Posted by: marcmwm | January 25, 2009

Iowa picks up 4 commits . . .

For Monday morning recruiting news (there was one more), see http://marcmwm.wordpress.com/2009/01/26/monday-morning-recruiting-update/

Matt Murphy drove to Iowa City this weekend with a grayshirt offer from the University of Iowa.

It’s legit, but it doesn’t offer the instant gratification that a full, sign-on-the-dotted-line offer that becomes binding Feb. 4 gives a recruit.

 Murphy left Iowa City with one of those and quickly jumped on it.

“I visited with coach (Kirk) Ferentz during breakfast at his house and it was the same old talk,” said Murphy, a 6-foot-6, 240-pounder from Clinton High School. “Then, about midway through the conversation, he offered a scholarship. It was shocking. I didn’t see it coming.”

Ferentz and the Iowa staff made a big push this weekend, the second-to-last before signing day. The Hawkeyes picked up four commitments — Murphy, West Des Moines Valley tight end Conor Boffeli, Ohio athlete Micah Hyde and Illinois quarterback Dakota Getz, who was recruited by Iowa to play tight end.

Iowa now has 16 commitments. Ferentz has said Iowa’s ’09 class will be in the mid- to high-teens, so it’s got to be getting close. Former Iowa City Regina linebacker Jake Reisen, a grayshirt commitment last year, comes under scholarship this semester and, technically, pushes this number to 17.

Hyde, a 6-1, 170-pound athlete from Fostoria (Ohio) High School, also committed to Iowa after receiving an offer just this weekend. Getz, a 6-4, 210-pounder who’ll play tight end at Iowa, also received his offer this weekend.

Murphy, who also received offers from Iowa State and Northern Iowa, said he’ll likely end up an offensive lineman for the Hawkeyes, but he’ll also take a look at tight end and defensive line.

“This was completely unexpected,” Murphy said. “When the (football) season started, I was pretty sure I was looking at walking on, but at the end, I thought something could happen. It happened today.”

Hyde was an extremely versatile performer at Fostoria. He played quarterback, defensive back, kicker, punter and returned kicks and punts.

The first-team all-Ohio quarterback in Division IV, threw for 2,336 yards and 23 touchdowns and rushed for 1,253 in the 2008 regular season. He helped the Redmen win a share of the Northern Ohio League title and claim their first playoff victory since 1996.

On Saturday, Hyde was selected to play for the Ohio team in the annual Big 33 all-star game against Pennsylvania on June 20. Hyde has a brother, Marcus, who plays defensive back at Michigan State.

Hyde has offers from a host of Mid-American Conference schools, including Ball State, Central Michigan, Miami (Ohio), Toledo, and Bowling Green.

HawkeyeNation.com and IowaPreps.com reported Sunday evening that Boffeli also committed to the Hawkeyes. Boffeli committed to Iowa State this summer, before coach Gene Chizik left for Auburn.

Getz, who said he’ll learn the tight end position at Iowa, is the third central Illinois prep to pick the Hawkeyes in the last two seasons. He joins tight end Brad Herman (Metamora) and quarterback John Wienke, whose school, Tuscola, is from the same conference as Getz’s.

“It’s nice that those guys are here, too,” said Getz, who was going to accept an offer from Western Illinois. “But I know that how much work I put in will determine my success. I have to work to get to see playing time, I know that.”

________

Murphy said he thought at least two others not mentioned here either committed or received offers.

One was Stephane Ngoumou, a 6-4, 195-pound wide receiver from Maryland. The other guy was a linebacker/running back type he thought. No idea on that one.

This flurry tells me that Ferentz and staff want a darned good idea of the shape of this class going into the final weekend. Iowa still has some big offers out there. It could also come up with a Mike Elgin/Brandon Myers/Allen Reisner guy, a last offer to an Iowa kid that seems crazy at the time but makes perfect sense three years from now.

But you could say that for a lot of commits Iowa already has in this class.

I know this class won’t come in with a whole lot of “stars,” but that’s the formula. Iowa goes for the hungry workaholic plugger whose upside ranges from Dallas Clark/Bob Sanders to Brian Ferentz to Brandon Myers. It’s worked more often than it hasn’t.

