
  • 247 Sports Composite Rankings: National (205), Position (36), State (4)

The highest rated player in the 2020 class comes in the form of Rashawn Williams from Detroit, Michigan. Williams is a 4-star Wide Receiver who was ranked in the top five in the state of Michigan according to 247Sports. Rivals had him higher with their rankings as he was the second ranked player in the state of Michigan. There’s no other way to put it: this is a tremendous get for the Hoosiers’ offense as Williams will be an immediate target at wideout for whoever is under center – whether it is Peyton Ramsey, Michael Penix Jr., or Jack Tuttle.

Williams is a really strong route runner as his speed and footwork creates a great deal of space between him and his defender when he cuts. His athleticism gives him a large catching radius so if the ball gets to him he will be able to get it. Williams has the ability to take it to the house on every play. Fans know that in recent Hoosier offenses that has been an area lacking.


Cameron Knight

  • Position: Offensive Guard
  • Height: 6-foot-3
  • Weight: 270 pounds
  • Committed: May 18, 2019
  • Hometown: Noblesville, Indiana
  • High School: Noblesville High School 
  • Rating: 3-Star
  • 247Sports Composite Rankings: National (2072), Position (128), State (25)

Cameron Knight’s commitment is the fourth of the 2020 class and is the third player from the state of Indiana to commit to the Hoosiers. From Noblesville, Indiana, Knight has Cream and Crimson in the family as his older brother Brandon Knight played for the Hoosiers and now will be looking to play for the Dallas Cowboys.

At 6-3 and 270 pounds Cameron plays in the interior of the offensive line as he can play either guard spot and has the ability to play center as well. On pass-blocking assignments, Knight stays low and is able to move his feet to fight and work side-by-side with defensive linemen. As a run-blocker he has the physicality to drive the opponent in to the dirt. His acceleration and speed gives him the ability to move his feet and get the reach on defenders when running on the edge. 

Indiana running backs should be excited to run behind Knight as he should be able to clear the road for them. Knight’s commitment brings quality depth to the offensive line from a guy who loves Indiana football and has a head start at understanding the culture of the Indiana football program.


Caleb Murphy

  • Position: Weakside Defensive End
  • Height: 6-foot-4
  • Weight: 250 pounds
  • Committed: June 4, 2019
  • Hometown: Campbellsburg, Indiana
  • High School: West Washington High School 
  • Rating: 3-Star
  • 247 Sports Composite Rankings: National (1088), Position (51), State (12)

Indiana’s fifth commit for the class of 2020 is Defensive End Caleb Murphy from West Washington High School in Campbellsburg, Indiana. Notably, Murphy committed the same day he was offered on June 23. As a 3-star recruit he has great size at 6-foot-4, 250 pounds. That size gives him an edge given that his length enables him to strike first on the line of scrimmage and get extension to shrug-off blockers. Caleb Murphy’s height allows him to cause frustration for quarterbacks as utilizes his wing span and verticality to deflect low arching throws. Caleb Murphy has strong burst speed coming out of his stance, getting him to the backfield quickly and cause disruption. 

Can David Ballou and Matt Rhea from the Indiana football performance program further build on his speed and explosiveness?

Murphy played against small school competition in high school so he must have impressed Tom Allen and his staff when he came to the Indiana camp. It will be interesting to see how Murphy reacts to playing against much bigger competition. If he is successful, then the Indiana defense is adding a defensive end that can cause chaos in the backfield.


Christopher Keys

  • Position: Cornerback
  • Height: 6-foot-1
  • Weight: 165 pounds
  • Committed: June 6, 2019
  • Hometown: Collins, Mississippi
  • High School: Collins High School 
  • Rating: 3-Star
  • 247 Sports Composite Rankings: National (460), Position (36), State (9)

Tom Allen’s lone commitment for 2020 from Mississippi is a cornerback immediately adds speed to the defense. Christopher Keys from is a 3-star defensive back at 6-1 and 165 pounds. Keys has agility and athleticism to stay with his man in pass coverage. He also has good ball hawking skills to find the ball and step up for big plays. He uses his hands to get off blocks and then fill the lanes to get after the ball carrier.

In high school, Keys was actually used as a kick returner and can accelerate quickly. If lanes open up for Keys, his return game could be used early on in order to fill the J-Shun Harris II sized hole within the special teams. It will be interesting to see how Keys can play against taller and bigger wide receivers, but one thing for sure is that he has the speed to make up for it.


