Big Ten Signing Day: Hoosiers reload at wide receiver

Big Ten Signing Day: Hoosiers reload at wide receiver
February 6, 2014, 6:15 pm
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Vinnie Duber

There are few days as frantic as National Signing Day. And sometimes it can be a difficult enough task to try and keep up with news of one team, let alone 12 of them.

Well, now that all the Signing Day hubbub has died down, it’s a good time to take a look at what happened in the Big Ten. How did the teams do? Who are the big-name recruits coming to the conference next season? And how happy were the coaches with their respective hauls? We’ve broken it down, team-by-team.

Indiana Hoosiers

(Rivals rankings: 7th Big Ten, 37th nationally)

It’s always difficult to project how much playing time an incoming recruit will see right away, but there’s little doubting that Indiana was looking to reload at wide receiver following the offseason departures of their two top pass-catchers from last season’s high-powered offense. Cody Latimer declared for the NFL Draft, and Kofi Hughes is moving on after his senior season. Those two combined for 1,835 receiving yards and 16 touchdown grabs in 2013.

So when looking at top recruit Dominique Booth out of Indianapolis, you wonder just how big a role Kevin Wilson and Co. have planned for the four-star wideout. Other receivers heading to Bloomington include J-Shun Harris and Coray Keel. Simmie Cobbs, an athlete that could play receiver, attended Oak Park-River Forest High School and was the Hoosiers’ third-ranked recruit.

[MORE: Tim Beckman assures Illini recruits they have a chance to play]

Top recruits: Booth is one of two four-star recruits brought in by Wilson’s staff. The receiver was ranked the fourth-best player in the state of Indiana by Rivals. The other four-star landed by the Hoosiers is New York offensive lineman Tim Gardner, who’s 6-foot-5 and weighs 320 pounds.

Coach speak: “I think we've got some good young ones to work with. I wanted to try to get a little size,” Wilson said of his wideout recruits. “To get Simmie Cobbs late and Dominique in kind of late in midyear is good, they're physically more mature, bigger guys. Not that that means they're better, but a couple of those guys you lose some size and length out there, which is one of their fortes. Again, J-Shun is very dynamic, loved him at camp. Potential to be similar to the guy that plays for us now, but we'll see if he is. Coming out of high school he's similar, maybe has some things a little farther along. Coray Keel, a guy under the radar, but a bigger, 6-foot-2-ish, shows up in the 190's, gives us a little size.”