You now know Baltimore LB Jim Poggi as Iowa’s newest football recruit. The World Wide Web might know him better as the lead guitarist for “Due to Get Even.”
The 6-2, 215-pounder committed to the Hawkeyes on Monday night, giving Iowa three commitments for the 2010 recruiting class, all at linebacker. Poggi, whose family has ties with Kirk Ferentz and family from the Ferentz’s days in Baltimore, picked the Hawkeyes over Ohio State and Texas.
He also had offers from Maryland, Boston College and Duke.
“Iowa doesn’t only care about the athlete, it cares about the student-athlete,” said Poggi, who had 131 tackles for the Gilman School last season. “They do a great job of getting people to the NFL, but they also know the percentages. The majority of people who play college football aren’t going to the NFL. They do a great job of caring about you off the field and making sure you get your degree.”
The ties with the Ferentz family go like this: When he was O-line coach for the Baltimore Ravens, Kirk Ferentz’s oldest son, Brian, was coached by Biff Poggi, Jim’s dad, his freshman season at Gilman before the Ferentzes moved to Iowa City.
Even after the move, the families stayed close.
“I can’t really say enough about (Kirk Ferentz) as a person,” Jim Poggi said. “To see someone with moral standards like that have that kind of success . . . especially in a job or organization like the NCAA where there aren’t too many ‘good guys’ in his position who succeed.”
Poggi (pronounced Po Gee) visited Iowa City last week to take in the familty atmosphere that he’d thought he’d see.
“If you’re going to be doing something that’s hard and you’re not going to be home for Christmas, you’re going to be away from your family, you’ve got to be with people you want to be with,” said Poggi, whose brother, Sam, is a sophomore defensive end at Duke. “I couldn’t see any other group of people like that than Iowa. It was a huge indicator for me.”
Poggi played strongside linebacker at Gilman, which also plays a 4-3 defense, last season. Iowa defensive coordinator Norm Parker told him that he’d be “interchangeable” between weakside and strongside, “whichever fits me the best.” The future at Iowa linebacker could go like this: Austin Gray (Warren, Mich.) in the middle with Solon’s James Morris (scroll to the bottom for the Morris story and an extra) on the weakside and Poggi at outside linebacker.
“I feel I play pretty well in space, but I’ll go wherever they need me,” Poggi said.
The name of the band came from a race at Pimlico. Jim was there with his dad, saw that name for a horse and it stuck. “I saw that name and I just kind of stole it,” he laughed.
The band plays often in Baltimore at a place called “The Recher.” Poggi calls himself a “hard rock guy,” but he describes the band as ’80s pop rock.
“Surprisingly,” he said, while struggling for an influence. “It’s like ’80s pop, which is kind of weird.”
Poggi has played the guitar “since I can remember.”
Longer than football?
“Yeah, actually,” he said.