Monday, April 16, 2012
Welcome to the FAB FOUR!
Just a few days ago I raved about how recruiting was improving under Fran McCaffrey and Kirk Ferentz.
Part of the inspiration for that article was tied to what has been happening with football lately.
We have a pair of 4-star verbals with Rodney Coe (Juco from IL)) and David Kenney (IN), both targeted for the defensive line.
In addition we have a pair of tall, 3-star skill players named Derrick Willies (IL) and Delano Hill (MI). Derrick will play WR and Delano will be a DB.
That's 4 gifted athletes from outside the state of Iowa. As I've stated before, if Iowa is going to be excellent, both programs have to recruit well outside Iowa's borders. And both coaches are doing just that.
Now I should stop here and mention that the coaches don't get ALL the credit. Their charges are also working to improve their chosen programs. Laron Taylor and Ruben Liles, a couple of future stars from powerhouse Cass Tech in Michigan, helped Iowa acquire the services of Delano Hill when they said, "Come join the Hawkeyes and all 3 of us will help lead them to another BCS Bowl victory."
On the basketball front Mike Gesell used his salesmanship skills on Adam Woodbury to great affect.
And to prove that we are experiencing a new round of black and golden days let's take a look at the past so we can appreciate the present.
It's April 16th and the football program is off to its best recruiting start since Kirk Ferentz became head coach.
Don't believe me? Let's take a look.
For the 2002 class they received their first verbal on August 23rd of that recruiting cycle.
For 2003 it was April 25th.
For 2004 Matt Kroul; Ted Bentler and Mitch King all gave verbals prior to April 16th. 3 local kids, none of them rated higher than 3 stars.
For 2005 the only verbal prior to April 16th was Alex Kanellis. A 4-star Iowa kid.
For 2006 Julian Smith was the only verbal prior to 4/16. He never made it to Iowa.
For 2007 NO verbals before 4/16.
For 2008 the first verbal was from James Ferentz and it was on APRIL 25th.
For 2009 Iowa's first commitment was Jake Reisen on January 28th. The second came April 28th (Brad Rogers).
For 2010 James Morris gave his commitment during his sophomore year of high school. That's the earliest any recruit has ever given his verbal to Kirk Ferentz. The 2010 class received its second commitment on April 6th (Austin Gray) and its 3rd on April 26th (Jim Poggi).
For 2011 NO commitments before April 16th.
So there you have it. Iowa is off to its best start under Kirk Ferentz. Pretty impressive considering our win totals in recent years. I see good times in the not-to-distant future.