Pierschbacher flips from Hawkeyes to Alabama

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March 28, 2014 | 6:56 pm

Cedar Falls offensive lineman Ross Pierschbacher, who committed to Iowa in January, has switched to Alabama.

In an e-mail Pierschbacher, a 6-3, 275-pound inside O-lineman, sent to HawkeyeReport.com, the Cedar Falls High School senior wrote: "The past few weeks there has been speculation of my commitment to the University of Iowa Football program. I would like to end the speculation as I prepare to enter my senior season so that I may focus my attention to my team.

"I would like to thank Coach [Kirk] Ferentz, his coaching staff, and the University of Iowa for the offer to be part of Hawkeye Football. They have a great tradition, outstanding people and a top notch program.

"After considering many different options and things important to me, my family, and my future career, I am excited to announce that I have decided to play my collegiate career for Coach Saban and The University of Alabama.

"This has been a very humbling experience and I would like to thank everyone that has helped me along the way."

Recruiting is nutty.

At this point, commitments are non-binding verbal pledges. Commitments don't count until February, when recruits send their signed national letters of intent to their schools.

Iowa's staff had to know it would face a battle to keep Pierschbacher, who's ranked as the 80th recruit in the nation by Rivals.com. Pierschbacher had 12 offers. He recently took visits to Alabama and Stanford. The Cardinal is a the Rose Bowl champion. Alabama has won three of the last four BCS national championships. Iowa finished 4-8 last season.

This was never over. The Iowa staff knew that. The waves started rolling in late July, when Pierschbacher visited Stanford and Alabama.

Pierschbacher also had offers from Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Nebraska and Wisconsin.

Pierschbacher was the first official commitment for Iowa’s 2014 class.

When Pierschbacher committed to Iowa, he said, "Yeah, they [Iowa coaches] think they’re going to do what they did with Bulaga and Reiff and all of them. They’re going to start me out at guard my first couple of years or first year and then they’re going to move me out to left tackle. So, that’s the plan right now.”

That was the plan until Nick Saban and crystal footballs had a say.

Pierschbacher's de-commitment leaves the Hawkeyes with 11 verbal commitment for the '14 recruiting class. The national signing period begins Feb. 5.

Jay Scheel, QB 6-2, 170 Union High School (La Porte City) ****

Lucas LeGrand, OL, 6-5, 260 Dubuque Senior High School ***

Omar Truitt, CB, 5-11, 185, St. John’s College High School (Washington D.C.) ***

C.J. Hilliard, RB, 5-9, 192, St. Xavier High School (Cincinnati, Ohio) ***

Jyaz Jones, S, 6-0, 172, South Oak Cliff High School (Dallas, Texas) **

Jameer Outsey, OLB, 6-3, 220, Franklin High School (Somerset, N.J.) ***

Keegan Render, OL, 6-3, 310, Indianola High School ***

Matt Nelson, DE, 6-7, 249, Xavier High School (Cedar Rapids) ***

Mick Ellis, K, 5-9, 185, Lovejoy High School (Lucas, Texas) No rating

Terrance Harris, DE, 6-2, 240, Paramus Catholic High School (Paramus, N.J.) **

Ben Niemann, OLB, 6-3, 185, Sycamore (Ill.) High School **

* — Rivals.com star rating

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