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IU adds 4-star QB McCulley to 2021 class

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Lawrence North quarterback Donaven McCulley becomes IU’s highest-rated commitment in 2021

NCAA Football: Eastern Illinois at Indiana Marc Lebryk-USA TODAY Sports

One of the state’s top prospects is determined to play for Indiana.

Donaven McCulley, a four-star quarterback from Lawrence North, made a verbal commitment to IU on Thursday, becoming the highest-ranked member of IU’s nine-man 2021 recruiting class.

At 247 Sports, McCulley is considered the No. 11 dual-threat quarterback in the country and the third-best player overall from Indiana. Rivals is similarly high on the 6-foot-5, 195-pound Indianapolis product, classifying him as a four-star talent, the No. 7 dual-threat quarterback nationally and the No. 3 prospect in the Hoosier State.

McCulley chose IU over offers from Purdue, Michigan State, Iowa, Ole Miss, Missouri, Kentucky and Cincinnati, among others. As a junior last fall, McCulley threw for 1,958 yards and 17 touchdowns, while completing 62 percent of his passes and tossing only three picks. On the ground, he rushed for 563 yards and two touchdowns, averaging nearly five yards per carry. Here’s the breakdown from 247 Sports analyst Allen Trieu:

“Tall, bigger-framed prospect,” Trieu writes. “Very good athlete who can run and make plays with his feet. Throws well on the move and shows the ability to throw from every angle and does not have to be set to generate velocity. Above-average arm strength and can throw with touch. Has to keep working on getting set and getting rid of the ball quickly consistently. Although he was forced to scramble more based on protection. Could potentially play another position but has good upside as a quarterback. If the talent gets polished, he can start at a high-major level and have a chance to play beyond college.”

National recruiting analyst Tom Lemming says the two words that come to mind with McCulley are patience and potential.

“Donaven is just now starting to come into his own as a potential big-time signal caller,” Lemming writes. “He is an accurate passer with a strong arm, does a good job of reading defenses, and is as competitive as they come. When he’s on, he’s the type of offensive guy who can make the other players around him look better. Shows good footwork and a whole lot of confidence. Perfectly suited for any kind of offense once he establishes himself.”