Pennsylvania Teammates Positive About Iowa

Iowa football played host to a pair of Class of 2011 prospects from McKeesport, Pa. last weekend. LB Branden Jackson and DT Delvon Simmons were impressed by what they saw. Find out what they thought about the trip in this recruiting update.

Iowa failed to put on its best show in Saturday's 31-30 loss to Wisconsin at Kinnick Stadium. The performance and the state of the program was enough to impress a pair of recruits from Pennsylvania, however.

"Our guys don't judge a team they're visiting on one game they see in person," McKeesport (Pa.) Area High School Coach Jim Ward said. "The team they're watching on the visit is not the one they'll be playing for. It's the direction of the program that's important and Iowa obviously is in great shape.

"The outcome of the game has zero to do with the decision, win or lose."

Ward sent two of his players to Iowa City on official visits last weekend. Class of 2011 products Branden Jackson (LB) and Delvon Simmons (DT) came away intrigued with what they saw.

"I got quite a bit of feedback from them," Ward said. "Both guys enjoyed the trip. They both said there were things that stood out to them that they liked and it was a positive experience for both of them."

Ward said the that his players enjoyed was the connection with the people in Iowa City.

"They said everyone was really nice and they enjoyed the rapport between the players and the coaching staff," the coach said. "The comfort level with the people out there is something that stood out to them."

Ward said there was no culture shock for his kids coming from the East to the Midwest.

"Nothing really jumped out at them in that regard," the coach said. "They didn't see anything culturally different. They were impressed with the fans at the game and their passion. What was important was that they were a part of that atmosphere and the change in location will not factor into their decision."

Despite it being a tough day for Iowa's defense, the McKeesport duo's opinion of that unit was unchanged.

"That's the way football goes sometimes," Ward said. "They've always been impressed with Iowa's defense and that's why they're interested in them. They've seen them on TV and the dominant defense has shown through throughout the years."

Jackson and Simmons have officially visited Rutgers and Iowa together. They've tentatively planned a trip for Oregon for Nov. 6th. Jackson also has officially visited Texas Tech.

"I spoke with Oregon (Monday)," Ward said. "They still weren't sure of the start of the game (against Washington). It would have to be an early, early start for the guys not to be able to visit that weekend."

Jackson ranks as's eighth best outside linebacker nationally in the class and award him as a four-star prospect on a five-star scale. Simmons is a three-star and rated as the No. 51 Dt in the country.

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