College basketballs early signing period for recruits to sign their letters of intent (LOI) to attend the university of their choosing runs from November 8th through November 15th.
All four of Indiana University’s verbal commitments for the 2017-2018 season have said that they plan to both sign and fax their LOI’s on the first day. The remaining two recruits Indiana is seeking to finish off the class are still in the decision making process.
Darius Garland, a Top 15 ranked, 5-Star point guard out of Brentwood, TN. has long been rumored as a young man that would like to decide and sign during this early signing period. The latest news out of Brentwood, per his father, is that on November 3rd the family sat down and went over the pro’s and con’s of each school he is considering.
Vanderbilt, Indiana, Kentucky, Duke, and UCLA were the schools he took official visits too, but the consensus of the “experts” is that this is really a two horse race between the hometown Vanderbilt Commodores and the Indiana Hoosiers.
Winston Garland, Darius’ father, has repeatedly said that the family was blown away by their visit to Indiana for Hoosier Hysteria. But Darius has made multiple trips to Vandy and has some high school classmates going to a Vandy to play football that are pulling him to join them in staying home in Tennessee.
With all of that having been said, this recruitment has a Robert Johnson recruitment feel to it. Even on the day Johnson was scheduled to announce, most “experts” had him going to North Carolina. So all the flip flopping with 247’s Crystal Ball in the past few weeks in regards to Darius Garland just means that everyone else is as much in the dark as we the fans are.
I honestly don’t think that at the beggining of this week that the Garland’s knew for sure where he was going. Therefore I personally don’t expect an announcement on the 8th. But, I would also be absolutely shocked if there isn’t one by the weekend.
The other target on Indiana’s radar for the 2017-2018 season, is Top 5 ranked, 5-Star Shooting Guard, Romeo Langford, from New Albany, IN. Langford’s recruitment is a little different than the Garland recruitment. The Langford family plays things pretty close to the vest. Even when they do speak about Romeo’s recruitment, it’s nothing earth shattering.
They have long said the plan was to cut the list to three after his visits and then sign in the Spring during the late signing period. If this holds true, IU fans may very well not have any fingernails left by then. But Romeo’s father stated after the Kansas visit that the plan to cut the list to three and wait until the Spring was still the plan…UNLESS Romeo knows before then. Then a Fall signing could be a strong possibility. Which is the first time that it has been said that was an option.
Not really surprising due to Langford’s close friendship with Garland, but Vanderbilt is also a school that Langford has visited and is seriously considering. UNC has put a lot of time and effort into this recruitment, as has Kansas. And Vandy getting him on campus the same weekend as Garland speaks volumes about their chances too.
Indiana Head Coach Archie Miller has done an amazing job with this recruitment in the short amount of time he’s been in Bloomington and most “experts” are now picking Indiana as the team to beat in the “Romeo Sweepstakes.”
This much we do know. On Wednesday November 8th the Fall signing period begins. And on Wednesday November 8th Indiana University is supposed to be receiving LOI’s from Robert Phinisee, Damezi Anderson, Jerome Hunter, and Jake Forrester. Four VERY talented basketball players that not only fit Coach Miller’s system, but each also fills a need going forward.
If those four players end up being Indiana’s recruiting class for the 2017-2018 season, fans should feel good about the future of the program.
If Garland but not Langford is added to that group, that class goes from good to very good. If they add Langford and not Garland, that class goes from very good to damned good. If they add both of them, that class goes from damned good, to watch out college basketball, Indiana is about to be scary good in the VERY near future.
Recruiting is a nerve racking adventure that diehard fans like myself can’t help but follow. But this year is the perfect recruiting year for such fans. Because we solidified a good class to help build this program back to where it needs to be. Plus, we have two recruits that every team in the nation wanted at one time right in our crosshairs.
I’ll end with this thought. If anyone questioned the Archie Miller hire due to whether or not he could recruit at the level that Indiana and winning in the Big 10 would require, that question has been answered…with or without Romeo Langford and/or Darius Garland.
To have come this far in these two recruitments in such a short amount of time, is nothing short of remarkable. And I can’t wait until we see the results he will have on the recruiting trail once he has truly settled in as our coach and has had time to build relationships with young recruits in Indiana and across the nation.
It’s a great time to be a Hoosier! Romeo Langford and Darius Garland may as well join us in that excitement…right?!