IU football recruiting: Several major decisions expected in July as program pushes for best class ever

The IU football program welcomed a cast of visitors in June the likes of which the program has never seen in the modern era.  4-star after 4-star toured the IU campus last month, curious to find out just exactly what head coach Tom Allen has going in Bloomington.

Already the returns are good.  Two 4-stars, linebacker Dasan McCullough and cornerback Trevell Mullen have committed.  The average player rating of Indiana’s eight commits suggests this could be Indiana’s most talented class ever in the rankings era.

Now the question becomes — how many more of those class of 2022 high profile targets can Indiana turn into commits?

McCullough, the highest rated recruit in IU history, has taken on the role of recruiter, especially with in-state prospects.

“I think it’s going to be the best class in Indiana history in my personal opinion just with the guys we have coming in now and the guys we’re coming after,” McCullough told 247Sports’ national recruiting analyst Steve Wiltfong last week. “I feel I opened some doors when I committed and showed top players you don’t have to go to a top school in the country but go somewhere right at home.”

The program won’t have to wait long for the decisions by many of their top prospects.

Members of the class of 2022 have in general committed relatively late in the cycle due in large part to the pandemic induced shutdowns that prohibited players from making visits.  But IU had a wave of visitors every weekend in June, and now players are narrowing their lists and setting dates as they compete for roster spots across the country.

Several of IU’s top 2022 targets have announcement dates in July, including at least three this weekend.  If things go well, Indiana’s 2022 class could go from encouraging to creating a national buzz in just a few weeks.

Here are some of the top targets to keep an eye on in July.

Jacolby Spells – The top-250 4-star cornerback could form a formidable duo with Trevell Mullen.  The Fort Lauderdale, Fla. product’s high school teammate Richard Thomas (top-450, DL) has already committed to IU.  Spells will announce his decision between IU, Miami and West Virginia on July 4.  (UPDATE – West Virginia)

James Monds – Monds is another high-end cornerback announcing on July 4.  The Vero Beach, Fla. product is a top-700 3-star who appears to be down to IU and Nebraska.  With Mullen already in the fold, it may be difficult to land both Spells and Monds, but adding either would be a strong addition. (UPDATE – Indiana)

Zane Durant – Durant is a top-350 4-star defensive lineman from Orlando.  He is also announcing on July 4.  Durant might be difficult to pull out of his home state.  We watch late prediction waves by the recruiting sites, and Durant seems to be trending towards Miami. (UPDATE – Penn State)

Joe Strickland – The top-250 in-state 4-star from Brebeuf High School in Indianapolis had originally planned a July 4 commitment but he pushed the date back.  Strickland will still decide before his high school season, so the announcement is still very close.  Penn State, Purdue and Stanford are just some of the schools vying for the talented defensive lineman. (UPDATE – Final three – IU, Purdue, Stanford; date TBD).

Landon Livingston – A top-800 3-star in-state offensive tackle, Livingston is planning to announce on July 16.  The Leo, Ind. product appears to be down to IU, Iowa, West Virginia, Purdue and Cincinnati.

Bray Lynch – A top-950 prospect in the class, Lynch is from Austin, Texas and will announce his decision on July 9.  The offensive tackle is down to IU, Duke and Oklahoma State.  Lynch recently visited the Bloomington campus. (UPDATE – Indiana).

Omar Cooper – The in-state top-250 4-star receiver is expected to announce a commitment in July.  Cooper was a high school teammate of IU freshman 4-star quarterback Donavan McCulley at Lawrence North High School in Indianapolis, and that could help give the Hoosiers the inside track over West Virginia. (UPDATE – Indiana)

Greg Gaines – Gaines is a top-350 4-star, and if paired with Cooper would be a very impressive wide receiver haul in the class.  Like Cooper, IU has connections with the Tampa product.  Gaines, who will announce on July 17, attends the same Tampa high school as quarterback Michael Penix, Jr.  Iowa State, Kansas State and Maryland seem to be the others to watch.

James Jointer – The Arkansas verbal commit took a visit to IU in late June and hinted on social media that big news is forthcoming this week, and obviously there aren’t many days left in the week.  The running back from Little Rock is a 3-star top-600 prospect and has been thought to be a potential IU flip for the last month. (UPDATE – Arkansas)

Anthony Brown – The top-500 3-star safety from Milan, Tenn. will announce on July 29.  Arkansas and Tennessee are two of the other schools to watch here.

Jalen Marshall – A top-750 3-star defensive lineman, Marshall is expected to announce in July and has said he will choose between IU, Oklahoma State and Nebraska.

We will continue to monitor for near-term announcements.  This post will be pinned to the recruiting drop-down menu.  Check back for updates.

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