Historically under Ferentz, this final weekend has been more of an organizer for walk-ons. But there are a few bigger names who still hold offers from Iowa. I think, with Reiser, Iowa has one more scholarship but has the option to oversign by three.

Save one, two or maybe three, this could also be it. Remember, kicker Daniel Murray doesn’t have a scholarship. He’d be No. 1 on my list. There could also be another opening, with Shonn Greene and Jake Christensen already opening up a few.

If you count Boffeli as an O-lineman, Iowa picked up four. That was the biggest need, with the ’05 group going into its senior season.

_________

Micah Hyde video from YouTube:

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Responses

  1. As I’ve said before, I think it’s really disingenuous to say that signing a bunch of two star kids was always Iowa’s plan. They had offers out to plenty of highly rated kids, they just didn’t reel many of them in this year. Lots of the guys committing recently strike me as back-up plans; many of them didn’t have offers until very recently.

    Obviously that doesn’t mean they won’t turn out to be good players (I actually really like Boffeli and Hyde). I trust this staff’s ability to develop the talent they get. However, I still think the “Iowa only goes after the hard-working kids no one else wants” angle gets really overplayed. Classes like this aren’t the ideal scenario, it’s just what the staff often has to make due with because of the inherent difficulties in convincing out of state kids to come to Iowa.

  2. I could care less about their rankings. This staff knows how to develop players and that’s fine with me.

    If you’re that concerned with “star” rankings see the 2004 class, or 2005 whichever had all the studs and only a couple have ever panned out.

    Until they’re productive players in Kinnick they’re just names and potential.

  3. I really wish Iowa had more than one great class in recent history so people would stop treating 2005 like it’s what always happens to highly ranked classes and not the injury-filled aberration that it actually was.

  4. I here you Adam. We will. We just need another winning streak and sustain that a bit longer.

    But I do like this class. I think, if anything, these guys will give 100% and try to out work all the talent the rich teams aquire every year. These guys will play with a chip on their shoulders. No fat cats.

  5. Jake wasn’t hurt and he was the “star” of the class. Bain didn’t get hurt either.

    I know Moeaki and Doerring have been hurt but who else was in that class?

  6. You can find the full class here, just go to 2005: http://iowa.rivals.com/commitlist.asp

    Christensen and Bain were just flat out busts, but most of really good players in that class ran into problems with injuries or off the field stuff. Also, Christensen was hardly the star of the class. That would have been Doering, followed by Richardson and Moeaki. All of those guys have played well when they were healthy and got a chance.

  7. [...] Iowa made a strong recruiting push during the weekend, The (Cedar Rapids) Gazette's Marc Morehouse writes in his blog. [...]

  8. Dace Richardson had all the makings of an AA OT but caught the injury bug. Alex Kanellis is another that had a tough time with injuries. The failure of that class comes down to injuries, players leaving and the staff letting chemsitry issues arise within that group.

    I agree with Adam, this staff offers plenty of highly rated players but has had trouble landing them. I also get tired of the look at the 2005 class as the example of why stars don’t matter.

    If you look at the 2007 class, which ranked 28th nationally, they have had tremendous impact on this team and will produce several starters next year. Bulaga is by far and away our best OL. Ballard and Binns will both be starters on our DL. With Binns, I believe he will lead our team in sacks next year. Sash was quite impressive as a freshman and he will do good things. Bernstein, Reisner and Sandeman all have legitmate shots at starting. On top of that, Hundertmark will be in the mix at DT and will be getting reps.

    People that like to completely discredit rankings only need to look at the teams that continually compete for BCS games every year and consider that Iowa hasn’t won a BCS/Rose Bowl game in 50 years. It isn’t a perfect system but it is very accurate. Having said that, our staff does very well at finding diamonds in the rough and developing them. To pretend that they don’t want the same talent that ends up being 4-5 stars is just wrong.

  9. [...] Iowa made a strong recruiting push during the weekend, The (Cedar Rapids) Gazette's Marc Morehouse writes in his blog. [...]

