Florida Defensive Back James Monds III Commits to Indiana

Vero Beach cornerback James Monds III was the target of several Big Ten schools, most notably Nebraska and Wisconsin, but he committed to Indiana on Sunday.

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – James Monds III, a talented 5-foot-10 cornerback from Vero Beach, Fla., committed to Indiana on Sunday, adding another big piece to the Hoosiers' 2022 recruiting class.

Monds, one of the top corners coming out of Florida this year, will join Trevell Mullen in this recruiting class. Mullen is a four-star corner from Coconut Creek, Fla. 

Monds is the ninth recruit thus far in Indiana's class, one of the best in school history thus far. They beat out Big Ten rivals Nebraska and Wisconsin for Monds, along with Arizona and Arkansas. He announced his choice on Instagram Live.

"Without a shadow of a doubt, the kid has major ball skills and he’s just a student of the game," his father, James Monds Jr., who played college football at Toledo and Bethune-Cookman, told the Daytona Beach News-Journal. "Since his freshman year, part of our regimen at home is to study film.

"Any kid can make a play, but he had those ball skills that he can make big plays and he can make it hurt."

Outside of being a terrific cover corner, Monds is also excellent in the return game.  He returned a punt and a kickoff for a touchdown last fall. He also returned three of his five interceptions for touchdowns in 2019.

"He does play cornerback at a high level, but he can morph and play offense or special teams, too," Monds Jr. said. "He can return the ball and get the ball back to the offense. Every school that's recruiting him wants him to return kicks. He scores on special teams and defense and that’s something you don’t see a lot of."

It was a busy recruiting day for Indiana, with the Hoosiers also closely watching the announcements of Florida targets Jacolby Spells and Zane Durant. Both had Indiana on their final list of schools, but Spells, a cornerback from American Heritage in Plantation, Fla., committed to West Virginia.

Durant, a defensive end, committed to Penn State.

Spells had narrowed his list to Indiana, Miami and West Virginia. The Mountaineers were always the leaders in the clubhouse for Spells, but he made his final official visit to Indiana, and Hoosiers coaches felt like they had done enough to change his mind. 

Spells, though, stuck with West Virginia. Here's the story on his announcement Sunday from our Mountaineer Maven site, which covers West Virginia in our FanNation network of college sites on the Sports Illustrated platform. CLICK HERE

Durant is 6-foot-1, 260-pound defensive end at Orlando's Lake Nona High, where he has started since his freshman season. Last year Durant made 15.5 tackles for loss and 6.5 sacks, prompting high praise from Lake Nona head coach Anthony Paradiso.

"Zane is the best player I've ever coached," Paradiso told the Daytona Beach News-Journal. "He’s a generational kid. From day one, his work ethic, his attitude, his preparation, his character set him apart."

  • 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
  • INDIANA SCHEDULE: Here is the complete Indiana football schedule for the 2021 season. CLICK HERE