Here’s our weekly contribution from HawkeyeReport.com publisher Tom Kakert. This week is a look at Iowa’s offensive recruits in football and a basketball visitor.
Offensive Help On The Way
With the Iowa offense struggling early this season, Hawkeye fans are probably wondering if help is on the way. Based on some of the numbers being put up by the verbal commits to the Hawkeyes, the answer would be yes.
Iowa has six prospects committed at the skill positions (wide receiver and tight end) and they are all off to very good starts to their senior seasons.
At wide receiver, perhaps the most impressive numbers are being put up by Derrick Mitchell Jr. from Vashon High School in St. Louis. Mitchell has 267 yards receiving and five touchdowns thru four games. He also has 118 yards on the ground.
Fellow St. Louis commit Andre Harris has only found the end zone once, but thru four games he has 12 receptions for 228 yards. Harris is also playing a little defense with 11 tackles and one interception.
Derrick Willies transferred to Rock Island High School this year, a program that has traditionally been a run first school. After a slow start in his first game, Willies now has 17 catches on the year for 269 yards and three touchdowns.
Matt VandeBerg, who will likely grayshirt next year at Iowa, could potentially end up at wide receiver when he joins the Hawkeye program in January of 2014. Thus far this year he has 14 catches for 202 yards and four touchdowns.
The two in-state tight end commits are doing well in their senior campaigns. West Des Moines Dowling’s Jon Wisnieski has 12 receptions for 99 yards and two touchdowns. Cedar Falls prep Ike Boettger has 10 catches for 157 yards a pair of touchdowns.
Long Snapper Walking On
Usually the only time we hear the name of a long snapper, it means something has gone wrong. Thankfully, Iowa fans haven’t heard the name of their long snapper unless he’s down the field making a tackle.
The Hawkeyes always put a premium on special teams play and a quality long snapper is part of that equation. This week, Iowa landed a very good long snapping prospect from the state of Iowa in Tyler Kluver from Marshalltown.
“I talked to Coach [Lester] Erb and told him that I’ve made my decision and I want to snap for the Hawkeyes,” said Kluver. “I’ve always wanted to go to Iowa. It’s kind of been my dream ever since I can remember, so I’ve been thinking about it a lot and just decided to go with it.”
Kluver’s father, Todd, played offensive line for the Hawkeyes in 1986-87, so he will be a second generation Iowa player.
This summer, Kluver attended the Kohl’s Professional Camp, which focuses on punters, kickers, and long snappers. All he did was put up one of the top two scores of the camp as a long snapper and that earned him an invitation to the Under Armor All American Game in Florida.
Jok in the chute?
After hosting 2013 combo guard E.C. Matthews two weeks ago, Coach Fran McCaffery will have another prospect with an offer on campus this weekend.
But, it’s not who was expected to visit. On Wednesday evening the expected visitor, Austin Price, told HawkeyeReport.com that Iowa called him early this week and said they were expecting a commitment from another 2013 prospect. Price, a 6-foot-3 guard from Michigan said it wasn’t his AAU teammate, Matthews, who was ready to commit.
It turns out, Iowa’s official visitor this weekend is West Des Moines Valley’s Peter Jok. At one time, Jok was ranked as the #1 prospect in the country by at least one recruiting service. Then knee issues hit and the 6-foot-6 forward was sidelined for an extended period of time. He returned to the court in April and is nearly back to full strength. McCaffery and assistant coach Kirk Speraw visited Jok last Friday and offered him a scholarship. After watching him in an open gym on Monday night, they set up an official visit for this weekend.