By any measure, Cameron Wilson is a good get.
He had 14 offers, including West Virginia, Boston College, Pittsburgh, Purdue and Illinois. BC and Illinois were the other two finalists. No, Ohio State didn’t offer the Ohio native.
The 6-1, 195-pounder picked the Hawkeyes in June and didn’t look back.
“Certain schools made me feel more at home, but I definitely looked for schools that acted like they wanted me,” said Wilson, who signed with Iowa over Illinois, Michigan State and Notre Dame. “It’s always been a dream of mine (to sign with a major college program) and I’m really happy for the opportunity to play under coach (Kirk) Ferentz.”
At one point last summer, Iowa had 16 offers out to wide receivers, including West Des Moines Dowling’s Amara Darboh. Iowa’s primary wideouts for 2011 were senior Marvin McNutt and junior Keenan Davis, so there is a little sense of urgency to fill the roster and create competition.
Wilson, Tevaun Smith and Greg Mabin are coming in as wideouts. Ruben Lile could join them if the 6-3, 200-pounder keeps growing.
Wilson is proven. He holds every Jerome High School (Dublin, Ohio) record for receiving. He finished his prep career with 176 catches and 21 touchdowns and, according to ThisWeek community newspapers, became the first player from the school to sign with a BCS program. Wilson finished last season with 40 catches for 680 yards and six touchdowns.
From ESPN.com: Wilson is a prospect we are actually surprised does not have more offers in the early evaluation period. Given his height/speed/athleticism ratio he is certainly a player we feel will see his stock rise over the summer and throughout his senior year. He has very good size although we are not sure he is quite as tall as his listed height, his ability to accelerate and run in the open field is impressive for a bigger wide receiver. Really drives off the ball and can be an imposing figure that will back DBs off him. Consistently utilizes his large, soft hands to extend and pluck balls away from defenders at its highest point.
Shields defenders well in traffic and is not afraid to go over the middle and absorb the big hit. Size, timing and leaping skills on the jump ball could land him in early red-zone packages. Concentration and body control adjusting to the deep ball is excellent; he is a natural pass catcher who can make the difficult grab look effortless. Plucks and tucks and gets upfield quickly. Crisp, sharp route-runner despite his elongated lower-body. Will show some suddenness into and out of his breaks. Smooth through his cuts and fakes and is a difficult one-on-one matchup on intermediate-to-deep routes with his blend of size and separation speed. Wilson will show flashes of burst and ability to separate as a route runner, but more importantly in the open field. He is a prospect that could easily play on the inside as well due to his strength and ability to use his frame to get open in traffic. Will be a sneaky deep threat due to his size and more than adequate speed. Good player with upside and we like his overall productivity.
What Iowa coaches said
Recruiting coordinator Eric Johnson: He was one of the first kids to commit to us. I don’t know if his team had as good of a year as it would’ve liked (4-6), but he’s a guy we feel very comfortable with from the playing standpoint.
What I think
I don’t do this for a living, the whole evaluation for recruits. So I admit, sometimes my only read is the number of quality offers a recruit receives. It’s not an indicator of future success, but it certainly can be used as a metric for demand and what college football coaches — you know, the ones who do this for a living — think about a player.
With Wilson, it’s an impressive list. It doesn’t include Ohio State, but it does include a lot of schools Iowa is in direct competition with, including Boston College (we see Iowa and BC bump heads more than I would think).
And, if it’s accurate, I like the fact that Wilson is the first Jerome player to sign BCS. He’ll carry that sense of pride with him. It’s an intangible and, really, that has been the theme throughout this whole exercise.