INDIANA FOOTBALL RELEASE
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – Indiana head football coach Tom Allen announced today the signing of defensive back Jamar Johnson (Sarasota, Fla./Riverview H.S.), defensive lineman Jonathan King (Tampa, Fla./Tampa Bay Tech H.S.) and linebacker James Miller (Brandon, Fla./Armwood H.S.) to National Letters of Intent to play for the Hoosiers in 2018. IU inked 23 players during the early signing period and closed out the 2018 class with 26 total signees.
DB • 6-1, 190
Sarasota, Fla./Riverview H.S.
Prep/Personal: Defensive back for head coach Joshua Smithers at Riverview High School … team most valuable player, team captain and first team all-area selection led Riverview to an 11-2 mark in 2017 and back-to-back district titles … played in the Florida North/South All-Star Classic … posted 62 tackles, six for loss, and one sack his senior campaign … recorded six interceptions (1 TD), forced three and recovered two fumbles … made 13 receptions for 219 yards with two touchdowns and added 112 rushing yards on nine carries with two scores … returned two punts and one kickoff for TDs … named the team’s most valuable defensive back in 2016 … ranked the No. 88 cornerback nationally by 247Sports … three-year football and four-year track and field letterwinner … participated in the 110m hurdles, long jump, triple jump and 4x100m relay … mother is Tosha Johnson … Jamar Johnson was born on Nov. 22, 1999.
Coach Allen on Johnson:
“We are really excited about Jamar. He has the skill set to play corner, safety or the husky position. It’s really hard to find a guy like that who can do all those things. Jamar is a very physical young man and really athletic. He played receiver in high school and can return punts and kicks. Those are the versatile guys you want. We are really excited about Jamar joining our family.”
DL • 6-3, 255
Tampa, Fla./Tampa Bay Tech H.S.
Prep/Personal: Defensive lineman for head coach Jayson Roberts at Tampa Bay Technical High School … first team all-county selection as a senior … made 60 tackles with 5.5 sacks, 17 tackles for loss, nine quarterback hurries, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery for a touchdown … closed his career with 20.5 sacks, 44 TFLs, 29 QBHs, six fumble recoveries (1 TD), four forced fumbles and two blocked field goals … ranked the No. 39 defensive end nationally and the No. 70 prospect in Florida by ESPN … teammate of fellow signee quarterback Michael Penix Jr. … four-year football letterwinner.
Coach Allen on King:
“For us, physicality is number one and Jonathan’s a really tough, hard-nosed young man. He can rush the passer, which is a key point for our ends, but you have to stop the run in this league and he can do that as well. Jonathan plays really, really hard. He’s a kid that loves the weight room, loves to play the game, and he has a teammate (Michael Penix Jr.) already here. Jonathan is a welcome addition to our program.”
LB • 6-2, 220
Brandon, Fla./Armwood H.S.
Prep/Personal: Linebacker for head coach Evan Davis at Armwood High School … all-state selection named the 2017 Hillsborough County Defensive Player of the Year … collected 164 tackles, 114 solo, 44 for loss, 11 sacks, 13 quarterback hurries, nine forced fumbles, three fumble recoveries and seven pass breakups as a senior … returned two fumbles for touchdowns and recorded one safety … blocked five punts and two field goals … Armwood reached the 6A state championship game and posted a 14-1 record … ranked the No. 27 inside linebacker nationally by ESPN … chose Indiana over Florida State.
Coach Allen on Miller:
“James is really physical football player. He’s got a big frame and can run sideline to sideline, which is what you want. As offenses have spread out, you have to have those type of guys in the middle. James is versatile and can play any of our linebacker positions. He is an awesome young man, who comes from a great family. James flat out makes us better immediately.”
Overall, Indiana signed 15 defensive players, eight offensive players, two athletes and one kicker. The Hoosiers added six defensive backs, five defensive linemen and four linebackers on defense, and two offensive linemen, two tight ends, two wide receivers, one quarterback and one running back on offense.
Players signed from 10 different states, including eight from Florida, four from Illinois, four from Tennessee, three from Indiana, two from Georgia, and one each from Maryland, New York, Pennsylvania, South Carolina and Virginia.
Defensive lineman James Head Jr. (Miami, Fla./Southridge H.S.), wide receiver Jacolby Hewitt (Cordova, Tenn./Cordova H.S.), quarterback Michael Penix Jr. (Tampa, Fla./Tampa Bay Tech H.S.) and running back Ronnie Walker Jr. (Hopewell, Va./Hopewell H.S.) are enrolled in spring semester classes and will participate in practice.
“We really addressed the defensive side of the ball from a numbers perspective,” Allen said. “Overall, we lost a lot of guys to graduation and had to replace a lot of good players. We did a nice job of that at the linebacker position and in the secondary, especially at safety, and obviously you always have to get defensive linemen. On offense, we brought in a couple of linemen and tight ends, got a quarterback, a couple of receivers and running backs. We love the speed of the group and the overall athleticism. These young men are tremendous fits for our program on and off the field, and in the classroom.”
IU also welcomed mid-year transfers Nick Linder (Fort Lauderdale, Fla./University of Miami) and T.D. Roof (Buford, Ga./Georgia Tech). A 6-3, 300-pounder, Linder earned his degree in finance and entrepreneurship and will have one year of eligibility. Linder, who sat out the 2017 season, started 26 games during his Hurricanes career, including 22 at center (2015-16) and four at left guard as a true freshman (2014).
“Nick adds immediate help on our offensive line,” Allen said. “He is a very mature individual and has already been here working out with us. Nick is a great leader, a really, really good football player, and an excellent student who really fits our culture.”
Roof, a 5-11, 215-pound linebacker, played in all 11 games as a true freshman in 2017. He will begin practicing this spring and will have three years of eligibility, starting in the fall of 2019. Roof totaled 17 tackles with a pair of sacks for the Yellow Jackets.
“T.D. is a coach’s kid,” Allen said. “We recruited him extensively out of high school and then had the chance to get him here. He will have to sit out a year, but we are really excited about his future. We thought he was a great fit with us a year ago. He made the decision to come here now and we are thrilled to have him.”