Photo credit - USC Athletics

Report: IU football could work the transfer portal to land first ever 5-star recruit

Indiana has never had a 5-star recruit on its roster during the rankings era, but that might change this fall.

And the man largely responsible for delivering some high end recruits to Indiana in recent weeks would be the reason why if it happens.

Stephen Carr came to USC as the nation’s No. 3 running back in the 2017 class, according to the 247Sports Composite. A 5-star prospect out of Summit High School in Fontana, California, Carr played for then Trojans’ running backs coach Deland McCullough during his freshman campaign.

According to a report by Keely Eure of 247Sports’ USC site, Carr was expected to enter the transfer portal this week, and Indiana is emerging as a possible destination — because of now IU running backs coach McCullough.

(Update:  Carr did in fact enter the transfer portal on Tuesday)

“Sources have suggested Indiana could be a landing spot for Carr given his history with running backs coach Deland McCullough,” Eure wrote.  “Carr was coached by McCullough in 2017 for one season at USC prior to the running backs coach’s departure for the Kansas City Chiefs in 2018.”

Listed at 6-foot and 215 pounds, Carr has rushed for 1,329 yards on 264 carries (5.0 average) with 12 touchdowns in four seasons with USC. Also proficient as a pass catcher, he has amassed 57 receptions for 421 yards with another score.  Carr also returned 15 kickoffs for 321 yards.  The Gardena, Calif. product has appeared in 35 games and started in six for the Trojans.  He made 2017 All-Pac-12 honorable mention in his lone season with McCullough.

After de-committing from Ohio State a few weeks ago, Deland McCullough’s son Dasan became the highest rated player to commit to IU.  The class of 2022 linebacker is a 4-star and a top-50 overall national prospect.  Carr’s rating by 247Sports coming out of high school was higher than Dasan’s.  Dasan’s brother Daeh McCullough, a top-100 overall prospect in the class of 2023, also committed to IU recently.

2020 was Carr’s senior season, but he has another year of eligibility remaining due to a special rule passed by the NCAA as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Indiana is not particularly deep when it comes to experienced backs.  The Hoosiers lost Stevie Scott during the offseason after he decided to forego his remaining eligibility and enter the NFL Draft.  Sampson James and Tim Baldwin are expected to be at the top of running back depth chart going into fall camp.

Update:  On Wednesday, Rivals’ national recruiting reporter Mike Farrell added further support to the notion that Indiana is a legitimate player in Carr’s recruitment.  Ferrell mentioned IU as one of four schools actively involved.

“He brings experience and talent, and with that the initial reaction from schools has been positive, with Indiana, Baylor, Arizona and Pittsburgh being a few that have taken an active approach in his recruitment,” Ferrell wrote.

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