Say hello to Jake Reisen, the first grayshirt recruit of the Kirk Ferentz era. (Some might count Dallas Clark, who kind of a grayshirt but was still a walk-on.)
Most of rabid college football followers know what a grayshirt commitment is, but for those who don’t it’s basically enrolling as a student, paying your own way, in the fall and then going on scholarship and joining the team for spring semester, just in time for spring practice.
Junior O-lineman Julian Vandervelde was a grayshirt before coming in with a full scholarship when one opened in the summer.
Last February, Reisen, an all-state linebacker at Iowa City Regina, agreed to grayshirt scholarship offer. He was introduced as part of the 2009 recruiting class this Wednesday and will join the Hawkeyes on full scholarship for spring practice on March 25.
Last winter, Reisen talked about the grayshirt concept last winter. His attitude on it was exactly what you’d want. It’s not the traditional foot in the door, but it’s a foot in the door.
“I just look at it as an extra spring practice,” he said. “I look at it as enrolling early.”
When he grayshirted, Reisen, who tallied 310 tackles and nine interceptions at Regina, was 205 pounds. Now, he’s up to 230 and will be tried at middle linebacker.
The position is a need. Pat Angerer will be a senior and backup Jacody Coleman is now a junior.
“We would like him to play middle linebacker,” Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz said. “That’s our goal there and he’s with us now. We have a need there with Jacody being a junior and Pat a senior.”
Logan-Magnolia defensive end Dominic Alvis has agreed to a grayshirt offer. He will be introduced with the 2010 class. The 6-4, 225-pounder missed most of his senior year with a broken leg. He had scholarship offers from Northern Iowa and South Dakota.
“I don’t think it makes sense in a lot of instances, but there are a lot of cases where it does,” Ferentz said about the grayshirt idea. “Julian is a great example of that. We just didn’t quite have the room for him in that class at that given time based on our needs and our current roster. We were able to find a mutual meeting ground.
“With the right prospects, I think it’s a win-win situation.”