For many years, football championships have been dominated by Metropolitan Interscholastic Conference (MIC) teams. Since the inception of class 6A in 2013, a MIC team has won Indiana’s largest classification title. Hoosier Crossroads Conference member Westfield High School made it to the 6A title game in 2020 and 2021, falling to MIC opponent Center Grove in both matchups.
This season, four teams finished in the top ten in the IFCA coaches poll, and it was HCC member Hamilton Southeastern finishing at the top with an undefeated 9-0 record. Brownsburg (no.4) held onto the top spot for several weeks, only to be dethroned by conference foe, Hamilton Southeastern in the final regular season game. It was the Bulldogs only blemish on the year. Carmel and Center Grove’s departure from the MIC, left a void in representation in the final coaches poll. Ben Davis, the lone MIC team to finish in the top ten.
In terms of football recruiting, the Indianapolis metro area as a whole remains to be the hotbed for college coaches and scouts looking for talent. College football and professional football rosters are littered with MIC alum. Decades of dominance has led to many talented football players the opportunity to compete at the next level and beyond. Ben Davis alum Chris Evans, running back and returner for the Cincinnati Bengals, made it to the biggest stage in football, participating in last year’s super bowl. In more recent years, it’s been the emergence of prospects coming from the HCC, that has not only put the conference on the map, but the league now features Indiana’s best teams
Brownsburg’s Leighton Jones is a consensus top ten prospect in Indiana’s 2023 class. The standout offensive lineman is an Iowa commit. Westfield 2023 defensive back Dillon Thieneman is headed to West Lafayette to join Purdue’s recruiting class. Noblesville 2023 offensive linemen Ben Decker and Andy Page are committed to play at Miami OH and Kent State, respectively. Zionsville 2023 quarterback Christian Abney rounds out the list of HCC players headed to play in the FBS division of college football. A handful of other conference players Brady Probst, Jayden Whitaker, Carson Dunn among others will play at the FCS scholarship level.
The class of 2024 appears to be the bright spot in the Hoosier Crossroads Conference. Led by Hamilton Southeastern offensive tackle Styles Prescod, a 6’6 270-pound offensive lineman that currently holds offers from Iowa, Louisville, Iowa State, Purdue, Indiana and among others. Seeing Prescod in-person on a couple of occasions this fall, the lean tackle fits the bill for power five programs. He’s long, with good feet and plays with a mean streak between the whistle. Prescod is primed to garner many more suitors across the country for his services at the next level.
Noblesville lineman Ransom McDermott has early offers from the likes of Louisville and a handful of MAC programs. His 6’7 300-pound frame makes him a coveted prospect from the Hoosier state. Like Prescod, he’s put together pretty well. Turn on the tape and you will see a mauler in the run game that finishes his opponent and uses his frame to stymie edge rushers.
Franklin Central defensive back Hudari Hines is a legit playmaker for the Flashes. His versatility within their program, allows Hines to showcase his abilities on both sides of the ball. At 6’2, he makes it difficult for opposing quarterbacks to look his way. He instinctively breaks on the ball. Has plenty of contact courage when a ball carrier comes his way. On offense he shows that he can use his hands to catch in traffic and track the football in the air. Indiana, Purdue and Minnesota have extend early offers, along with several MAC schools.
A fast rising prospect that power five programs should take a closer look at is Hamilton Southeastern 2024 receiver Donovan Hamilton. Seeing Donovan on a couple of occasions this fall has been nothing short of impressive. He’s a lanky player at 6’4 195 with a tremendous catch radius. A deep ball threat for sure, but most impressive was his ability to make contested catches and maintain possession after taking a shot. Coverage rolls to Hamilton on nearly every down, but he is able to separate or beat multiple defenders on jump balls. Ball State is the first to extend Hamilton a scholarship, many more will follow suit.
Eugene Hilton is a bright spot in the 2025 class at Zionsville High. Yes, Hilton is the son of former all pro receiver TY Hilton, but the younger is making a name for himself. Like pops, he’s a smaller and shifty player, with solid route running for his age. Time in the weight room and on the field will elevate Hilton into a coveted prospect around the country. Purdue jumped in the race early, extending Hilton an offer in hopes to build a relationship.
Khobie Martin doesn’t have an offer, yet. The Fishers 2024 running back is close and college programs are showing tremendous interest in the 6′ 195-pound punisher with a college ready frame. Martin is decisive in hitting the hole, runs with good pad level and has deceiving speed to go the distance. An offer should come soon for rising prospect.
As a program, Avon is having a down year in the win column. The Orioles are typically contenders in class 6A. Despite their record, the talent on the roster is undeniable. College coaches know to hit the hallways at Avon high and this year is no different. Next in line to be an outstanding offensive lineman is Zach Bandy, a 6’5 270-pound prospect on several big boards. Ball State, Miami OH, Kent State and Central Michigan have offered. Bandy is being courted heavily by Notre Dame, Indiana, Kentucky among other power-five programs. Look for Bandy to start garnering those offers soon.
There’s plenty of more prospects on the rosters of these HCC teams worth noting and we will do so in future articles. Stay tuned.