I am going to need a new excuse. If you’ve read this blog much in the past, I have talked some about my puny efforts at playing football. Going into my senior season, in high school, I was 16 years old and I turned 17 during the season. After I graduated from high school, I grew. That’s always been my excuse, I was just a late bloomer.
But, everyone has excuses, just like opinions. Some people have disadvantages and that doesn’t hold them back at all. These are the people that I wish to learn from about life.
The Indiana Hoosiers don’t have a huge home base for their football recruiting. Let’s just face the facts, Indiana is a basketball state. There are some occasional talents coming out of the state and it seems to be a good state for Quarterbacks.
The best in state football recruits often leave the state, and that forces a school like Indiana, or
Purdue, to hit the road hot and heavy.
In the 2016 recruiting class, one of their recruits was a 16 year old from Roswell, Georgia. He turned 17 on March 23rd, more than a month after signing day.
Marcelino Ball is a Safety and he was not even rated by ESPN. The Hoosiers are not Ohio State, or Michigan and they are especially not Alabama. These schools can pick and choose and sort of take whoever they want. The Hoosiers have to go after and sign the best they can get. They signed 21 players in the 2016 class and 17 of them were 3 stars and 4 of them were unrated.
Incidentally, 2 out of the 4 guys that were not ranked are playing. Not just Marcelino Ball, but freshman Fullback Tyler Natee who is a 260 pound player from Euless, Texas.
Ball is 17 years old and has played in every game in 3-1 Hoosier start. He’s currently third on the team in tackles and I would not be surprised at all if he took the team lead before the year is over.
The 6-0, 210 Ball is an excellent young football player and it’s strange that he wasn’t rated. One of his older brothers, Marcus Ball, is on the Carolina Panthers roster. Another older brother is Reggie Ball Jr who played Quarterback for Georgia Tech from 2003 through 2006. Another brother played at Tennessee Chattanooga. There is definitely an athletic gene in the family, and Marcelino looks like a natural out there.
If things remain as they are, Ball will be a freshman All American and he is about 6 months away from turning 18 years old.
After 4 games, he is currently one of the team leaders in tackles and he has one interception already. His strength, right now, is run support. But, he also excels in pass defense and the Hoosiers defense has improved in leaps and bounds since last season. They are not among the nation’s great defenses, but they are presently ranked 49th, while last season they were ranked 121st in the country.
Indiana coach Kevin Wilson is all about offense and many consider him one of the most brilliant
offensive minds in all of college football. If you have followed Indiana since his arrival and have seen what kind of an offense Wilson usually runs. They run the ball very well and throw the ball strategically. They are a team I enjoy watching because of a generally strong Offensive Line and a solid running game.
But, their defense has been atrocious.
After last season, Kevin Wilson fired Defensive Coordinator Brian Knorr and he hired Indiana native Tom Allen away from South Florida.
The move has paid big dividends so far as the season is heading towards a halfway point.
Defensively, the Hoosiers just look a lot better even before you look at the stat sheet. Last week, they beat defending Big 10 champions, Michigan State in Overtime. Their only loss was to Wake Forest and a big part of that was new transfer Quarterback Richard Lagow who threw 5 Interceptions in that game. On the season, he has 6 total picks, but 5 in one game as the Hoosiers lost to the Wake Forest Demon Deacons 28-33.
Indiana plays in the Big 10 East and has a game at Ohio State this weekend. The Hoosiers gave the Buckeyes all they wanted last year and back up Quarterback Zander Diamont nearly led them to an
upset over the superior Ohio State team.
Indiana also played Michigan very tough before going down. Indiana will not win the Big 10, and probably barely qualifies for a bowl game. But, beating Michigan State was a huge boost for their program.
Another huge boost for the Indiana Hoosier football program was the addition of 17 year old Georgia native, Marcelino Ball.
Check out the 3-1 Indiana Hoosiers at the 4-0 Ohio State Buckeyes at 2:30 on Saturday, October 8th at the Horseshoe. Ball is number 42 on the defense for the Hoosiers.
Ohio State is loaded at every position, but don’t forget to check out Ball and remember that he’s 17 and never let that hold him back.