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BLOOMINGTON — Is Indiana set to beat Missouri for a four-star receiver?
We're about to find out.
Indianapolis Pike's Dominique Booth will announce his decision tonight. As the state's No. 4 player, and the No. 46 receiver nationally according to Rivals.com, a national Internet recruiting service, Booth would be the top recruit in IU's 16-player class. ESPN.com rates Booth even higher — No. 2 in the state and No. 32 nationally among receivers.
How good is the 6-foot, 205-pound Booth? In his last two high school seasons, he totaled 99 catches for 1,266 yards and 16 touchdowns.
Booth made an official visit to IU in mid-December. He has not visited Missouri. Last month he decommitted from Tennessee.
Normally Indiana coach Kevin Wilson couldn't talk about a recruit until he has signed a national letter of intent. But because Booth has signed a financial aid agreement with IU, although he hasn't committed, NCAA rules allow Wilson to talk about him.
Wilson took advantage.
“Dominique is one of the premier wide receivers in the country,” Wilson said in a university release. “We have been on him for several years.
“From Day One, we made a commitment to recruit the state of Indiana and it is nice to get another Indianapolis metro player who can help our program take that next step. Dominique is ready to shine on the national stage and to continue the lineage of great Indiana receivers. He is a tremendous student who is very mature physically and mentally. Dominique is a perfect fit for our offense, one which became the first in Big Ten history with five 1,000-yard receivers on the same team, and we can't wait for him to arrive in Bloomington.”
Booth's potential instant playing time opportunity got a boost when Hoosier receiver Cody Latimer announced Sunday that he's giving up his senior season to enter the NFL draft. IU was already losing seniors Kofi Hughes and Duwyce Wilson.
That means the only experienced outside receiver returning is Nick Stoner (12 catches, 226 yards, one touchdown). Slot receiver Shane Wynn is back after totaling 46 catches, 633 yards and 11 touchdowns.
Also signing financial aid agreements for IU were offensive linemen Tim Gardner, Delroy Baker and DeAndre Herron, quarterback Alexander Diamont and tight end Jordan Fuchs. These five will start classes when Indiana's second semester begins Monday. Booth will, as well, if he picks the Hoosiers.
Diamont was a three-year starter out of Los Angeles Venice High School. He threw for 3,501 yards and 47 touchdowns as a senior.
“With our offensive system and our staff's background we should always land top quarterbacks and Zander fits that mold,” Wilson said. “It was critical to sign an elite quarterback in this class to complement our upperclassmen. Zander was very impressive at our camp and workouts. Coming from a very prolific offense at Venice, he is an excellent leader who will give us a strong run-pass threat. Zander is a potentially great thrower who can also make plays in space.”
The 6-foot-6, 230-pound Fuchs is also a standout basketball player good enough to have received more than 15 NCAA Division I scholarship offers.
“Jordan is a very athletic guy,” Wilson said. “He was an upper level basketball player in New York City who fell in love with football. We got on him late and are excited to have him.
“With the departure of Ted Bolser, it was important to bring in a scholarship tight end. Jordan is a long, gifted player who has the frame to be a dominant blocker in the Big Ten. We believe he has the ability to be a complete tight end.”
Indiana's class is currently rated No. 57 nationally by Rivals.com. That rating will likely rise by the time Wilson fills out his expected 25-player class by the Feb. 5 signing day.
“Every day we want constant and consistent improvement and these six players help us achieve that goal,” Wilson said. “It is critical that we meet our needs with young men who fit the values of our program, and we are off to a great start. Our staff has done an excellent job and will continue to do so as we wrap up what we expect to be another highly-ranked signing class. We must follow last year's top-rated class with another one and we are well on our way to doing just that.”