Jordan Walsh, 6-foot-3, 275 pounds, picked the Hawkeyes over 19 offers, including Michigan, Nebraska, Wisconsin and Tennessee.
“I really didn’t have plans to commit this early to be honest,” Walsh told Rivals. “Iowa was always near the top for me from early on but I also wanted to check out some other schools. I like what a lot of other schools had to offer but in the end none of them could offer me the complete package like Iowa offers me.”
During week three of last season, Walsh was voted YourSeason.com’s top star of Week 3 on the Chicago Sun-Times website. Walsh recovered a fumble for a key touchdown and led a line that produced more than 250 yards rushing in a 28-25 win over Hinsdale Central.
Yes, a lineman was voted player of the week. We love our linemen in the midwest.
Links -- Good Walsh story from the Trib Local. “I think one of our big keys each season is we’ve been winning, but that hasn’t made us cocky,” Walsh said. “Each year, I wouldn’t say I’ve been surprised, but honored to play with those kids from last year and with Chris Watt. It is just amazing to get chance to play with all these guys and to keep playing more.”
Three most interesting bio items -- 1) Named first team all-state by the Illinois Coaches Association, Rivals and Chicago Tribune as both a junior and senior. 2) Three-year starter in offensive line at either guard or tackle, helping prep team post three-year record of 35-4. 3) Had 206 pancake blocks and did not allow a sack during three-year varsity career.
Ferentz on -- Coach Kirk Ferentz was asked about the offensive linemen in the 2011 class. Ferentz said he was especially happy to finally get a recruit out of the Glenbard West program.
"Yeah, both Austin [Blythe] and Jordan are guys that I think are really excellent high school football players," Ferentz said. "Jordan comes out of a tremendous program and we have tried to recruit players out of that program unsuccessfully and we are just really excited to get Jordan."
Walsh and Blythe were Iowa's top prospects on the O-line going into the 2011 recruiting season.
"When you look at this class and compare it to last year’s class, it’s two very similar classes," recruiting coordinator Eric Johnson said. "I mentioned this is the best or one of the best we’ve had. Like last year’s class, most of this class is guys who committed early and who we felt very comfortable with early.
"Guys who were tops on our list. We did end up filling some spots, but this class is a larger class than last year. We did end up filling some spots with some guys at the end, but when you look at Austin Blythe and Jordan Walsh, they were our top linemen that we had on our board."
Projection is fun -- OK yes, offensive line, but where?
I'm guessing inside, at least for the early part of his career. Plus, the height thing. Next year, Iowa's tackles will be 6-6 and 6-5. The 6-5 seems to be where tackle starts for Iowa, for the most part. There are exceptions, with Marshal Yanda (6-3) coming to mind immediately.
Tackle isn't out of the conversation for Walsh. But also remember, Bryan Bulaga broke in as a guard before getting the call to tackle his sophomore year.
I think Walsh and Blythe redshirt and build the bodies in the redshirt weightroom year, but both guard spots are open. There are bodies on the depth chart, but I could see one of them perhaps winning a spot on the two deep and still keeping the redshirt. Brandon Scherff was close to that a few times last fall.