BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – Indiana head football coach Tom Allen announced on Wednesday afternoon the signing of 13 student-athletes to National Letters of Intent to play for the Hoosiers in 2021. Today opened college football’s early signing period, which will run through Friday, Dec. 18.
IU is also adding wide receiver/return specialist D.J. Matthews, who spent the 2017-19 seasons at Florida State University. Matthews ranks 10th at FSU with 582 career punt return yards and 56 returns, and he holds two of the Top-4 single-game marks. In 35 games (16 starts), Matthews owns 84 receptions for 809 yards and five touchdowns to go along with one punt return TD.
“We are really excited about this signing class,” Indiana head coach Tom Allen said. “Even though it is not a large group in numbers, we are bringing in high quality football players, high quality individuals and high quality student-athletes that really fit with the culture that we have created here at IU. We have a broad representation across multiple positions, especially on offense, which is very important to have at each position. Five of these young men will arrive in January and we look forward to getting all of them here in Bloomington.
“D.J. Matthews is a very talented football player. He has already done great things on the field in the ACC, and it’s big for us to add him to a very dynamic receiving corps and what we think will be an explosive offense in 2021.”
The class features four four-star prospects: quarterback Donaven McCulley (Rivals, 247Sports), wide receiver Jaquez Smith (ESPN, 247Sports), defensive back Larry Smith III (Rivals) and wide receiver Jordyn Williams (ESPN).
IU welcomes nine offensive players, four defensive players and one punter. Indiana adds three wide receivers, two offensive linemen, two running backs, one quarterback and one tight end on offense, and three defensive backs and one defensive lineman on defense.
Players signed from New Zealand and six different states, including five from Indiana, three from Georgia, two from Florida, and one each from Illinois, Michigan and Virginia.
Five of the Top 11 prospects in the state of Indiana will play in Bloomington in 2021.
“It is tremendous to see so many of the top kids in the state of Indiana choose to help us continue our upward trajectory,” Allen said. “To see the top kids in our state band together as a group and decide to come represent this great university is truly special.”
P • 6-1, 210
Auckland, New Zealand/Sacred Heart College Auckland
IU: Evans will enroll in 2021 spring classes.
Prep/Personal: Evans has never played football or visited the United States … he was scheduled to make a trip to the U.S. in July and visit IU in December but did not due to COVID-19 … trained under Nathan Chapman and John Smith at Prokick Australia, a training ground for punters and kickers in Melbourne … moved to Australia to work at Prokick in Jan. 2020 … second-straight Indiana punter to arrive in Bloomington via Prokick (Haydon Whitehead) … played rugby and squash in high school … parents are Peter Evans and Clair Donnelly … born on May 17, 2001.
OL • 6-4, 300
Fort Wayne, Ind./Bishop Dwenger H.S.
IU: Fiacable will enroll in 2021 spring classes.
Prep/Personal: Left tackle and guard for head coach Jason Garrett at Bishop Dwenger High School … also played defensive tackle … 2020 Indiana Football Coaches Association Top 50 all-state selection … team captain … first-team all-conference selection … ranked the No. 10 prospect in Indiana and the No. 38 offensive guard nationally by ESPN … teammate of IU true freshman offensive lineman Luke Wiginton … parents are Cathy and Steve Fiacable … Steve was an IU offensive lineman (1988-91) … brother, Steve, was an IU offensive lineman (2009-10) … brother, Mike, was an IU quarterback (2015-18) … intends to study finance … born on Sept. 5, 2002.
DB • 6-0, 195
Norfolk, Va./Oscar Smith H.S.
Prep/Personal: Defensive back for head coach Chris Scott at Oscar Smith High School … Oscar Smith did not play in the fall of 2020 due to COVID-19, but Oscar Smith and Freeman will play in the spring of 2021 … all-region selection as a junior … carded 55 tackles, five sacks, 14 for loss, five forced fumbles, four fumble recoveries, one interception and four pass breakups … program advanced to the state finals in both of his seasons … ranked the No. 33 prospect in Virginia by 247Sports … two-year letterwinner … mother is Yaketta Mcinnis … intends to study sport marketing and management … born on Jan. 8, 2002.
DB • 6-0, 193
Ellenwood, Ga./Cedar Grove H.S.
Prep/Personal: Defensive back for head coach Miguel Patrick at Cedar Grove High School … also returned kicks … 2020 season shortened due to COVID-19 … all-state and all-region honoree … led Cedar Grove to three state championships … recorded four pick-6s and made 56 tackles as a junior … also lettered in baseball and track and field … honor roll student … mother is LaDeidra Wallace … intends to study mechanical engineering … born on July 16, 2003.
RB • 6-0, 200
Auburn Hills, Mich./Avondale H.S.
