This is how Iowa’s new recruiting set-up could work.
During his March visit to Iowa City, Naperville (Ill.) North offensive lineman Colin Goebel met with new O-line coach Brian Ferentz. They talked about Iowa’s tradition on the offensive line, something Ferentz knows well as a three-year starter.
“He definitely knows his stuff and he’s definitely going to keep the Iowa offensive linemen tradition going strong by what he teaches,” Goebel told HawkeyeReport.com. “He went to Iowa and played offensive line, so he knows what he’s talking about and teaching to his players.”
That was Ferentz’s answer to the recruiting question, nearly verbatim, when he was hired at Iowa from the New England Patriots.
Goebel, 6-4, 275 pounds, nearly committed in March.
Goebel, the DuPage Valley Conference’s Offensive Lineman of the Year as a junior, picked the Hawkeyes over 12 other scholarship offers including Illinois, Miami (Fla.) and West Virginia. He also received interest from Wisconsin, Michigan State and Purdue.
“Iowa has a great reputation of developing offensive linemen and it seems like every year they send one or two offensive linemen into the NFL,” Goebel said. “I know that Iowa will help me reach my goals. I also know that I will also get a great education at Iowa. I’m also excited for my family because Iowa is just three hours from home and they can come out and see me play in college. Iowa is pretty close to home and that was another big factor for me.”
Goebel has clearly done some homework. His recruitment was a team effort. Running backs coach Lester Erb recruits the Chicago/Illinois area. Of course, an offensive lineman is going to want to meet his position coach.
Iowa has 14 offensive linemen on scholarship with six going into their junior or senior seasons.
He said I’ll be playing every position once I get there – guard, tackle, and center – but then later in my last three years they’ll solidify it down to one spot, most likely guard or center.
“I just can’t wait to play and put in the work with all of the other commits and the guys there right now,” Goebel said. “I can’t wait to get started.”
Scouting snippet (from ESPN.com)
The Positive: We see a tough customer with a nasty finishing attitude. Will need to lower his pad level as a tends to play too high whether run or pass blocking; displays the initial quickness needed to get a hat on active 1st and 2nd level defenders; is good at getting up on linebackers and delivering a crushing block. With added bulk, improved playing strength and polished technical skills this lineman should have all the tools necessary to make the required blocks at the next level. His long arms and quick hands should be assets in pass protection;
The Pause: Although Goebel [pronounced Go-bul] is very efficient playing the offensive tackle position at his present level of competition, we feel his size and athleticism are best suited for the guard spot at the major level of competition. . . . Playing out of a three point stance we detect some lower body stiffness. However his agility and balance allow him to play on his feet in space while adjusting to movement and late linebacker stunts. . . . Although he flashes the ability to bend and slide, we see him play too tall while getting caught with a poor center of gravity. All areas of hand use will need refinement, especially initial punch and location. Goebel does not appear to be an immediate starter at the BCS level of play; some time may be needed improve athleticism and playing strength while polishing his technical skills.
What Iowa said . . .
Recruiting coordinator Eric Johnson: “He’s a physical guy. We’re going to figure out the best five linemen to play. We’re not one of those team that say you’re tackle has to be 6-5 with a 7-foot arm span and all of that. We feel if a guy can keep leverage on a defender, he can play any of the positions and has a shot to help us as long as he’s tough, physical and can move a little bit.” Marshal Yanda played left tackle at Iowa, remember. . . . “The biggest thing with offensive linemen, arm span only gets used if you get out-leveraged on the edge. As long as you move your feet and stay in front of the guy, you don’t need 8-foot arms, because you’re not reaching for anything.”
What Rivals.com said . . .
Midwest recruiting coordinator Josh Helmholdt: “With its offensive line recruiting, you expect Iowa to sign top offensive linemen year in and year out. They didn’t attack the position that hard this year. In Goebel, they get a guy who’s versatile enough to play tackle or guard. I think that’s exactly what they needed in this class. Their other O-line commit, Sean Welsh, is definitely an interior lineman. Geobel could go either way. He’s technically sound and so a good match for this class.”
What I think (FWIW, obviously) . . .
I think Goebel’s potential position flexibility makes him an interesting player for Iowa. I mentioned Marshal Yanda above. He’s around 6-3, give or take a half inch. He didn’t start his career at Iowa at tackle, but ended up making 20 starts there, including the final five of his career as LT in 2006. Iowa clearly values feet and leverage over a 7-foot wingspan. I’m not comparing Goebel to Yanda, just making the point that the Iowa tackle chassis doesn’t come off the factory line.