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INDIANA FOOTBALL NOTEBOOK: Indiana rush king Charlie Spegal headed to IU as preferred walk-on

By: , December 10, 2019, 11:28 am

The king of the IHSAA ground game will be taking his crown to Bloomington. Memorial Stadium to be exact.

New Palestine senior running back Charlie Spegal, the most productive rusher in state history, accepted a preferred walk-on invitation from Indiana University Sunday less than two weeks after leading his high school club to a second straight 5A state title. The state’s Gatorade Player of the Year, Spegal (5-foot-10, 225) finished his prep career as one of only 10 players in the annals of prep pigskin in the United States to ever exceed the 10,000-yard plateau. He recorded a whopping 10,867 yards in four seasons (his first two spent rushing the rock at Delta) and scored an astounding 173 touchdowns. (The third player nationally to go over 10,000 yards in his high school career was Mike Hart, Indiana’s assistant head coach, who will be Spegal’s position coach, as well.)

Because of questions about his speed, Spegal’s recruiting was slower than expected despite the unworldly numbers. Army and Indiana State were the only two others programs to offer.

New Palestine coach Kyle Ralph isn’t worried about the fleet-footed factor when it comes to his star runner at the next level.

“He was running away from people this year … his speed has increased,” Ralph told Steve Wiltfong of 247 Sports. “We trimmed him down a few pounds, he was lighter on his toes … he’s more versatile, he’s quicker now than he was a year ago. He’s still strong as an ox and he’s smart, he runs with purpose. In terms of his burst out of his cuts, I’ve never seen anybody more explosive. Of course there are more top-of-the-line speed guys out there, guys that look great running a 40-yard dash, but as a football player, few in his class compare. He’s just spectacular.”

Going the extra mile

Decatur Central senior outside linebacker Jordan Miles committed to Eastern Illinois over the weekend. Miles (6-2, 225) was one of the state’s most disruptive pass rushers these past two years and is a dynamo of diversity on the defensive side of the ball, able to play on the edge of line as well as multiple linebacker spots . Last season, he helped lead Decatur Central into the state finals where he went head-to-head with Charlie Spegal and New Palestine. This fall, the Hawks went 9-3. He had 90 tackles and nine sacks in 2019.

Eastern Illinois competes out of the Missouri Valley Conference. Central Michigan, Western Illinois, Illinois State and Air Force were also in the hunt for his services.

Offerings from the MAC

Carmel sophomore offensive lineman Justin Pickett plucked his second, third and fourth offers in the last weeks when Miami (OH) offered Saturday, then Toledo and Ball State offered Monday night. Kent State offered Picket last week. Lafayette Jefferson junior defensive end Jalen Monrrow snagged an offer from Bowling Green Saturday too.

Young and relentless in Ft. Wayne

Here are two sophomore studs from Ft. Wayne about to see major jumps in their recruiting this offseason:

Ft. Wayne Snider OL Demon Moore (6-5, 300) — Pancake Prince in the making, mad heart and technique.

Ft. Wayne Carroll QB Jeff Becker (6-1, 190) — Cooler than a polar bear’s toe nails in the pocket, gunslinger gear engaged and rolling downhill at a rapid clip … aka avalanche mode. See 2,100 yards and 20 touchdowns on a 7-4 club in 2019.

— SCOTT M. BURNSTEIN