With Detroit (Mich.) King High School's Jalen Embry, the Hawkeyes now have at least three and maybe four cornerback commitments for the 2014 recruiting class.
Washington D.C. athlete Omar Truitt is probably a fourth corner, but the 5-11, 185-pounder is still listed as "athlete," so he theoretically could end up anywhere a 5-11, 185-pound body can play. And, hey, why not safety? No safety beyond starters Tanner Miller and John Lowdermilk has played more than a handful of downs in scrimmage defense. Miller is a senior and Lowdermilk a junior.
Iowa needs defensive backs, safety or corner, but mostly corner.
True freshman Desmond King will make his sixth start (probably) this Saturday at Ohio State. It's down to a true freshman because sophomore Jordan Lomax, who has been out since the opener with a hamstring injury. Lomax inherited Micah Hyde's old job in a competition that included true sophomore Sean Draper and redshirt freshman Maurice Fleming, who just became active on special teams after an undisclosed camp injury kept him out for the first month of the season. Fleming might not have been a factor at corner. He switched from wide receiver at the beginning of last season.
The point is Iowa doesn't have a lot of depth at corner and could use at least three in this class.
Enter Embry, a 5-foot-11, 176-pound three-star prospect by Rivals.com.
Embry committed to the Hawkeyes the day after Iowa's 26-14 home loss to Michigan State. He had 11 offers, including Wisconsin and Illinois.
"What I really like about the coaches is just how they are real with you. They were very upfront about everything that they told me," Embry said. "Also, the players that I met were cool. I had a chance to talk to Desmond King, who I've known for a quite a while, and he is really happy there."
Iowa needs corners, yes, but Embry has opened eyes as a wide receiver this fall at King.
"They like him at corner, but they got a hold of some of his film this year and he's been exceptional at receiver for us this season," King assistant coach Terel Patrick told HawkeyeReport.com. "He's been a difference maker, really stretching the field as a receiver, so I'm not sure if cornerback is a done deal yet."
In other recruiting developments during Iowa's off week, the Hawkeyes have offered Waukon linebacker Parker Hesse, a 6-3, 205-pounder who's done about everything for the Indians, who are 7-0 and ranked No. 1 in Class 2A. Hesse has eight tackles for loss, 2.5 sacks, an interception and has completed 61.7 percent of his passes and rushed for 548 yards (11.4 a carry) with 14 TDs.
Iowa is recruiting him as a linebacker. Hesse has offers from UNI, South Dakota State and Western Illinois with interest from Minnesota and Northern Illinois.
Hesse told HawkeyeReport.com that he's probably going to commit sometime this winter.
"I don't know if I saw it but I knew that I had done some good things with a good camp up there," Hesse told HawkeyeReport.com. "It had progressively been heating up more and more since this season had started."
Did he give any thought to committing?
"I have not taken an official visit and right now I am getting the feelers out to schools," he said. "Right now, I want to win football games for Waukon and that is my main goal. When we are finished with this season, I can take the next steps to deciding and make the first priority then."
-- Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz hit Dubuque on Friday night and stopped at both Cedar Falls at Dubuque Wahlert and Dubuque Hempstead at Dubuque Senior games.
Iowa remains on the chase for Cedar Falls OL Ross Pierschbacher, who decommitted from the Hawkeyes for Alabama earlier this season. Iowa also has a commit from Dubuque Senior OL Lucas LeGrand.
-- Will Iowa offer Cedar Rapids Xavier LB/DL Daniel Vega and OL Cole Turner? DL coach Reese Morgan visited Xavier's game at Waterloo West on Friday. Iowa has a commitment from Xavier DE/TE (probably maybe OT) Matt Nelson.
Speaking of OT, HawkeyeReport.com reported that freshman TE Ike Boettger has switched from TE to OT. Boettger, 6-5, 240, played QB at Iowa's camp one day last summer, went home and grabbed some pads and played tight end the next. If nothing changes, Iowa will have five tight ends on scholarship next fall (Ray Hamilton, Jake Duzey, Henry Krieger Coble, George Kittle, Jon Wisnieski).
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) **
Terrance Harris, DE, 6-2, 240, Paramus Catholic High School (Paramus, N.J.) **
Ben Niemann, OLB, 6-3, 185, Sycamore (Ill.) High School **
Aaron Mends, LB, 6-1, 204, Winnetonka (Kansas City, Mo.) High School ***
Josh Jackson, CB, 6-1, 175, Dallas Lake ( Corinth, Texas) High School **
Marcel Joly, CB, 5-11, 180, Forestville (Md.) High School ***
Jalen Embry, CB, 5-11, 176, King (Detroit, Mich.) High School ***
* — Rivals.com star rating