You’ve probably seen the video. Every prospect on Indiana’s recruiting board surely has, too.
The clip of Tom Allen body-surfing through Indiana’s football locker room? It’s not just a feel-good glimpse into life inside Allen’s IU program. It’s prime recruiting material, as well.
We ❤️ you, coach! #LEO pic.twitter.com/nk3x7GUr6J— Indiana Football (@IndianaFootball) October 25, 2020
Since toppling then-No. 8 Penn State in overtime last weekend, the Hoosiers have been on a recruiting offensive, sending out materials, pointing to the scoreboard and touting the program’s progress in Allen’s four seasons at the helm.
So what’s this week been like for the IU coach? Busy and sleepless.
Not that he minds.
“That is a great problem to have at this point,” Allen said Thursday. “I will sleep when the season is over.”
In addition to preparing his No. 17 Hoosiers for Saturday’s game at Rutgers, Allen has filled his schedule to the brim this week with recruiting endeavors and media commitments. There have been the usual chats with the local beat crew, along with a flurry of media requests from outside Indiana. National reporters want to write stories about his rebuilding job. CBS Sports wants to talk. ESPN does, too.
For Allen, it’s not quite the attention that he’s used to. But as he strives to sell IU as a destination to his top recruits, these are appearances and phone calls he’s eager to make.
“I just had to readjust my schedule,” Allen said. “That is one advantage of me not calling the defense and being able to take that time to, obviously, leave the room and go take care of those interviews and things that we are doing to really help promote our program, which has been awesome. If I was calling it, that would have been a more challenging situation to deal with what I did.”
Recruiting, Allen says, has been fun this week. It’s a lot easier — and more enjoyable — to have those types of conversations with a little wind at your back. These kinds of weeks are rare, so the IU coach is simply trying to make the most of it — no matter how much time it takes.
“This has been a huge opportunity for our program, a great opportunity to get recruits on the phone and parents on the phone,” Allen said. “Just talking to them, they all watched the game, they all are buzzing about how everything finished, the way we handled the finish, the way we were prepared for the finish, the way we executed everything at a at a very high level, at a very intense time and under a lot of difficult circumstances. You can talk all you want about culture, but all I had to do was send them the video of the locker room.
“I said that I can I can sit here and tell you all day about what it is like here, but you can see it for yourself on this video. You can see L.E.O. lived out in that locker room, you can see the passion that this program has, the edge that this team plays with, the fight and the grit of this football team by the way that we finished and did not get discouraged when it looked like we had a small chance for that victory. The bottom line is, it is a great opportunity for us.”