Alston Picks Iowa

Quinton Alston decommitted from Pittsburgh after the Panthers fired a couple of coaches and decided to look around. In the end, he found Iowa. The '11 NJ LB talks about his choice in this Hawkeye Insider commitment story.

Now that Quinton Alston has verbally committed to Iowa, he's hoping to bring along other East Coast recruits with him to the Midwest.

"I'm working on (Red Bank - NJ - Catholic athlete) Jack Tabb," said Alston, a linebacker from Timber Creek Regional High said. "I want him to be a Hawkeye."

Alston will officially visit Iowa on Jan. 21. That's the same weekend D.C.-area teammates Cyrus Kouandjio and Darian Cooper will be in town on their officials.

"I met Cyrus at a few junior days and Darian, too," Alston said. "Cyrus is huge. We'll all be talking that weekend."

Alston hosted Iowa Head Coach Kirk Ferentz and Assistant Darrell Wilson at his high school on Friday.

"My mom, me and my coach talked with them for a while," Alston said. "Then the three of us went out to talk about it in the hall and I told them it felt right. The passion that Coach Ferentz has for Iowa, you can feel that."

Wilson had been working hard on Alston in the fall. Iowa was solidly in his Top 5. He decided on Pittsburgh.

Pittsburgh then fired head coach Dave Wannstedt after the season. The Panthers hired Mike Haywood, who then was let go after a domestic violence charge. On Monday, they hired Todd Graham from Tulsa.

"Yeah, there was just too much going on at Pittsburgh this offseason," the 6-foot-1, 234-pound Alston said. "Iowa was always in my Top 5. When I decommitted, I looked at those schools to see what was available and what was the best fit for me."

Wilson went back to work.

"Coach Wilson is just so cool," Alston said. "He coached with my coach and played with another of my coaches. He was a big reason for my interest in Iowa. And I'll be playing in the Big Ten. That was big. I wanted to play against the best competition week in and week out." ranks Alston as a three-star recruit on a five-star scale. The service rates him as the 41st best outside linebacker in the 2012 class. That's not where he'll start at Iowa.

"They're bringing me in as a Mike," Alston said. "I can play wherever they need me. They've not guaranteed me anything in terms of playing time, which I like. I'm going to come in to compete and we'll go from there."

Alston missed all but two games of his senior season with a torn meniscus. He had surgery and played in the Chesapeake Bowl all-star game recently.

"I had six tackles, second most on both teams," Alston said. "It felt great. I was not slowed at all. I moved side to side without any problem."

Alston committed to Iowa without ever having visited the state.

"I know people are going to criticize me for that," he said. "But what building or stadium am I going to see that's going to change my mind? It's a Big Ten school. Everything it top notch. They have great academics. I did my research. I know where I'm going."

Alston kept the Hawkeye fans (and media) waiting before going public with his decision.

"I wanted to make sure I contacted all the other coaches that were recruiting me so I could tell them of my decision," Alston said. "I didn't want them to read about it in the media."

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