One of the first questions after last Saturday night’s dirge was how the 30 recruits Iowa played host to would react to the 38-14 score, the nearly empty stadium at around 10:30 p.m. and, oh yeah, the booing.
Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz touched on that last night during his radio show. Here were his general talking points: I didn’t hear the booing. Did hear some cheering at the end. People stayed. Our fans are unparalleled. There’s going to be some booing. I trust the recruits understand that. We haven’t had too many games like that at Kinnick.
For more on recruits’ response to the night game hoopla, here’s HawkeyeReport.com publisher Tom Kakert’s weekly post (I’ll be doing a chat at 7 p.m. with subscribers at HawkeyeReport.com.):
After an ugly loss on Saturday night to Penn State, one of the big concerns from Iowa fans beyond the performance of the Hawkeyes on the field was how did more than 30 recruits react to the crushing defeat.
Well, the good news is that the results on the field didn’t seem to have much of an impact on the recruits who were in the stands. Virtually every recruit that we spoke with following the game understood that sometimes you lose games and that overall, they were really impressed with the overall atmosphere at Kinnick Stadium.
“It was really good, especially the fan base,” said 2014 running back Mikale Wilbon. “All of the fans at the game were crazy. Even though they lost, they were there from beginning to end and were really loud the whole game. I liked it a lot.”
Wilbon is from the Chicago area, holds an Iowa offer, and is one of the fastest rising prospects in the Midwest.
Top 2014 in-state offensive line prospect Ross Pierschbacher, who is likely four star prospect when Rivals.com releases their rankings next month, said it was a cool experience.
“It was cool. They didn’t play very well, so I’m sure the atmosphere wasn’t as good as it could have been, but it was definitely a cool experience.”
Pierchbacher holds an Iowa offer and was recently offered by Oklahoma. He will be visiting Wisconsin this weekend and will be attending the Iron Bowl as a guest of Alabama in late November.
One thing about young people today is they might not think the same way as fans do about a loss. They were impressed with the fireworks, the striping of the stadium, and the overall atmosphere leading up to the game. They get that losses happen, sometimes a bad loss, but they can also see that as an opportunity to play early at a program and that can actually turn a negative into a positive.
Kenny Back to 100%
After his good friend David Kenney de-committed from Iowa and has now committed to Indiana, there were quite a few rumors that Hawkeye commit John Kenny, would be joining Kenney.
The 2013 linebacker prospect made his official visit to Iowa City this past weekend and while he admits he was having some second thoughts, he’s back to 100% with the Hawkeyes.
“It was a lot of fun,” he said. “I got to hang out with some of the other commits and watch the game and the atmosphere was awesome. I got to meet with all of the coaches again and just really solidify why I committed there in the first place.”
Kenny was hosted by Iowa quarterback Cody Sokol and said he was very helpful on his visit. The interesting development is that Kenny will likely be arriving sooner rather than later to the Iowa program.
He said he has been accepted and admitted to the University of Iowa and plans on arriving on January 19th and start classes. That would allow Kenny to participate in spring practice and get a head start on potentially earning playing time as a true freshman.
Hoops Visitors Enjoy Black and Gold Blowout
The Black & Gold Blowout returned to Iowa City on Friday night and Fran McCaffery used it as an opportunity to get several prospects on campus for the festivities.
From the Class of 2014, the biggest name on campus was Michael Finke, a 6-foot-8 forward from Champaign, IL. Finke holds an offer from the Hawkeyes and this was his second trip to Iowa City. He also holds offers from Wisconsin and his hometown school, Illinois.
Also in attendance from the Class of 2014 were Jalen Jones from Clinton, IA, Marcus Bartley from Decatur, IL, Milik Yarbrough from Zion, IL. Also in for the evening were 2015 prospects Grant Graham and Cortez Seales from North Scott High School and 2016 prospect Jerry Myles, Donivon Oliver, and Noah McCarty. Iowa commit Peter Jok was also at Carver Hawkeye Arena on Friday evening.
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