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Monday, February 4, 2013
Visit alters Wilbon's outlook of Hoosiers

By Jared Shanker

Mikale Wilbon (Chicago/De La Salle) looked at Indiana as just another school when it recently offered. It isn’t that Wilbon has already become jaded to the recruiting process, but for several BCS-level recruits, an offer from Indiana doesn’t move the needle.

Or at least that was the case.

That seems to be changing under coach Kevin Wilson, and Wilbon is proof. He was in Bloomington for a visit Saturday.

“At first when I got the offer it was like another offer, but since I visited I really like them,” Wilbon said. “I will put them in consideration. The coaching staff is the reason I really like Indiana.”

That does not mean Wilbon has put them atop his list -- one he has not made yet -- but he said the Hoosiers will be in the running for an official visit down the line. Arizona State, Illinois, Iowa, Mississippi State and Purdue have also offered.

Known as a basketball school, Wilbon was surprised at the attention and support he and the other football recruits received while in attendance for Indiana’s big basketball game against then-No. 1 Michigan. Wilbon believes a few more winning seasons could translate into similar support for football.

“I was feeling the love and the crowd was crazy,” he said. “… I see Coach Wilson on the rise. If Coach Wilson brings in better players of course more fans will come to the football games.”

Wilbon spent a lot of time with both Wilson and running backs coach Deland McCullough. He talked with assistant Greg Frye as well, who is the area recruiter for him. The 5-foot-9, 186-pound Wilbon hit it off with all the Hoosiers’ coaches.

“It was a laid back experience just talking to them,” he said. “McCullough is a really cool guy, real down to earth, one of the best I’ve talked to in a long time.”