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Indiana football raids Ohio for latest wave of verbal commitments

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Indiana football raids Ohio for latest wave of verbal commitments


BLOOMINGTON — Indiana football landed three verbal commitments for its 2025 signing class from the state of Ohio over a 36-hour span

It started with Winton Woods defensive back Seaonta Stewart picking the Hoosiers on Monday afternoon.

Princeton linebacker Paul Nelson and Findlay offensive lineman Baylor Wilkin followed suit on Tuesday. They announced their commitments within minutes of each other to give IU 21 verbal commitments in the class. 

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Stewart, who also took official visits to West Virginia and Purdue, was the highest ranked player of the bunch. The 6-foot-2, 180-pound defender is the fourth member of the class ranked among the top 750 players in the country (No. 686) per 247 Sports composite rankings. 

According to 247 Sports, the three-star recruit had 19 scholarship offers including ones from Oklahoma, Kentucky, Illinois, Michigan State, Penn State, Pittsburgh and Tennessee. 

It continues a trend of IU’s staff focusing on bulking up the team’s secondary. While Stewart has positional flexibility — he’s listed on recruiting services as an athlete — he’s the fifth defensive back in the class.

More: Ranking Indiana football’s 2024 schedule from easiest opponents to toughest: Part 1

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Nelson had verbally committed to Cincinnati in June, but that decision came before he took an official visit to Bloomington. The defender attended Princeton High School that’s located less than 20 miles from the Bearcats’ campus in downtown Cincinnati. 

The three-star defender had 16 scholarship offers including ones from Illinois, Kentucky, Michigan and Michigan State. He was the No. 1,140 nationally ranked recruit and No. 113 linebacker in the 2025 class. 

Wilkin was a three-star interior offensive lineman with a list of scholarship offers that got a lot longer in June. The Hoosiers offered him along with Cincinnati, Miami (OH), Western Kentucky and Navy over a span of 10 days. 

More: Ranking Indiana football’s 2024 schedule from easiest opponents to toughest: Part 2

All three players fall within the region new Indiana coach Curt Cignetti laid out when he took the job. The Hoosiers has as many verbal commitments from Ohio (four) as in-state prospects. 

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“I think most teams across the country, the plan is about the same,” Cignetti said, back in December. “You’ve got to do a great job in your state and the border states, 4 1/2, 5-hour radius.”

Indiana has 12 commitments within a five-hour drive from Bloomington that includes two recruits from Tennessee, two from Illinois and one from Missouri, but the new staff has promised to venture out as far as necessary to land the right mix of talent. 

“Wherever they are, we’ll find them,” Cignetti said. “If we think they’re a good fit and a good match, then we’ll get them on campus.”

Michael Niziolek is the Indiana beat reporter for The Bloomington Herald-Times. You can follow him on X @michaelniziolek and read all his coverage by clicking here.





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Indiana

Indiana 9-year-old gives the gift of companionship to adults with dementia

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Indiana 9-year-old gives the gift of companionship to adults with dementia


LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) – A nine-year-old from Indiana is making sure patients in long-term care facilities do not feel alone.

An elderly woman is wheeled into a room and greeted by two smiling faces asking a simple question: “We would like for you to adopt an animal today. What are you thinking?”

But they are not talking about a real pet. They are talking about realistic stuffed animals that can breathe, bark, meow, and even move.

“I have so much joy from this. I love it so much,” Evelyn Hill, a nine-year-old girl, says with a grin. She created the non-profit Evelyn’s Blessings to bring comfort to the elderly.

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The idea came after multiple trips to Evelyn’s “poppy” at a long-term care facility that takes care of dementia patients. Evelyn and her mom Jennifer noticed many residents didn’t get any visitors, so they found a way to bring companionship to them. 

“He is still I don’t have to chase him, clean up after him, or feed him, so what better could you have?” Resident JoAnne explained as she petted her stuffed dog. 

Evelyn believes each pet removes the loneliness residents may be experiencing and replaces it with joy. Her favorite part is their surprise.

”It’s nice when I see them come into the room and they don’t know what’s going on and then I show them why they are here. After, they are so happy,” Evelyn said. 

This nine-year-old’s generosity is also helping her reach milestones. Her mom says she’s the youngest non-profit holder in the state of Indiana.

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”I tell her all the time that she’s the little girl I wished I could’ve been when I was younger,” Jennifer Hill, Evelyn’s Mom, said. “Just seeing the drive and compassion she has for the elderly is just unmatched.”

The goal is to visit as many long-term care facilities as possible, so can even more residents feel Evelyn’s heart through Evelyn’s blessing.

To learn how you can support the non-profit, visit their website.



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INDIANA, MARION CENTER BOARDS TO MEET ON MONDAY

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INDIANA, MARION CENTER BOARDS TO MEET ON MONDAY


School board meetings in July are rare, but there are two Indiana County boards scheduled to meet tomorrow.

 

Indiana Area’s board president, Walter Schroth, will report to the board on the ICTC situation.  The River Valley School District has notified ICTC of its intention to pull out of its commitment to the technical school, and there are important ramifications for all of the other districts in the county if River Valley is leaves.

 

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There are a number of motions to be dealt with regarding the start of the new school year, an extensive list of coaching assignments, and an update on the Eisenhower school project.

 

The board will also consider a bond issue for over $5 million for construction projects related to ESCO, the energy savings program.

 

The Buildings, Grounds, and Transportation Committee will meet beforehand

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In a combined work and voting session, Marion Center’s board will also  prepare for the opening next month of a new school year, including coaching and extracurricular assignments, a budget update, and a second reading of the district’s electronic devices policy.

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Big Ten primer: Indiana's greatest football moment

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Big Ten primer: Indiana's greatest football moment


The Indiana Hoosiers take pride in their basketball. They don’t have a rich and lengthy history in college football. They have won the Big Ten championship exactly twice in more than 120 years of competitive football. That long run of futility at least makes it easier to identify the program’s greatest moment.

The 1945 Indiana team went unbeaten and tied once, finishing fourth in the final Associated Press Poll. However, the college football landscape created by World War II had something to do with that Indiana season, which was and is a historical outlier. Another reason that 1945 season isn’t discussed or remembered as widely as it could or should be is that 1945 was the last year in which the Rose Bowl did not have a Big Ten-Pac-12 (or as the conferences were known back then, the Western Conference and the Pacific Coast Conference) tie-in. USC played Alabama in the 1946 Rose Bowl following the 1945 season. Indiana was bitterly unlucky to not have the tie-in that season.

As it was, Indiana did not make the Rose Bowl. The Hoosiers still hadn’t played in the Granddaddy. Then came the 1967 season, in which the Hoosiers came out of nowhere and captured the Big Ten title. Their win over Purdue in the Old Oaken Bucket rivalry game clinched their Rose Bowl berth under coach John Pont. That was and is the greatest Big Ten football moment in Indiana Hoosier history. IU then played its first and only Rose Bowl against USC. The Trojans won the national title by beating the Hoosiers in the Arroyo Seco in the 1968 Rose Bowl.

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