Prep/Personal: Running back for head coach Corey Bell at Avondale High School … he only played in two games in 2020 due to COVID-19 … 2019 all-conference selection and Sports Illustrated All-American candidate … as a junior, he rushed for 1,236 yards and 14 touchdowns … added a kick return and punt return TD … ran a 4.29 40-yard dash in the World Bowl Hall of Fame National Combine in Orlando … ranked the No. 26 prospect in Michigan by ESPN … three-year football letterwinner … four-year basketball and track and field letterwinner … all-state basketball selection … regional finalist for the 100m dash (twice) and 200m dash (once) … three-year basketball letterwinner … honor roll student … parents are Brenda and Willie Holloman … intends to study criminal justice … born on July 17, 2003.
RB • 6-2, 220
Joliet, Ill./Joliet West H.S.
Prep/Personal: Running back for head coach William Lech at Joliet West High School … Joliet West did not play in 2020 due to COVID-19 … named the Southwest Prairie Conference Most Valuable Player as a junior … led the program to its first conference championship in 50 years … rushed for 1,401 on 178 carries (7.9 average) with 14 touchdowns … gained 301 yards and scored five times against Plainfield Central … ranked the No. 16 prospect in Illinois by ESPN … rated the No. 54 athlete nationally by 247Sports … also lettered in basketball … parents are Terry Howland and Valerie Brook … intends to study human biology … born on Aug. 11, 2003.
DL • 6-5, 260
Valparaiso, Ind./Valparaiso H.S.
Prep/Personal: Defensive lineman for head coach Bill Marshall at Valparaiso High School … Indiana Football Coaches Association (IFCA) Top 50 all-state selection as a junior and senior … 2019 and 2020 IFCA Mr. Football position award winner … team most valuable player made 190 tackles, 28 for loss, 17.5 sacks, four fumble recoveries, three blocked kicks and two defensive touchdowns in his career … posted 80 stops, 12.5 for loss, 5.5 sacks, one forced fumble, one fumble recovery and one blocked punt as a senior … team finished state runner-up in 2019 and reached the state semifinals in 2020 … ranked the No. 5 prospect in Indiana by ESPN … rated the No. 21 strong-side defensive end nationally by Rivals … four-year football and basketball letterwinner … three-year academic letterwinner and 4.0 student … parents are Kassey and Eric Jones … Kassey was a pitcher for the IU softball team (1993-96) … intends to study business … born on Sept. 26, 2002.
WR/RS • 5-10, 160
Jacksonville, Fla./Florida State University
Matthews spent the 2017-19 seasons at Florida State University. He ranks 10th at FSU with 582 career punt return yards and 56 returns, and he holds two of the Top-4 single-game marks. In 35 games (16 starts), Matthews owns 84 receptions for 809 yards and five touchdowns to go along with one punt return TD.
IU: Matthews will enroll in 2021 spring classes.
2020: Did not play in 2020.
2019 (Junior): Caught 36 passes for 355 yards and three touchdowns … returned 19 punts for 125 yards (6.6 average) … his average ranked sixth in the ACC … rushed four times for 18 yards and completed his only pass attempt for 25 yards … appeared in 12 games (9 starts) … hauled in a season-high seven balls for 47 yards and one TD in the Louisiana-Monroe win … made three receptions for a season-best 80 yards with a 60-yard score in the victory at Boston College … made the ACC Honor Roll.
2018 (Sophomore): Totaled 42 receptions for 382 yards and one touchdown … returned 19 punts for 257 yards with one TD … 13.5 average per return ranked sixth nationally … played in all 12 games with six starts … posted a career-high 145 punt return yards and his first career score, a career-long 74-yarder, at No. 17 Miami … yardage was the third-highest in program history and the most by any player in 2018 vs. an FBS opponent … earned ACC Specialist of the Week honors following his performance … reached 100 receiving yards for the first time with a career-best 133 and one TD on a career-high 10 catches at North Carolina State.
2017 (Freshman): Returned 18 punts for 200 yards (11.1 average) with a long of 47 … collected 138 yards on a career-high five punts (27.6) in the Delaware State win … the 138 yards were the most nationally in 2017 and the third-most in program history … caught his first collegiate pass for 12 yards in the victory at Duke … added his first career receiving touchdown, a 14-yarder, in the Louisiana-Monroe win … recorded season-highs with three receptions and 37 yards in the victory over Southern Mississippi in the Walk-On’s Independence Bowl.
Prep/Personal: Wide receiver and quarterback at Trinity Christian Academy … consensus four-star prospect … recorded a 76-yard touchdown reception in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl … guided Trinity Christian to its fourth-straight state championship as a senior … posted 1,487 yards rushing, receiving and passing in addition to 19 total touchdowns … entered his final campaign with 136 receptions for 2,253 yards and 26 TDs before seeing significant time at quarterback in 2016 … a Jacksonville Times-Union Super 11 selection … ranked the No. 5 wide receiver nationally and the No. 36 prospect nationally by Rivals … rated the No. 7 prospect in Florida by 247Sports … parents are Nasha Robinson and Dakari Matthews Sr. … born on Dec. 2, 1997.
QB • 6-5, 200
Indianapolis, Ind./Lawrence North H.S.
