Texas linebacker gives Iowa 11th commitment

Jinning brings speed Hawkeyes want on defense

Hawkeye Top Story, Hawkeyes, On Iowa by Marc Morehouse, Sports,
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  • LB Justin Jinning video
June 23, 2014 | 5:43 pm

The camp season usually yields a few commitments for the Hawkeyes. This summer has been no different.

In the few days after their barbecue recruiting weekend, the Hawkeyes picked up a pair of commitments. Florida wide receiver Adrian Falconer decided on Saturday. Linebacker Justin Jinning made it official on Monday, announcing his commitment via Twitter.

Jinning is a 6-1, 210-pounder from The Colony (Texas) High School. As a junior, Jinning earned first-team all-district after leading the team with 73 tackles. Jinning told several recruiting outlets that he wanted to commit to Iowa over the weekend, but his family wanted him to come home to Texas and try it on.

That was all it took.

“It’s actually been really great just seeing the campus and the city life and meeting all the coaches and players and everything,” Jinning told HawkeyeReport.com. “I was able to just kind of hang out and get a feel for how it would be.”

This spring, outside linebackers coach LeVar Woods said Christian Kirksey, the former Hawkeye outside linebacker selected in the third round of the NFL draft last month, had become the prototype for what Iowa wants at outside linebacker.

“I say that he sort of has broken the mold for LEOs [what Iowa calls its strongside linebackers],” said Woods, after comparing his weight (245) during his days as Iowa’s outside linebacker in the late 1990s. “He maxed out at 232, 234, something like that. So, it’s 10 pounds difference, and he had to run. Those guys had to run. I couldn’t run like that. It’s just a little bit different. The game is more spread out. The game is more wide open, if you will, more passing, and you have to be able to run and react quicker than in the past. Gone are the days really of big 250-, 260-pound linebackers. That’s definitely changed.”

Jinning told HR.com that Iowa sees him as an outside linebacker with Kirksey’s potential. He had a chance to watch game video with inside linebackers coach Jim Reid last weekend.

“When I talked to coach Reid, we watched a little bit of film and he showed me how my game really matches up well with their style of defense,” Jinning said. “He showed me how I would be a great fit.”

Jinning, rated a two-star prospect by Rivals. is Iowa’s 11th commitment for the 2015 class. He also had an offer from New Mexico State.

 

IOWA’S 2015 FOOTBALL COMMITMENTS

 

Jacob Newborg, OL/DL, 6-4, 271, West Lyon High School (Inwood) ***

 

Jack Beneventi, QB, 6-6, 190, Benet Academy (Lisle, Ill.) ***

 

Drew Cook, ATH, 6-5, 205, Regina High School (Iowa City) **

 

Landen Paulsen, OT, 6-6, 285, Woodbury Central (Moville) ***

 

Levi Paulsen, OT, 6-6, 275, Woodbury Central (Moville) ***

 

Ryan Boyle, QB, 6-1, 215, Dowling Catholic High School (West Des Moines) **

 

Jack Hockaday, ATH, 6-0, 205, Maroa-Forsyth High School (Maroa, Ill.) ***

 

Brady Reiff, DE, 6-4, 215, Parkston (S.D.) High School **

 

Brett Waechter, OL, 6-5, 265, Hartley-Melvin-Sanborn High School (Hartley) ***

WR Adrian Falconer, WR, 6-1, 185, LeesBurg (Fla.) High School **

 

LB Justin Jinning, LB, 6-1, 210, The Colony (Texas) High School **

 

(* — Rivals.com rating)

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