Bloomington, Ind. – A last-ditch pitch couldn’t keep Nick Sliger from picking the Hoosiers earlier this week.
The 6-3, 285-pound defensive tackle from Cicero’s Hamilton Southeastern H.S. received a scholarship offer from IU April 18th, visited Bloomington again April 23, and pledged to the Hoosier staff before returning home Monday.
As things were rapidly coming together with the Hoosiers, Purdue made a last-minute plea to get the Junior All-State selection to reconsider.
“Purdue was wanting me to come up (to West Lafayette) the day after I committed to see them, but we said no to that because I was committed to IU,” Sliger said. “We have a feeling they were going to offer, too.”
The reason the Sligers suspected a Purdue scholarship offer would be coming was because after word leaked that IU had offered a scholarship last Wednesday, the Sligers were inundated with correspondence from the Purdue staff.
“After we got the IU offer, they were calling and texting and e-mailing my mom non-stop wanting me to come up there,” Sliger said.
But Sliger opted to by-pass a trip to West Lafayette, pledged to the Hoosiers, and says he won’t be re-considering his pledge.
“I feel really good with IU,” Sliger said. “With the new facilities they are going to be building, the new weight room, I don’t think anyone is going to be able to match that. Plus with the education I can get there, it’s exactly what I’m looking for.”
Sliger, meanwhile, is exactly what the IU staff was looking for as well at the defensive tackle position. Indiana is expected to sign only one tackle in the ’08 class, and Sliger is the choice.
“They put my name on the board (after I committed) and that position is filled now,” Sliger said.
IU has filled that spot with a high-energy player who said he’ll play the three-technique position once he arrives on the Bloomington campus next fall. As a junior he totaled 47 tackles, four sacks, four forced fumbles and four fumble recoveries, and he’s arguably the best defensive tackle prospect in the state this year.
“They said they like to get the best in-state players, and they said I was the best one in Indiana and they decided to grab me,” Sliger said.
Sliger’s commitment was exciting news for the IU staff, but equally rewarding to Sliger. He’ll get a chance to play close to home and be a part of rebuilding the Hoosier program.
“I’ve always wanted to play there,” Sliger said. “It’s exciting – they’re going to have the new weight room and it will help us getting bigger and faster. I think the new facility will bring in a lot of good recruits. We’ll be one of the big dogs now (in recruiting) with the other schools.”