Stephen Carr, former 5-star operating again, commits to Indiana

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – Indiana has never been a football goal for five-star running backs, but that changed on Sunday night when former USC star Stephen Carr signed up for Indiana.

Carr, 6 feet, 215 pounds, who returned from Gardenia, Calif., Played at USC for four years, the first with current Indiana coach Deland McCullough as his running backs coach. With a fifth year of authority, that McCullough-Carr connection won and met a great need on Indiana’s depth map. He entered the transfer portal two weeks ago.

He announced his decision on Sunday evening on Twitter.

“I want to thank USC, Coach (Clay) Helton, and the entire coaching staff, faculty, and all of my teammates over the years for believing in me and giving me the opportunity to have a childhood dream of being a Trojan realize. Playing at the Colosseum is one of the greatest things I’ve ever done in my life. Being able to play for and with my Trojan family gave me the best experience and understanding of what the phrase “FIGHT ON” is really about. I am proud to be a Trojan Graduate too! It was all a blessing. This experience showed me more than I could have imagined and words cannot explain it. I will never forget what has been accomplished here, and I will never forget the great energy that moves through the USC campus.

“However, with my final year of eligibility, I decided to move to Indiana University and quit my college career to reach my full potential and help IU a Big Ten championship. #GoIU #LEO ”

Carr has been an explosive at times throughout his career, but he has also dealt with multiple injuries. As a freshman, he had a plantar fascia injury and a herniated disc derailed some of his sophomore years. During his four seasons, he rushed for 1,319 yards and 12 touchdowns, averaging 5 yards per carry. Last year, Carr played in all six USC games averaging 3.8 yards per carry and two touchdowns.

Indiana’s running game has mostly been about Stevie Scott for the past three years, so Carr will have the chance to help immediately. Sampson James is the most experienced player in the IU Running Backs Room, but his contributions have been limited in the first two seasons. He had a great game and helped the Hoosiers beat Purdue in double overtime in 2019.

Future sophomore Tim Baldwin Jr. showed some lightning bolts as a freshman in 2020, and David Ellis is also contributing, especially in the passing game. The Hoosiers also recruited two running backs that year, three-star recruits David Holloman and Trenten Howland.

Carr is making the fifth transfer from a Power 5 school to Indiana this off-season, along with Jaren Handy (Auburn), defenseman Ryder Anderson (Ole Miss), recipient DJ Matthews (Florida State), and lineman Zach Carpenter (Michigan) .

Ranked 20th in the 2017 Recruiting Class, Carr is the first five-star soccer recruit in Indiana. He’s now the top-rated recruit, overtaking Bloomington South’s Dasan McCullough – Deland’s son – who volunteered for Indiana two weeks ago. Dasan’s two brothers – Deland II and Daeh – also joined the Hoosiers in what was the best recruitment window in Indiana football history.

It’s Indiana’s goal to improve the current game in 2021. Despite having a breakthrough season a year ago, the Hoosiers were only 12th in the Big Ten. Carr’s experience will give a boost. He’s also a good receiver off the backfield, making 57 catches for 421 yards at USC.

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