Five-star recruit Romeo Langford committed Indiana on Monday, giving Archie Miller a star to lead his second season as the program’s head coach. The top uncommitted recruit in the country chose his home-state school over Kansas and Vanderbilt at a ceremony at his high school.
Langford is the top recruit in the most basketball-crazy state in America, and is the first top-ranked in-state recruit to choose the Hoosiers in more than a decade. Jaren Jackson Jr., Kyle Guy, Caleb Swanigan, Trey Lyles, Zak Irvin, Glenn Robinson, Marquis Teague, Deshaun Thomas, D.J. Byrd and Tyler Zeller all opted to attend college elsewhere. Eric Gordon in 2007 was the last No. 1 recruit in the state to commit to Indiana. (Tom Crean did land 5-star prospects Yogi Ferrell and James Blackmon Jr., though, so he wasn’t exactly a slouch.)
For Indiana, this is a recruiting win on many levels.
Romeo Langford provides an immediate, enormous boost to Archie Miller’s Indiana program
Indiana now has five commits in the Class of 2018, Miller’s first full recruiting cycle with the Hoosiers. None approach the level Langford — ranked No. 6 in the nation in the 247Sports composite — but forward Jerome Hunter cracks the top 60 on the 247Sports composite board. Damezi Anderson and Robert Phinisee are the Nos. 3 and 4 recruits in Indiana, but Langford is the big dog in this class by a significant margin.
Langford, the second-ranked shooting guard in his class, is 6-foot-5 with a 6-10½ wingspan. It’s easy to see why Miller, Kansa’s Bill Self and Vanderbilt’s Bryce Drew wanted him. But fans in his home state wanted him even more.
Romeo Langford is a homegrown Indiana talent, and Hoosiers fans wanted him bad
You may have noticed in that highlight video above that Langford is taking a picture with someone’s baby. Yes, someone gave their baby to a high-schooler they (presumably) didn’t know and took a picture because Langford is simply that important in the state of Indiana. His commitment announcement was an EVENT. Just look how many people showed up!
There will be 4K people here tonight for Romeo’s announcement. I’m early! Show at 3p – guess what we’ll be talking about! pic.twitter.com/nnucHUmMjW
— Kent Sterling (@KentSterling) April 30, 2018
Line forming for Romeo Langford’s college announcement at New Albany HS. In two hours. Craaaaaaazy. pic.twitter.com/7In7vXJTnG
— Gregg Doyel (@GreggDoyelStar) April 30, 2018
Langford’s games at New Albany High School were the stuff of legend. He is a celebrity in Indiana. Langford was invited to elementary school graduations and birthday parties. It seems like the whole state knows who he is.
This sign at Couch’s Body Shop on Blackiston Mill Road is consistent with its messaging pic.twitter.com/mA9lnZoBWe
— Alex Bozich (@insidethehall) April 14, 2018
So obviously he’s been a target for the Hoosiers for some time. Crean recruited him before he was fired after the 2016-17 season, but Duke appeared to be the leading contender for his services at that time. Langford has been tight-lipped about his recruitment, but eventually released a top 3 of Indiana, Kansas and Vanderbilt.
Indiana probably only has Romeo Langford for one season so Hoosiers must make it count
Recruits this good don’t usually stay in college for more than one season. ESPN has Langford as the No. 5 pick in its 2019 NBA mock draft. That doesn’t make it a 100-percent certainty that Langford is one-and-done, but it’s likely. He has the skills to play right away in the NBA, so there’s no sense spending more than one season in college if that’s the case. Just ask Miles Bridges how that goes.
Indiana went through a down season in Miller’s first campaign with the team. That was expected. This time around, the Hoosiers have Langford and senior Juwan Morgan leading a team that’ll still be super young. The Hoosiers still won’t be a favorite in the Big Ten, but with Langford, you can bet people will be watching.