HawkeyeReport.com's Tom Kakert drops in for a recruiting update.
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Kirk Ferentz has kind of hinted that after picking up 16 verbal commitments to the Class of 2013, the Hawkeyes recruiting haul for this class could be close to finished.
Of course, I always go back to the fact that during the Ferentz era, Iowa has never signed less than 20 prospects in any recruiting class. In other words, my guess is that close means at least four more prospects will be signing with the Hawkeyes in early February.
The big question is what positions still need to be filled?
The easy answer is one position has a glaring need and that’s running back. We don’t need to go back through the recent checkered past of Iowa running backs to realize that, well, retention has been an issue.
At this time there are two prep running backs that the Hawkeyes have a strong interest in. Leading that group is Berkley Edwards from Michigan. He is the younger brother of former Wolverine star Braylon Edwards, who was coached by Iowa assistant Erik Campbell during his days in Ann Arbor. Edwards is rated by Rivals.com as the 9th best all purpose back in the Class of 2013. Iowa initially offered Edwards as a slot receiver, but changed it to running back, which could make a difference in the Hawkeyes chances to land him.
Edwards, who ran a 10.79 in the 100 yard dash last month, says he will make official visits this fall to Iowa, Minnesota, and California. He’s also showing interest in Alabama and LSU, who have not offered him a scholarship.
The other running back Iowa is pursuing is Rachid Ibrahim from Gaithersburg, MD. The Hawkeyes offered the 6-foot-2 and 170 pound back early and he made an unofficial visit to Iowa City in late July. He will be making a return trip to Iowa next weekend for an official visit when the Hawkeyes face in-state rival Iowa State. Later in September, Ibrahim will make an official visit to another one of his favorites, Boston College. He plans on visiting there on September 29th when the Eagles play Clemson. There’s been some chatter that Pittsburgh is starting to get more involved in his recruitment. Ibrahim has said he would like to make a decision sooner rather than later and at one point; he was going to decide before taking official visits.
As far as other need positions, Ferentz and his staff could go in a number of different directions. They might look to add another playmaking wide receiver to go with the three commitments already on board. Perhaps they look to adding a linebacker, with one of their commitment potentially moving to defensive line down the road. Then there’s always the standby of adding another offensive lineman, specifically a tackle.
How are the commits doing so far?
While the college football season kicks off this weekend, the prep football season is already underway. Only four of Iowa’s current crop of commits has yet to open their senior seasons. Defensive line prospect Nathan Bazata and quarterback Nate Shimonek open his senior season on Friday night. Iowa prep and Hawkeye commit Trevon Young’s high school team, Des Moines Lincoln, started their season last weekend, but he wasn’t with the team. Young is serving a four game suspension due to an off season arrest in July. Hawkeye commit Solomon Warfield missed his opening game due to injury, but the Cleveland prep expects to be back on the field on Friday night.
Last weekend I ventured over to Rock Island High School to see future Hawkeye Derek Willies in his first game with the Rocks. Last season, Willies played for Burlington High School before transferring to Rock Island in January. The Rocks lost their opener and their passing game had a tough time getting on track. Willies had two catches for 32 yards in a 21-6 loss to Bellville East. In addition to his wide receiver duties, Willies returned kickoffs and punts, and handled the place kicking and kickoff for Rock Island.
Best performance from a future Hawkeye from last weekend goes to Derrick Mitchell Jr. The St. Louis native had three catches for 86 yards, including a highlight reel grab for a touchdown. He also added an interception on defense.