Iowa's unprecedented recruiting rush picked up steam Friday afternoon.
Within minutes, the Hawkeyes received a pair of commitments, moving their total to 12, the highest number in June in the Kirk Ferentz era. In 2010, the Hawkeyes had seven commitments before July. At this rate, Iowa could have 15.
Kirkwood Mo., wide receiver/defensive back Andre Harris was the first to pick the Hawkeyes on Friday, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Then, just minutes later, Springboro (Ohio) High School offensive lineman Sean Welsh also committed to Iowa.
“I took a visit down there yesterday and I liked what I saw,” Harris told the Post-Dispatch. The 6-foot-1, 170-pounder, who plays receiver and defensive back for Kirkwood (12-1 Missouri Class 5 runner-up last season) also had an offer from Illinois.
“It is kind of what my family thought was good for me,” he said. “I thought it was good for me and it was a good opportunity.”
Welsh, a 6-3, 275-pounder, tweeted at about 4 p.m. Friday that he "committed to the University of Iowa." Welsh had 16 offers, including West Virginia, Miami (Fla.) and Kentucky.
According to HawkeyeReport.com, Welsh visited Iowa City this week. Iowa coaches told him the school had an exclusive spot for him until Friday. After that, Iowa then would accept a commitment from any other offensive line prospect who had an Iowa offer.
"Coach [Brian] Ferentz told me that they were heading toward wrapping up their recruiting and I had until today to get my spot and after that it was open game on the offensive line," Welsh told HawkeyeReport.com. "It might have pushed me along a little bit, but I knew Iowa was the place for me."
For proof of the increased speed of recruiting, in April, six of Rivals.com's 11 five-star recruits had already committed. More than half the Top 50 prospects were committed. Of Rivals' Top 100 prospects, 52 had made pledges.
Also, with two new coordinators and a nearly completely new coaching staff, Iowa could be moving faster in recruiting to have it positioned where Kirk Ferentz wants it before actual football begins in August.
Harris, who's been timed at 4.42 seconds in the 40-yard dash, caught 22 passes for 288 yards and three touchdowns and had 29 tackles and four interceptions on defense, returning one pick for a touchdown, at Kirkwood last fall.
“He’s had a really good offseason in the weight room and the classroom and was a track athlete for us as well and had a lot of success there,” Kirkwood coach Matt Irvin told the Post-Dispatch. “…Iowa offered him just off his film, which is really a rarity now, and I applaud them for recognizing his potential."
Iowa now has 12 known commitments for the 2013 class, including three possible wide receivers. Harris committed to Iowa the day after Vashon (St. Louis) High School's Derrick Mitchell Jr. picked the Hawkeyes, giving Iowa St. Louis-area commits in back-to-back days.
As for next commitment, Ohio wide receiver Dan Monteroso (6-3, 180) visited Iowa City on Friday and tweeted this, "I think I'm in love #Iowa." He told HawkeyeReport.com that he'll visit Boston College next Wednesday and then probably decide.
David Kenney, DE, 6-2, 250 Pike High School (Indianapolis, Ind.) ****
Derrick Willies, WR, 6-3, 190 Rock Island (Ill.) High School ***
Delano Hill, FS, 6-1, 190 Cass Tech High School (Detroit, Mich.) ***
Colin Goebel, OL 6-4, 275 Naperville (Ill.) North High School ***
Nathan Bazata, DT, 6-2, 270 Howells (Neb.) High School ***
Brant Gressel, DT, 6-2, 283 Centerville (Ohio) High School ***
John Kenny, LB, 6-2, 210 Caramel (Ind.) High School ***
Nic Shimonek, QB, 6-4, 205 Mildred (Corsicana, Texas) High School ***
Malik Rucker, CB, 6-0, 175 Cooper (New Hope, Minn.) High School ***
Derrick Mitchell, Jr., WR, 6-0, 185 Vashon (St. Louis, Mo.) High School ***
Andre Harris, WR, 6-1, 170 Kirkwood (Mo.) High School (unrated by Rivals.com)
Sean Welsh, OL, 6-3, 275 Springboro (Ohio) High School ***
* = Rivals.com’s star rating