David Kenney strolled through the media interview area Wednesday afternoon with his family and recruiting coordinator Eric Johnson.
The eye test says about 6-foot-2 with really long arms, sort of a Broderick Binns starter kit. A few hours later, Kenney said he committed to the Hawkeyes.
“I’m pretty excited to be the first person to finally make the move in my class,” Kenney told HawkeyeReport.com. “I talked to Coach Johnson and he was really excited also. He just said I was their top guy and that they are excited for me to be a Hawkeye.”
The 6-1, 240-pound Kenney is a four-star prospect, rated as the No. 238 overall player in the country and the No. 8 weakside defensive end nationally.
“The most impressive aspect of David’s game is how fast he comes off the football,” writes Josh Helmholdt, Rivals.com’s midwest recruiting analyst. “His first step is a blur and he is instantly inside or past the offensive tackle, making him a dominant pass rusher (as is evidenced by his sack stats this past fall). The one area where he needs to improve is to get stronger at the point of attack… and I’m not necessarily talking about spending more time in the weight room. It involves learning how to release from blocks, utilizing leverage, knowing how to move your opponent and maximize your strength.
“In the grand scheme of things, though, give me an explosive pass rusher and I’ll teach him how to be strong at the point of attack rather than vice versa.”
Kenney had 11 sacks his junior season at Indianapolis’ Pike High School. Iowa was the first school to offer a scholarship last November. Indiana, Iowa State, Louisville and Minnesota followed suit.
“I’m only 6-1, so some schools haven’t offered me because of that,” Kenney told the Indianapolis Star after the Best of the Midwest Combine in Indianapolis in February (he wore an Iowa shirt to the combine, by the way). “But Iowa looked past that and took a chance on me. That offer kind of opened the door for some other schools.”
Kenney visited Iowa at least three times before Wednesday. Florida and USC recently showed interest. Indiana showed a lot of interest, pitching Kenney the idea of being the “hometown hero.”
Kenney told HawkeyeReport.com that he was “about 75 percent” sure he would commit during his Wednesday visit.
“I got a good feel for the staff today and for the players,” Kenney said. “I saw their ends and they were young, big and strong. Just seeing the coaches coach, seeing the players and being at practice [completed it].”
Kenney is the first commitment for the Hawkeyes’ 2013 class. Iowa Western Community College defensive lineman Rodney Coe also might be in the fold, at least according to his Twitter feed.
He tweeted on March 13 that he was locked in with the Hawkeyes. He’ll play D-line next season at IWCC and, if everything goes well academically, the 6-3, 270-pounder could be a 2013 signee. Still, he’s a year away. If it happens, Iowa would have a pair of Rivals four-star D-ends in the fold, which, as you know, is a need position.
Next: Going off interviews on HawkeyeReport.com, the best guess might be Naperville (Ill.) North O-lineman Colin Goebel, a 6-4, 275-pounder. He visited Iowa last Wednesday and liked it enough to call the Hawkeyes a leader. He has another visit scheduled for April 21, according to HR. Goebel has offers from Cincinnati, Duke, Eastern Michigan, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Miami (Fla.), Ole Miss, Northern Illinois, Toledo and West Virginia.