The national signing period starts next Wednesday.
Here is where Iowa sits:
– The Hawkeyes have 16 known commitments and have between one and four known scholarship openings.
– Don’t be shocked if Iowa ends up with 20 or 21 signees.
– Don’t be shocked if Iowa’s class is rated 10th or lower in the Big Ten by the various recruiting services. Iowa’s class was basically built in August. Since, it’s lost two four-star recruits and hasn’t been in the news much.
– That whole four-star thing? Yes, Iowa and Minnesota are the lone Big Ten teams without a four-star recruit, according to Rivals.com.
But . . .
Iowa has 16 three-star commitments going into this weekend, the final for visits. In my opinion, Iowa has six legit targets in play — LB Reggie Spearman (three stars), WR Cameron Smith (three stars), CB/S Jacquille Veii (two stars), WR A.J. Jones (two stars), linebacker Josey Jewell (two stars) and WR Dre Fuller (two stars). BTW, Jones is visiting Iowa City this weekend.
If Iowa sticks at 16, the average of 3.0 stars will be its highest average in the last five years. If Iowa picks up all five from the above, that would bring the average to 2.85, which would rank it fourth in the last five seasons.
Here’s the stars breakdown as it stands now (according to Rivals.com):
2013 — 3.0 stars
2012 — 2.95 stars
2011 — 2.96 stars
2010 — 2.95
2009 — 2.45
I kept misspelling “stars” into “starts,” which might be the better overall measure of a class. I’ll work on that.
Here’s HawkeyeReport.com publisher Tom Kakert with a post on the history of the final pieces of classes for the Hawkeyes. Iowa has found some gems late in the game:
This weekend is the final push to land prospects from the state of Iowa, mostly walk-on’s to the Hawkeye program.
One of the neat things that Ferentz has done consistently in his tenure is reward an in-state prospect late in the recruiting process with a scholarship offer. While Ferentz may have his detractors for the win/loss record in recent years, this is a really nice thing he does for an in-state prospect and in many cases, it’s worked out rather well for the Hawkeyes.
It really started back with the Class of 2001 when Ferentz made a last minute offer to Mike Elgin, who turned out to be a multiple year starter and spent time in the NFL with the New England Patriots. In 2004, Ferentz called Prairie City-Monroe prep standout Brandon Myers the night before signing day and extended a scholarship offer. Myers was all set to head to Northern Iowa, but made the switch at the last minute. He went on to be an All Big Ten selection and just finished up his best year in the NFL with the Oakland Raiders with 79 receptions for 806 yards and 4 touchdowns.
In 2007, Marion’s Allen Reisner was getting ready for his high school basketball game when Kirk Ferentz called the night before signing day to offer him a scholarship, which he immediately accepted. Reisner has gone on to play in the NFL. In 2009, Wellman-Mid Prairie prep star Tanner Miller was in a similar situation to Reisner, riding home on the bus from a basketball game with his high school team when he picked up an offer from the Hawkeyes. He has gone on to be a three year starter for the Hawkeyes.
This weekend the visitors to Iowa City on the final weekend before signing day will be walk-on heavy, with the potential that maybe one will end up picking up a late offer from the Iowa coaches. The in-state prospects visiting this weekend include Trev Hadacheck from Union High School, Jake Hulett from Springville High School, Cody Poock and Paul Brown from Spirit Lake High School, and Drake Kulick from Muscatine High School. (Kulick announced Thursday night that he would accept a preferred walk-on offer with the Hawkeyes.)
Another in-state name to watch leading up to signing day is Decorah prep Josey Jewell. He will not be visiting this weekend, but he might be the next prospect on the board to get an offer if Iowa has one available on the night before signing day.
The prospects from the Hawkeye state won’t be the only players making their official visits this weekend. Iowa will be hosting two star athlete A.J. Jones from Dallas, TX. The 6-foot-3 and 195 pound athlete was offered by the Hawkeyes this week after he backed out on a visit to Iowa late last week. Jones, who is verbally committed to Colorado State, was also weighing a visit to Texas Tech.
Also visiting this weekend as out of state potential walk-on candidates are Kyle Norberg and Kevin Ward from the state of Illinois. Norberg is a fullback prospect with FCS offers after rushing for over 2,000 yards last season. Ward is the younger brother of current Hawkeye Ryan Ward. He is also looking at potentially walking on at Northwestern, where the oldest Ward child, Patrick, recently wrapped up his college career.
The Hawkeyes current sit at 16 verbal commitments after picking up a pledge this past weekend from defensive back Desmond King from Michigan. The three star prospect was previously committed to Ball State, but made the switch to Iowa on his official visit last weekend.
With three or four more spots left, the best guess heading into the final weekend of recruiting is Iowa ends up picking up three star linebacker Reggie Spearman from Illinois (currently a soft verbal to the Illini), A.J. Jones, and I see a late offer going to Josey Jewell. If they end up landing four more, then my best guess is a late offer goes to Dre Fuller from Texas, who is a speedy wide receiver.