Dexter Williams

  • Position: Dual Threat Quarterback
  • Height: 6-foot-1
  • Weight: 190 pounds
  • Committed: June 23, 2019
  • Hometown: Macon, Georgia
  • High School: Mount De Sales Academy
  • Rating: 3-Star
  • 247 Sports Composite Rankings: National (1715), Position (40), State (121)

Dexter Williams from Macon, Georgia fills out the seventh commitment on Indiana’s recruiting board for 2020. Williams is a 3-star Dual-Threat Quarterback that has the speed as a ball carrier as well as the ability to throw. In high school, he moved his offense down the field while running the option, which is a style that most college offenses run in the modern era. When necessary, Williams has shown the capability to put air underneath the ball and attempt big plays with the long ball.

He is similar to Peyton Ramsey as they both have similar skill sets. They both have the speed and ability for option football in addition to their throwing capabilities. Ramsey could be a great mentor for Williams when he arrives to Bloomington as he will already be in Indiana’s new offense for some time. Williams’ commitment gives that quarterback room a lot of talent for years to come and that is some Hoosier fans should be excited for.


Lemuel Neely-Watley

  • Position: Wide Receiver
  • Height: 5-foot-11
  • Weight: 170 pounds
  • Committed: June 23, 2019
  • Hometown: Detroit, Michigan
  • High School: Harper Woods High School
  • Rating: 3-Star
  • 247 Sports Composite Rankings: National (949), Position (157), State (27)

Lemeul Neely-Watley’s commitment makes the eighth for Tom Allen in 2020 and makes the second player from Detroit, MI. At 5-11 and 170 pounds, Neely-Watley played Wide Receiver and Defensive Back in high school but is only listed at Wide Receiver on the scouting reports. He has good speed while running his routes and can break off to make catches against defenders in space. His footwork can create space at the line of scrimmage and he is able to then burst down field to get after deep throws. He also has strength so he can compete on the line and not be pushed off his route. 

His height is something that could diminish his ability with fighting for balls in the air against taller defenders but nonetheless he is someone with speed and energy that could help progress the Hoosier offense down the field. 


Aamaris Brown

  • Position: Safety
  • Height: 6-foot-0
  • Weight: 191 pounds
  • Committed: June 24, 2019
  • Hometown: Seffner, Florida
  • High School: Armwood High School
  • Rating: 3-Star
  • 247 Sports Composite Rankings: National (1698), Position (117), State (219)

The Hoosier defense will have more depth added to it with Aamaris Brown’s commitment from Seffner, Florida. Brown’s commitment makes it the ninth of the 2020 class and the first from Florida. Florida has been kind to the Hoosiers as Tom Allen was able to get incoming Hoosier freshman Tiawan Mullen from the state the previous year. Brown has the ability to turn on the jets the defensive and make big plays for his team. He had eight interceptions his junior year and made solid returns on many of those. Brown’s speed and elusiveness allows him to flow to the ball and make the plays needed. One thing that is apparent from his high school game is that he has the ability to find good angles and able to make tackles in the open space.

His play-making capability is something that Tom Allen must have saw in his recruitment because creating turnovers for the defense is a core goal for Tom Allen and Kane Wommack’s defense. If he can keep developing and learn from the starters as a younger player, he will be a good asset that Wommack can use in the rotation of his defensive backs against the top Big Ten offenses.


JeJuan Sparks

  • Position: Defensive Tackle
  • Height: 6-foot-3
  • Weight: 340 pounds
  • Committed: June 25, 2019
  • Hometown: Clearwater, Florida
  • High School: Clearwater Academy International
  • Rating: 3-Star
  • 247 Sports Composite Rankings: National (2024), Position (133), State (212)

The most recent commitment for Indiana’s 2020 class is JeJuan Sparks from Clearwater, FL. Sparks’ commitment is the second defensive linemen and the 10th overall for the class. At 6-2 and 327 pounds, Sparks adds size to the Hoosier front four and someone that gets after the ball carrier in the trenches. His strength gives him the power to get into the backfield and cause disruption for both the run and pass game. He has the ability to take on a double teams and clog lanes so runners cannot bust through. Sparks has a good set of moves to use when battling linemen on the line of scrimmage. In his game tape, JeJuan shows his ability to “rip and swim” with aggression, resulting in plays past a busted line.

Sparks skill-set can also be effective on the special teams side of the football. He has the capability to break through the front line and block field goals. At the moment Sparks has decent speed, but he will have to keep developing it to compete against the fast offenses of the Big Ten. Nonetheless his commitment is one that should bring both size and physicality to the Hoosier D-Line. 

(Featured Photo: @tywise2020)

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