There’s Hoosier basketball. Then, there’s Indiana high school football.
For the past few years, Hoosiers are starting to get recognition for their skills on the football field. A new report ranked Indianapolis as the third strongest market for football talent. The Circle City followed Dallas, then #1 Los Angeles.
The Friday night lights came on at Lucas Oil Stadium. The Ben Davis Giants and Cathedral Irish kicked off the high school football season in good fashion.
It’s an exciting night for the McLaurin family. 17-year-old Terry McLaurin, senior and wide-receiver for Cathedral, is pumped to play his last high school season before heading to Ohio State University.
“[Terry]’s taken his opportunities and making the best out of them. That’s his slogan,” said McLaurin Sr., Terry’s father.
The high school athlete is one of many rising stars in the metro area. With more prospects, universities and college recruits are on the hunt.
“With these programs here in Indianapolis, you can put them anywhere in the country,” said Steve Wiltfong, a national college football recruiting insider for 247Sports. “I think they can bang with any of the other cities across the United States.”
Wiltfong credits the success to schools spending more on stadiums, weight rooms and hiring great leadership. He also believes Indianapolis Colts’ former quarterback, Peyton Manning, helped high school football take off.
“You look at the facilities and the size of the schools these programs have,” said Wiltfong. “They also have great head coaches and great leadership in the program.”
McLaurin Sr. said his son also decided to specialize in one sport as he got older.
“I thought baseball may have been his best sport, but his heart is in football. So far, it’s paid off for him.”
It’s a strategy that has paid off, as this father looks forward to the day he watches his son play on Football Sunday.
“He’s won a few state championships here,” said McLaurin Sr. “It’d be nice to win a NFL championship as well.”