Things are coming down to the wire with the top class of 2020 in-state player still on the board for the IU football program.
In fact, a decision could be coming for Culver Academies defensive end Deontae Craig any day.
The Fort Wayne native is the No. 585 player in the country overall in the 2020 class according to the 247Sports Composite, the No. 27 strong side defensive end, and No. 4 player in Indiana according to that same service. Those rankings make Craig a higher end three-star recruit.
A talented two sport athlete, Craig has continued to say that he would like to play both football and basketball in college as recently as July in a television interview with WANE 15 in Fort Wayne.
But there is no doubt that football is where Craig is at his best, and Tom Allen and his IU staff have been on the Culver standout for a long time.
As a junior, the 6-foot-4 and 240 pound Craig had 41 tackles, including nine tackles for a loss, five sacks and a forced fumble. He was named to the 2018 Indiana Football Coaches Association Top 50 All-State team. Of the twenty-four defensive players selected, only five were juniors.
While his football recruitment has involved several high profile programs, Craig told both Rivals and 247Sports last week that the two school standing our for him right now are Indiana and Iowa — and a decision is coming soon.
There is one major thing that distinguishes Indiana and Iowa right now.
According to this 247Sports report ($), the Hoosiers are offering Craig the opportunity to walk-on to the basketball team — and the Hawkeyes are not.
Craig took an official visit to IU in June and released photos of himself wearing IU basketball warm-ups — the first clue that more than just football was a possibility for him at Indiana and discussed during that visit.
Culver Academies likely sounds familiar to many IU fans.
Of course that is the high school that recent basketball commit Trey Galloway attends.
The two are good friends, and while not a deciding factor, it is no doubt a plus in IU’s favor that Galloway will be in Bloomington next year. Craig has also indicated to the recruiting services that he has family in both Bloomington and Indianapolis.
Craig certainly isn’t afraid to speak up on Galloway’s behalf.
This “guy” can dunk anybody under the rim. Shoot from anywhere on the court. And SHUT DOWN your favorite players favorite player! Back to Back State Championship games, IU commit, 2020 Indiana Mr. Basketball. Need I continue??? https://t.co/D8u03EwZ0P
— Deontae Craig (@CraigDeontae) July 31, 2019
How good is Craig as a basketball player?
Playing for the two time state finalist Eagles, Craig averaged 12.7 points, 7.5 rebounds and 2.2 assists per game as a junior on the Culver basketball team. He was a junior Indiana All-Star and led all scorers with 21 points in the 2019 semi-state game that propelled Culver to the state finals. There were at least four other Division One bound basketball players on the floor in that game against Marion and Jalen Blackmon.
Craig played AAU basketball all the way through high school. For the 2019 spring and summer he ran with the G3 Grind in the Under Armour league. That circuit reports that he averaged 5.6 points and 5.4 rebounds in 22 minutes per game while shooting 58% from the field.
When I watched Craig last month at the Charlie Hughes Classic at Carmel High School, I saw a strong physical presence on both ends that had a quick first step, controlled the glass, and played well through contact. With his strong frame, he’s a guy that plays much bigger than 6-foot-4 at the high school level.
Craig is certainly the kind of big, strong and physical athlete that could be a positive contributor to the basketball program in a variety of ways.
While IU and Iowa are running out in front down the stretch, Craig has also included Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State, Northwestern, Tennessee and Purdue among his finalists.
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