Romeo Langford is set to officially visit Indiana this weekend, and it’s safe to say the entire Hoosier state is on pins and needles. Langford, a shooting guard from New Albany, Indiana, is ranked as the fifth overall player in the 2018 class on the 247 composite. While it would be hyperbolic to call him a must-get recruit for first-year head coach Archie Miller, he’d be an enormous commitment.
Every coach needs a “cornerstone recruit” who signals to other top players that it’s OK to commit to his school. For Tom Crean, that guy was Cody Zeller. After Zeller selected Indiana, players like Yogi Ferrell, Troy Williams, Noah Vonleh, James Blackmon Jr., Thomas Bryant and De'Ron Davis felt comfortable making the same decision. It’s hard to be the first guy to make that call, but once someone else does it, jumping on the train is much easier. Langford could have the same impact on Miller’s Hoosiers.
Langford is one of the most coveted recruits in the 2018 class, and has “one and done” written all over him. At 6’5″ and 195 pounds, he has perfect size to play off-the-ball on the perimeter, and the handles to slide over and bring the rock up if necessary. A slick dribbling, sharp-shooting kid, who is an outstanding finisher at the hoop, it helps Miller that he’s an Indiana native and has connected closely with the program’s new staff.
How good is Langford? Well, he battled Zion Williamson — the consensus top player in the 2018 class — to a standstill in April at the Adidas Uprising, and it didn’t seem like a fluke. In fact, in that game, it felt like Langford had an extra gear he couldn’t quite get to.
As a junior, Langford dropped 40 in a game against eventual national champion La Lumiere (Indiana). While his team got blown out, it was still a ridiculous performance:
Kansas, North Carolina, UCLA and Vanderbilt appear to be Indiana’s chief competition. After news of the Louisville-Adidas scandal broke, Langford instantly eliminated the Cardinals from competition, making this a likely Kansas-Indiana battle.
While he has already visited most of his top suitors officially, Langford will give Miller and his staff its shot and he will be on hand for “Hoosier Hysteria” on Friday, which is Indiana’s version of Midnight Madness. It’s safe to say the atmosphere will be incredible and the red carpet will be rolled out for Langford and his family.
While he can’t be considered a “must-get” it’s not crazy to say Langford pledging himself to Indiana would be the biggest committed of this recruiting cycle nationally. It would immediately signify that a formerly struggling, major blue blood program had national recruiting clout again. And it could open up a pipeline of top recruits to Bloomington.
While Langford may not make his decision any time soon, Miller and the Hoosiers have a huge chance to make an impression this weekend. Successful head coaches all had one guy they closed with to give their program recruiting momentum to build on. We could be looking back in a few years saying Langford was that guy for Indiana.