James Monds III believes his best attribute as a cornerback is his ability to get his hands on the ball. As a junior he broke up nine passes and managed an interception and he would have had more if anyone threw his way.
So he considered Indiana, which led the Big Ten in interceptions in 2020 with 17, to be a natural fit. That’s a big reason why the three-star recruit from Vero Beach, Fla., committed to Indiana on Sunday over offers from Nebraska, Wisconsin, Mississippi State, Michigan State and Miami (Fla).
“I think it fits great because I consider myself a ballhawk and I consider Indiana to be a ball-hawking defense,” Monds said. “I think it works hand in hand. I like the zone that they play that lets you keep your eye on the quarterback the whole time. The D-Line and the pass rush they have makes it easier on the defensive backs. They don’t have to worry about the quarterback having too much time in the pocket.”
Along with the schemes, Monds also liked the people. He said he developed an excellent relationship with cornerbacks coach Brandon Shelby and also with the McCullough brothers — the sons of running backs coach Deland McCullough who will all be playing at Indiana. Defensive back Deland McCullough Jr. is already on campus, having transferred from Miami (Ohio). Safety Dasan McCullough is part of the 2022 class and flipped his commitment from Ohio State, and Daeh McCullough is committed in the class of 2023. Monds said he got to know them at first through social media and then through 7-on-7 camps.
“Right when Dasan was thinking about flipping, we had developed a really good relationship,” Monds said. “Then Dasan was able to flip. That really made me think about it more and more. Then after my official visit, I thought I was ready for my next step. That’s when I made my decision.”
It didn’t bother Monds at all that he’ll be playing a long way from home or that he passed up schools that are closer to home to play at Indiana. It also didn’t bother him all that much that he isn’t following in the footsteps of family members who played college football. He liked what he saw and is hoping it leads more players from the Southeast and from outside of Indiana to consider IU.
“I really liked the atmosphere and I felt like I could really be stable there and not worry about too many things going on outside of football,” Monds said. I could just focus on football and school. It really puts the spotlight on the program and makes other people wonder why? What are they doing different than everyone else?”
For highlights and more background on Monds, GO HERE.
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