  10. I knew you weren’t going to like that one, Adam. But that’s OK, I agree with your point.

    I’m just not sure how hard Iowa goes after the five-star types. After 10 years on wearing the Iowa fleece during recruiting, Ferentz has to have a pretty good idea on where he’s going to get bang for his recruiting budget buck.

    I’m guessing they didn’t fly out to California to visit Tate Forcier. But I know what you’re getting at. Yes, Iowa would take the five stars in a heartbeat. But can you see my point in the formula? A few stars (Iowa kids, this year, IMO) and a few pluggers who, hopefully, develop and that’s Iowa recruiting.

  11. Jake most certainly was the “star” of that class. He was an elite 7 or 11 QB and that was all QB’s across America. None of the other recruits had that kind of hype.

    He’s also the one who recruited other guys to come to IC as well.

    I hope Dace makes it back but I never thought he was all that. I watched him in HS and he was slow and didn’t seem all that great when he played. The effort he’s putting forth is great and I really hope he makes it back next season.

  12. It’s elite 11 and the other guys absolutely had that sort of hype, even if you didn’t happen to hear it. Doering was the only five star guy in the class, Moeaki was rated as the 2nd best player at his position in the country, and Richardson was one of the top 10. All three of those guys were rated ahead of Christensen in Rivals ranking of Illinois prospects. Jake was very highly regarded, and maybe the most important recruit in the class (since he signed early and then did a lot of recruiting for Iowa with the other Illinois kids), but he wasn’t considered the best player in the class.

  13. Whoops, forgot to respond to Marc in that last post.

    Yeah, I agree with you that Iowa makes a concerted effort to find those hard-working diamonds in the rough that they hope can be developed. I just happen to believe that in most cases they don’t really start going after those kids hard until it’s become clear that they don’t have much of a chance on the higher level guys they’ve offered. It’s not that they don’t recruit them, they obviously do, I just think the importance of those guys in the overall plan is overstated. Those are the kids they go after when they’re having a hard time getting their top choices.

    Also, great post Mike, I agree completely. I absolutely loved the 2007 class, and it’s going to be the backbone of the program for the next few years.

  14. Whoops, forgot to respond to Marc in that last post.

    Yeah, I agree with you that Iowa makes a concerted effort to find those hard-working diamonds in the rough that they hope can be developed. I just happen to believe that in most cases they don’t really start going after those kids hard until it’s become clear that they don’t have much of a chance on the higher level guys they’ve offered. It’s not that they don’t recruit them, they obviously do, I just think the importance of those guys in the overall plan is overstated. Those are the kids they go after when they’re having a hard time getting their top choices.

    Also, great post Mike, I agree completely. I absolutely loved the 2007 class, and it’s going to be the backbone of the program for the next few years.

  15. I think the O-lineman Nolan MacMillan proves your point, Adam.

    He is a highly rated OL from New Jersey. Offers from everyone. According to HawkeyeReport.com, Ferentz visited the MacMillian’s at their home in Toronto (Nolan attends a boarding school). Iowa really did go after MacMillan, but this weekend’s commits tells me MacMillan said no thanks. Iowa did pick up Boffeli and Murphy this weekend, two probable OL.

    Overall importance overstated? Maybe, but that’s been the formula and it has, for the most part, worked. Maybe I’m wrongly using the word “formula,” but I believe it has to be at least somewhat calculated. Bang for recruiting buck. But yeah, Iowa does go after biggies with varying degrees of vigor. Iowa coaches really went after MacMillan. Probably won’t get him and then added Murphy to the list this weekend.

    Adam, keep me honest. I enjoy your comments.

  16. Glad you like them Marc, I definitely will. Part of what makes this blog so awesome (in addition to the top notch writing) is how open you are to discussion about the articles with your readers. Thanks for that.

  17. Thank you, Adam.

    And for the record, you have me kicking myself for the Biletnikoff vote. Shoulda been Crabtree. No question.

  18. [...] Iowa picks up 4 commits . . . For Monday morning recruiting news (there was one more), see [...] [...]

  19. [...] Iowa picks up 4 commits . . . For Monday morning recruiting news (there was one more), see [...] [...]


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