Prep/Personal: Quarterback for head coach Patrick Mallory at Lawrence North High School … Rivals and 247Sports four-star prospect … 2020 Indiana Football Coaches Association (IFCA) Top 50 all-state selection … IFCA Mr. Football position award winner … one of three Mr. Football finalists … named to the Indiana All-USA Super Team … Marion County Player of the Year … closed his career with 6,211 passing yards, 1,274 rushing yards, 47 touchdowns and a 128.1 quarterback rating … led Lawrence North to a 7-4 record in 2020, the program’s first winning season since 2005 … threw for 2,576 yards with 22 TDs and completed 70.0 percent of his passes … added 506 rushing yards and a pair of scores … ranked the No. 2 prospect in Indiana by Rivals and 247Sports … rated the No. 4 dual-threat quarterback and the No. 100 prospect nationally by Rivals … three-year letterwinner … two-year basketball letterwinner … parents are Melissa and Derick McCulley … intends to study sport marketing and management … born on Jan. 15, 2003.
Joshua Sales Jr.
OL • 6-6, 305
Brownsburg, Ind./Brownsburg H.S.
IU: Sales Jr. will enroll in 2021 spring classes.
Prep/Personal: Offensive lineman for head coach John Hart at Brownsburg High School … 2020 all-state and all-conference honoree … named to the 2020 Indiana All-USA Super Team … did not allow a sack as a senior … registered 72 knockdowns in eight games … three-year letterwinner … lettered his first year at Riley High School in South Bend, Ind. … ranked the No. 11 prospect in Indiana by Rivals … rated the No. 58 offensive tackle nationally by 247Sports … also lettered in basketball, wrestling and track and field … raised by his parents Joshua Sales Sr. and Ashley Reynolds, and his grandmother Barbara Lewis … intends to study entrepreneurship and corporate innovation … born on Nov. 5, 2002.
WR • 6-1, 195
Fairburn, Ga./Westlake H.S.
Prep/Personal: Wide receiver for head coach Bobby May at Westlake High School … ESPN and 247Sports four-star prospect … three-time Atlanta Journal Constitution Preseason All-American … named the top receiver by the TD Club of Atlanta three times … ranked the No. 18 prospect in Georgia and the No. 26 wide receiver nationally by ESPN … rated the No. 172 prospect nationally by 247Sports … four-year letterwinner … National Honor Society member … volunteered at the Cam Newton Foundation Food Drive … parents are Brittany and Marquis Smith, and Sherita Walton … Marquis served in the United States Navy as an aviation mechanic/engineer … Jaquez is the oldest of seven siblings … intends to study sport marketing and management … born on July 15, 2002.
Larry Smith III
DB • 5-10, 175
Jacksonville, Fla./Oakleaf H.S.
Prep/Personal: Defensive back for head coach Frank Garis at Oakleaf High School … Rivals four-star prospect … All-Florida defensive team honoree … Florida Super 11 selection … concluded his career with 103 tackles, 59 solo, eight interceptions, six pass breakups and two fumble recoveries … made 45 stops, three for loss, with three INTs as a senior … transferred to Oakleaf from Robert E. Lee High School (Jacksonville, Fla.) for the 2020 season … Robert E. Lee won district championships in 2017 and 2019 … ranked the No. 29 cornerback nationally and the No. 47 prospect in Florida by Rivals … parents are Nadjus Turner and Larry Smith Jr. … intends to study business management … born on April 10, 2002.
TE • 6-5, 235
Bloomington, Ind./Bloomington North H.S.
Prep/Personal: Tight end for head coach Scott Bless at Bloomington North High School … two-time all-state, all-area and first-team all-conference selection … Indiana Football Coaches Association Mr. Football position award winner … closed his career with 94 receptions (2nd in school history), 1,444 yards and 12 touchdowns … hauled in 31 passes for 603 yards and five scores his senior campaign … Bloomington North won its first conference championship in 2019 and its first sectional game in seven years in 2020 … ranked the No. 10 prospect in Indiana and the No. 34 tight end nationally by Rivals … four-year football and baseball letterwinner … three-year basketball letterwinner … became the first Bloomington North student-athlete in 20 years to earn all-conference laurels in three sports … graduated with academic honors … honorable-mention all-state in basketball … parents are Erica and Jesse Steinfeldt … born on Jan. 27, 2003.
WR • 6-1, 185
Albany, Ga./Trinity Christian School
IU: Williams will enroll in 2021 spring classes.
Prep/Personal: Wide receiver for head coach Andre Hart at Trinity Christian School … ESPN four-star prospect … played his first three years at Westover High School in Albany, Ga., before moving to Trinity Christian in Cedar Hill, Texas, to play for Deion Sanders, who served as offensive coordinator … caught 50 passes for 1,466 yards and 10 touchdowns as a senior … recorded 10 grabs for 202 yards and one TD in a nationally-televised game on ESPN against Knoxville (Tenn.) Catholic … racked up 1,278 yards on 84 catches (15.2 average) with 12 scores his junior campaign … ranked the No. 63 wide receiver nationally and the No. 65 prospect in Texas by ESPN … four-year football letterwinner … also lettered in basketball and track and field … honor roll student … Boys & Girls Club volunteer … parents are Anitra and Richard Williams … intends to study nursing … born on April 14, 2003.