Where was Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz last Friday night?
A lot closer than you might think, according to HawkeyeReport.com publisher Tom Kakert. Also this week, Tom examines the potential for de-commits, which, with 16 commits now, is something the Iowa staff will be fighting through Feb. 6.
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It might makes things a little more boring for recruitnicks who love the drama of the chase during the season to land recruits, but my guess is the Iowa coaching staff is pretty happy because they can also turn some of the recruiting attention to the next class earlier in the process. That’s the national trend and Iowa is right there with most other BCS level school.
However, there’s also a risk involved and that’s for potential de-commits later in the process. While the vast majority of Iowa’s class seems very solid, the two most highly ranked prospects who have pledged to the Hawkeyes are also the most rumored to have a wandering eye when it comes to being firm with their commitments.
Iowa has two four-star commitments according to Rivals.com in Delano Hill, a 6-foot and 200 pound defensive back prospect out of Cass Tech High School in Detroit. Hill committed to Iowa in the spring and it turns out he was a prospect that saw his stock rise among talent evaluators during the summer. What usually follows are rumors that other schools are in contact and that he would potentially look at his options.
There were rumors this fall that Hill was going to be at the Notre Dame/Michigan State game. Those rumors proved to be false. There were rumors that he was going to attend the Michigan/Notre Dame game. Those rumors proved to be true. However, Hill said he was just going along with some younger teammates who were making an unofficial visit and the Cass Tech coaches like their seniors to make trips like that with underclassmen. Notre Dame has not offered either, so there’s that to throw into the mix.
Hill seems to be solid with Iowa, but the same probably can’t be said for four star defensive end David Kenney. To be fair the 6-foot-2 and 250 pound prospect out of Pike High School in Indianapolis has a complicated situation when it comes to recruiting.
His father, David Kenney Sr., was hired by Kevin Wilson and the Indiana Football program as a quality control assistant for recruiting and he has said he will not be involved in his son’s recruitment to Indiana.
As you might expect, the younger Kenney has shown up at several Indiana football games this fall to support his father. He’s also been wearing Indiana jackets and at a recent Hoosier game, he tweeted out a picture of himself with another Indiana commit, along with Hoosier basketball coach Tom Crean.
It’s fair to say his visits to Indiana and his recent pictures have raised the Def-Con level for Iowa fans, who believe he is ready to bolt from his commitment. To add smoke to the already smoldering fire, Nebraska offered this week and their defensive line coach is former Iowa assistant Rick Kaczenski.
To calm the nerves of Iowa fans a little bit, Kenney spoke with Rivals.com this week after the Nebraska offer and said, “I am still verbally committed to the University of Iowa.”
The best guess right now is that while Kenney is still verbally committed to the Hawkeyes, this one is going to go right up to signing day and the Iowa coaches will be sweating it out until the faxed Letter of Intent arrives in the football offices in early February.
FERENTZ USES BYE WEEK TO LOOK AT SMALL SCHOOL PROSPECT
Last year the Hawkeyes signed Nate Meier out of an eight man football program in the state of Iowa. Last Friday night, Kirk Ferentz made his way to Springville, Iowa to take a look at another eight man prospect in the Class of 2013.
At 6-foot-3 and 235 pounds, Jake Hulett does a little bit of everything for the Springville team. He plays tight end, fullback, linebacker, and defensive end. It’s the last position that seems to be intriguing the Hawkeye coaches.
Thru seven games this season, Hulett is putting up some pretty impressive numbers. He already has 64 tackles, 19 tackles for loss, and 10 sacks. He has made unofficial trips to Iowa and Iowa State this fall and is also being recruited by smaller schools in the state of Iowa.
According to his high school coach, Joe Martin, Iowa assistant coach Reese Morgan has be in regular contact and Hulett is staying patient with the recruiting process.