BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – Indiana's recent hot streak on the recruiting trail has landed them in the monthly Sports Illustrated All-American top-25 recruiting rankings for the first time ever.
The Hoosiers checked in at No. 22 in the August poll released Monday. They are one of five Big Ten teams in the poll, all five from the Big Ten East. Penn State and Ohio State are at the top of the poll, with Michigan No. 14 and Rutgers checking in at No. 16.
Indiana has 14 commitments thus far in the class of 2022, and it's highlighted by Bloomington South's Dasan McCullough, the son of new Indiana running backs coach and assistant head coach Deland McCullough, and Coconut Creek (Fla.) cornerback Trevell Mullen, the younger brother of Indiana All-American cornerback Tiawan Mullen. They are the two highest recruits in the class.
But since their commitments, Indiana has branched out from the family tree to grab two highly regarded skill position players, wide receiver Omar Cooper of Lawrence North High School in Indianapolis and, most recently Cincinnati (Ohio) La Salle running back Gi'Bran Payne, who committed last week and helped push the Hoosiers into the top-25 this month.
(EDITOR'S NOTE: Gi'Bran Payne was the focus of our Sports Illustrated Indiana "Next Generation'' series on Sunday. For the full story on the standout running back and his time growing into a star in Cincinnati, CLICK HERE)
Sports Illustrated All-American evaluates the class by talent and fit, not just volume like other recruiting sites. An emphasis is placed on the premium positions – quarterback, offensive tackle, defensive end, defensive tackle, cornerback – and elite position groups within the class.
The rankings are updated the first Monday of every month. Each release, including Monday's August rankings release, will have reasoning for placement in blurbs under each team name. Here is the link to the Sports Illustrated story: CLICK HERE
Below is the new ranking as well as the spot in the July rankings:
August SIAA Top-25 rankings
- Penn State (4)
- Ohio State (1)
- Alabama (21)
- Notre Dame (2)
- Clemson (17)
- LSU (5)
- Texas A&M (6)
- Georgia (7)
- Florida State (3)
- Oregon (19)
- Oklahoma (10)
- Texas (9)
- Boston College (8)
- Michigan (14)
- Baylor (11)
- Rutgers (13)
- South Carolina (21)
- Arkansas (20)
- Virginia Tech (NR)
- Iowa State (NR)
- North Carolina (NR)
- Indiana (NR)
- West Virginia
- Mississippi State (12)
- Florida (22)
Dropped out: USC (15), Kentucky (18), Oklahoma State (23), Missouri (24), Maryland (25)
Under consideration: Michigan State, Vanderbilt, Northwestern, Georgia Tech, Cincinnati
John Garcia, Jr., the Director of Football Recruiting for SI All-American, said that Indiana's big July, with seven high-level commitments, got them into the rankings for the first time since they started in 2019.
"Indiana had a huge month of July,'' Garcia said. "We know the Hoosiers have been putting in major work in the state of Florida, and they have a well-rounded class. We love Trevell Mullen, who's probably the highest rated Hoosier commitment that we would value, at a premium position as well.
"There's balance in this class, and we expect it to grow in the future, so No. 22 might be the new floor for this recruiting class.''
Payne, considered to be one of the best running backs in the country, was a huge get for the Hoosiers, Garcia said.
"Positional balance is something we want to see as well. It's almost as if you're constructing a full team in each recruiting class, in theory at least,'' Garcia said. "When you bring in a strong position player, who we do value as the No. 1 running back in Ohio, that's big for balance, but it's big for perception, too.
"This is something Indiana has to do, you've got to go into enemy territory and win some battles. There's a little bit of everything in this recruiting class, and we expect it to grow.''
Garcia said there really isn't much different between Indiana's class and the groups at Michigan and Rutgers that are slightly ahead of them in the rankings.
"They're right in the same ballpark,'' Garcia said. "They've got a lot of kids who can be moving up, and that's something we're going to monitor closely.''
Related stories on Indiana recruiting
Here's all the details on Indiana's 2022 class as of Monday. The stories of their commitments are below, with players listed in alphabetical order:
Class of 2022 by position
- TOTAL COMMITS: (14)
- Quarterback (1): Josh Hoover
- Running back (1): Gi'Bran Payne
- Wide receiver (1): Omar Cooper, Jr.
- Tight end (1): Ryan Miller
- Offensive linemen (3): D.J. Moore, Bray Lynch, Carter Smith
- Linebackers (2): Isaiah Jones, Kaiden Turner
- Defensive end (1): Richard Thomas,
- Athlete (1): Dasan McCullough
- Cornerbacks (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
- Ohio (4): Gi'Bran Payne, Ryan Miller, Carter Smith, Isaiah Jones
- Indiana (3): Dasan McCullough, Omar Cooper, Jr., D.J. Moore,
- Texas (2): Josh Hoover, Bray Lynch
- Arkansas (1): Kaiden Turner
Indiana 2022 commitments thus far
- 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
- PHILLIP DUNNAM: Indiana dipped into South Florida for another recruit, snaring North Miami Beach safety Phillip Dunnam. He's got NFL bloodlines as well. 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
- 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
- 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
- RYAN MILLER: Ryan Miller, a standout pass-catching tight end from the Cleveland area, has committed 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
- D.J. MOORE: Standout Fort Wayne offensive lineman D.J. Moore is excited about staying home and playing with the Hoosiers. 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
- GI'BRAN PAYNE: Gi'Bran Payne, a four-star recruit and the No. 1 running back in the state of Ohio, has picked Indiana over Penn State, Tennessee and others. CLICK HERE
- CARTER SMITH: Ohio offensive tackle Carter Smith is the seventh commitment in Indiana's 2022 recruiting class. 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
- 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