Three-star quarterback Holton Ahlers remains committed to East Carolina but is willing to listen to what other schools that may jump in with an offer.
Indiana is now one of those schools.
The Hoosiers extended Ahlers a scholarship offer on Monday, joining East Carolina, Charlotte and North Carolina State. Ranked No. 17 among dual quarterbacks nationally and No. 23 overall in the state of North Carolina, Ahlers said he's looking forward to learning more about IU.
"Even EC's coaches agree that they don't want me to shut my recruitment all the way off," Ahlers said. "They want me to stick with them, but I don't want to shut it all out and not do what's best for me. Right now, East Carolina is what's best for me, but I want to at least see what the other options are."
IU offensive coordinator Mike DeBord and quarterbacks coach Nick Sheridan have been chasing after Ahlers for a while now. They first checked him out while coaching at Tennessee, and then Sheridan briefly tried to get Ahlers to come to Central Michigan while he was there for a month before heading to Indiana.
Sheridan kept Ahlers in the loop the whole time, explaining where he was and where he was going. Sheridan's school may have changed three times in a matter of months, but his commitment to landing Ahlers never wavered.
"He's a great guy," Ahlers said of Sheridan. "I've known him for a while and really like him. We spent the day together at Tennessee, and I know from then that he was a great football coach and an even better man. That's kind of what I look for in a coach."
Ahlers, an AP all-state junior quarterback from Greenville, North Carolina, initially committed to his hometown school of East Carolina over NC State at the end of January. As a junior, he led the state in passing and set several North Carolina High School Athletic Association offensive records while leading Conley High School to an 8-4 record.
The 6-foot-4, 235-pound left-handed passer completed 62 percent of his 460 throws for 4,503 yards and 51 touchdowns against nine interceptions. He also ran the ball 150 times for 911 yards and 15 touchdowns.
IU head coach Tom Allen has said multiple times that he's looking for a quarterback unafraid to make plays on his feet but still remains true to being a passer.
Ahlers is that kind of player.
And that's why IU was the first Big Ten school to offer him a scholarship.
"It means a lot to know that my hard work is finally paying off," Ahlers said. "I mean, it's been paying off, but it's always good to know that other schools believe in you."
After being named an all-conference and all-state selection as a baseball player his freshman and sophomore seasons, Ahlers opted to give up baseball and focus on football this past season. He plans to continue to do that as a senior while preparing to play at the next level.
The decision to put all the focus on football wasn't easy. Ahlers was a standout on the baseball diamond and nearly brought his team to the Little League World Series a few seasons ago. Baseball was initially his game.
"But then I sort of fell in love with football," Ahlers explained. "I started playing it in the seventh grade and just love the family atmosphere, the contact and really everything about it."
Ahlers said he's looking to play at a school where he'll be able to develop as a person and an athlete. He wants the chance to play early and make an impact right away.
At East Carolina, Ahlers said he'll be able to do just that. And while he has no plans to decommit any time soon, he said he'll talk with Allen in the near future and keep his options open.
"You always hear about recruits saying it's stressful and all that, but this is a once in a lifetime thing, so we're just going to enjoy it," Ahlers said. "Like I said, I'm committed to East Carolina, but I want to make sure I do what's best for me."
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