BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – Indiana's back-to-back successful football seasons have been a huge boost on the recruiting trail this year, and that's evident by the Hoosiers' current No. 21 national ranking among 2022 classes.
That's uncharted recruiting territory in Bloomington, where the Hoosiers have never – yes, NEVER – been ranked inside the top-35 in a season. They've never been better than No. 36, and have an average ranking of 61.95 over the past two decades
But what Indiana coaches still do best is find that diamond in the rough, that under-the-radar kid who can be molded into a solid college player.
It looks like they've found another one, and this time once again in its all-important Florida pipeline. Phillip Dunnam, a 6-foot-1, 180-pound safety from North Miami Beach (Fla.) High School, committed to Indiana this week, giving the Hoosiers their 13th recruit in this cycle.
Dunnam has only recently begun to garner national attention after a big summer in 7-on-7 camps. Indiana safeties coach Jason Jones has been paying attention, and started working Dunnam hard. So did Florida State and Syracuse coaches, plus several prominent Group of 5 schools.
And when Indiana offered, Dunnam pounced.
"Coach Jones called me one day and was saying how he had a whole list of guys that he had to go through and then he just came across my name," Dunman said to 247Sports.. "He said he was looking for a safety like me – one with good ball skills, length and size. He told me that they have some guys leaving, so that if I wanted to come in and work, I could probably see the field early.
"He was also telling me about Indiana and how it's a small, tight-knit group of guys and how the roster is full of Florida boys. He also said that they want to develop you as a man. I just fell in love with all that."
Florida has been hugely important in Tom Allen's recruiting plan since taking over the Hoosiers five years ago. Allen has deep Florida roots himself in the Tampa area, and Indiana assistants divide up the Sunshine State much like they do Indiana. There are more than two dozen Florida players on Indiana's roster, including several of their star players.
For instance, there are four Indiana players who have been added to national player of the year watch lists this month, and three of them – quarterback Michael Penix Jr. and linebacker Micah McFadden of Tampa and cornerback Tiawan Mullen of Coconut Creek – are all Florida natives. (The fourth, wide receiver Ty Fryfogle, is from Lucedale, Miss.)
Dunnam is the fourth Florida native to commit to Indiana this year, and the third from the rich South Florida area. Also committed are Coconut Creek cornerback Trevell Mullen – Tiawan's younger brother – and defensive lineman Richard Thomas from American Heritage High School in Plantation, Fla., just west of Fort Lauderdale. Cornerback James Monds III of Vero Beach is the fourth commit from Florida.
The football genes in Dunnam's family are impressive. Two of his cousins – E.J. Biggers and Louis Delmas – played at Western Michigan before going on to NFL careers. They got their starts at North Miami Beach, too.
Here's a breakdown of the class thus far
Class of 2022 by position
- TOTAL COMMITS: (13)
- Quarterback (1): Josh Hoover
- Wide receiver (1): Omar Cooper, Jr.
- Tight end (1): Ryan Miller
- Offensive linemen (3): D.J. Moore, Bray Lynch, Carter Smith
- Linebacker (2): Isaiah Jones, Kaiden Turner
- Defensive end (1): Richard Thomas,
- Athlete (1): Dasan McCullough
- Cornerback (2): Trevell Mullen, James Monds III
- Safety (1): Phillip Dunnam
Class of 2022 by state
- TOTAL COMMITS: (13)
- Florida (4): Trevell Mullen, James Monds III, Richard Thomas, Phillip Dunnam
- Indiana (3): Dasan McCullough, Omar Cooper, Jr., D.J. Moore,
- Ohio (3): Ryan Miller, Carter Smith, Isaiah Jones
- Texas (2): Josh Hoover, Bray Lynch
- Arkansas (1): Kaiden Turner
Indiana's class rankings through the years
- 2022: No. 21 overall, fifth in the Big Ten
- 2021: No. 54 overall, 12th in the Big Ten
- 2020: No. 57 overall, 12th in the Big Ten
- 2019: No. 36 overall, eighth in the Big Ten
- 2018: No. 50 overall, 10th in the Big Ten
- 2017: No. 62 overall, 13th in the Big Ten
- 2016: No. 53 overall, 11th in the Big Ten
- 2015: No. 53 overall, ninth in the Big Ten
- 2014: No. 48 overall, ninth in the Big Ten
- 2013: No. 42 overall, eighth in the Big Ten
- 2012: No. 57 overall, 11th in the Big Ten
- 2011: No. 55 overall, 11th in the Big Ten
- 2010: No. 70 overall, 14th in the Big Ten
- 2009: No. 66 overall, 13th in the Big Ten
- 2008: No. 68 overall, 13th in the Big Ten
- 2007: No. 80 overall, 14th in the Big Ten
- 2006: No. 67 overall, 13th in the Big Ten
- 2005: No. 78 overall, 14th in the Big Ten
- 2004: No. 54 overall, 10th in the Big Ten
- 2003: No. 76 overall, 14th in the Big Ten
- 2002: No. 62 overall, 12th in the Big Ten
- 2001: No. 51 overall, 11th in the Big Ten
- 2000: No. 38 overall, ninth in the Big Ten
Indiana 2022 commitments thus far
- D.J. MOORE: Standout Fort Wayne offensive lineman D.J. Moore is excited about staying home and playing with the Hoosiers. CLICK HERE
- BRAY LYNCH: Bray Lynch is a 6-foot-4, 280-pound offensive tackle from Texas who has a winning pedigree. He committed to the Hoosiers. CLICK HERE
- OMAR COOPER JR.: Four-star wide receiver Omar Cooper Jr. caught a lot of passes from Donaven McCulley at Lawrence North, and he'll have the chance to do it again after committing to Indiana. CLICK HERE
- JAMES MONDS III: Indiana was thrilled to get a commitment from Vero Beach, Fla., cornerback James Monds III, who has great cover skills and could be a huge threat in the return game for the Hoosiers. CLICK HERE
- RYAN MILLER: Ryan Miller, a standout pass-catching tight end from the Cleveland area, has committed to Indiana. CLICK HERE
- CARTER SMITH: Ohio offensive tackle Carter Smith is the seventh commitment in Indiana's 2022 recruiting class. CLICK HERE
- JOSH HOOVER: Indiana got its first offensive commitment in the class of 2022 on Tuesday night when Rockwall-Heath (Texas) quarterback Joshn Hoover committed to the Hoosiers. CLICK HERE
- ISAIAH JONES: Linebacker Isaiah Jones of London, Ohio committed to Indiana on Sunday. Jones is 6-foot-2 and 215 pounds, and received substantial interest from Minnesota, Cincinnati, Duke, Wake Forest and several MAC schools. CLICK HERE
- TREVELL MULLEN: Four-star Florida cornerback Trevell Mullen, the younger brother of Indiana All-American cornerback Tiawan Mullen, committed to Indiana on Sunday after his official visit to Bloomington. CLICK HERE
- DASAN McCULLOUGH: Four-star athlete Dasan McCullough, one of the top players in the Class of 2022, has de-committed from Ohio State and will join Indiana instead. His father is Indiana running backs coach Deland McCullough. CLICK HERE
- KAIDEN TURNER: Arkansas linebacker Kaiden Turner loves what Indiana's linebackers do, and he's thrilled to commit to the Hoosiers and join that outastanding group. CLICK HERE
- RICHARD THOMAS: South Florida defensive end Richard Thomas has committed to Indiana, keeping the Florida-to-Bloomington pipeline alive for Tom Allen and his Hoosiers. CLICK HERE