Indiana picked up a verbal commitment from Bloomington North tight end Aaron Steinfeldt on Friday.
Steinfeldt is the third member of the Hoosiers’ 2021 class, all in-state prospects. Elkhart defensive end Rodney McGraw committed in January, while Valparaiso defensive end Cooper Jones announced his pledge Thursday night.
As a junior at Bloomington North, the 6-foot-5, 230-pound tight end caught 38 passes for 547 yards and 5 touchdowns. Steinfeldt has been a three-sport star at North, playing both basketball and baseball.
As far as football, Steinfeldt started out as a varsity receiver his freshman year, growing into a tight end as the years progressed. With that transition, his list of offers increased. Steinfeldt held scholarship offers from IU, Boise State, Cincinnati, Miami (Ohio), Virginia, and UCF, among others.
He is ranked by 247Sports as the No. 12 prospect in the state, as well as the No. 42 tight end prospect nationally.
“He’s got the measurables for them, but as a tight end, I see his biggest upside is the amount of time he’s spent as a wide receiver,” North coach Scott Bless said. “He’s a good route runner and has good hands. Last year was really the first time he’s spent with his hand on the ground.”
This is another in-state recruiting win for Tom Allen, but also another positive sign for the impression his new assistant coaches are making. New tight ends coach Kevin Wright, formerly of IMG Academy, just started building a relationship with Steinfeldt in the winter. The local junior was present at IU’s spring practices before they were closed down due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I’ve talked to Coach Wright a lot. We connect every week,” Steinfeldt said in an interview Wednesday. “Our relationship is really strong right now. I trust him. He trusts me.”
At the time, Steinfeldt was mulling when he would commit, especially given current uncertainties about when on-campus recruiting might open back up. But he felt solid about his relationships with the coaching staff at IU, including Allen.
“I know the coaching staff, all the coaches are welcoming and really good people,” Steinfeldt said. “Hopefully, some day, I can be a part of that.”
Steinfeldt already has connections to IU in his family, because his father, Jesse, is a sports psychologist at the university.
Along with Steinfeldt, the Hoosiers now have the No. 8 recruit in the state in McGraw, as well as the No. 5 prospect in Jones. They will be under the guidance of a new defensive line coach, Kevin Peoples, who replaced Mark Hagen, now at Texas.
High schools reporter Jim Gordillo contributed to this report.