Recruiting Roundup: Defense

Iowa has enjoyed success the last two summers in receiving verbal commitments. Hawkeye Insider takes a look at the Class of 2012 offers, interest and outlook for the Hawkeyes. In this installment, we break down the defense.

Back in the winter, I wrote about the 2012 recruiting class as it pertained to Iowa - offers, interest, etc. I broke it up into offense and defense because, well, it made sense.

Now on the brink of summer camps and a slew of unofficial visits from prospects, I revisit Hawkeye recruiting for '12. I'll update the offers, interest and chances I believe Iowa has at nabbing certain targets.

At this time last year, Iowa had picked up three verbal commitments - Marcus Grant, Austin Blythe and Jacorey Sheperd. Sheperd ended up signing with Kansas.

The Hawkeyes have obtained one verbal in the current class - legacy, Mitch Keppy from Illinois. He pledged to Iowa on April 6.

Keppy might soon have some classmates. Recent history tells us that Iowa makes hay in the summer.

Last year, the Hawkeyes received 11 verbal commitments from June-August, including five in June and four in July. For the previous class, seven recruits verbally committed during the summer.

So, let's take a look at how things stand with recruits on the defensive side of the ball in the Class of '12:

(Note - You can click on a player's name to see his profile page. There, you can view other offers, previous stories on him written by Scout.com, film and more).

DL

  • Known Offers to Uncommitted Players:
  • Jarron Jones, Tommy Schutt, Sheldon Day, Danny O'Brien, Ondre Pipkins, Jaleel Johnson, Vincent Valentine, Mike Shoff, Greg Kuhar, Noah Spence, Tom Strobel, Faith Ekakitie, Michael Moore, Trace Clark, Nathanael Lohn, Dean Lowry, Evan Winston, Bryan Cox Jr.

  • Other Possibilities:
  • Darryl Goldsmith, Jonathan Harden, Dylan Utter, Pierre Aka, Langston Newton, Alexander Robinson.

  • Outlook:
  • Another need area for the Hawkeyes in '12, they're casting a large, wide net with their offers. Many in the group are very high recruited. Iowa is hoping to cash in on having three defensive linemen drafted into the NFL in April.

    I'll start with Shoff. Iowa is recruiting him on the offensive line. Others see him on the defensive line.

    In terms of the Hawkeyes and everybody else, it really doesn't matter. He's admitting that if in-state Nebraska offers him, he's going to take it. He's a legacy as his father played on the Husker offensive line. He gone.

    Jones has verbally committed to Penn State but is readily taking visits to other schools. It's a soft commitment, but not soft enough for the Hawkeyes to sneak in there.

    Things looked good early for Iowa with Schutt. His former teammate, Jordan Walsh, signed with the school in the '11 class and Iowa got a good jump on him. Unfortunately, the DT has picked up offers from the likes of Florida, Michigan, Nebraska, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Oregon, Penn State and USC and it's going to be an uphill battle.

    Pipkins really desired an Iowa offer early in the process. The Hawkeyes waited before extending the opportunity. They're still in good position, but the Missouri product is blowing up with Ohio State offering earlier this week.

    Iowa stood well with Valentine early on with the connection to Rodney Coe from his Edwardsville, Ill. high school in '11. But the large interior lineman doesn't seem to be mentioning Iowa as much these days.

    If I had to choose a group from which Iowa stands the best chance of landing players, it would include Clark, Lohn and Lowery. I also could see the Hawkeyes dipping into the collection of players it's yet to offer here.

    LB

  • Known Offers to Uncommitted Players:
  • Deaysean Rippy, Jamal Lyles, Darryl Render, Laron Taylor, Donavin Newsom, Quanzell Lambert, Michael Scherer.

  • Other Possibilities:
  • Thaddeus LaGrone, Alexander Lyons, Brandon Berry, Nick Mangieri, Tyler Drake, Mike Kinney, Eric Striker, Joe Bacci, Drake Michaelson.

  • Outlook:
  • Once again, Iowa is aiming high. And at this position, the Hawkeyes could make some noise in the Class of 2012.

    Lambert is a four-star and the No. 8-ranked MLB. He is friends with Quinton Alston, who signed with Iowa in the 2011 Class. Lambert is hoping to visit Iowa unofficially this summer.

    One spot ahead of Lambert in the ratings sits St. Louis MLB Newsom. He usually mentions Iowa among his top schools.

    Taylor and Render are three-star outside linebackers that place the Hawkeyes among their favorites. Render could end up at DE.

    Lyles was offered by Iowa at the end of April and immediately tagged the Hawkeyes as a program in high consideration for his services. He attends the same high school that produced Iowa basketball player Devyn Marble - Southfield-Lathrup in Michigan.

    Rippy looks to be headed to Florida. If he doesn't end up in Gainesville, it doesn't appear to that Iowa is in the picture anyway.

    I think Iowa does well at linebacker this year. The Hawkeyes have an excellent chance at Lambert. I think Taylor picks Iowa unless Michigan State offers. Then, it could be interesting depending on when the Spartans come forward.

    DB

  • Known Offers to Uncommitted Players:
  • Demetrious Cox, Ruben Lile, Anthony Morgan, Brandon Watkins, Armani Reeves, Anthony Standifer, Leviticus Payne.

  • Other Possibilities:
  • Jonathan Reed, Charles Henry, Charles Webb, Charles Elmore, Anthony Scarcelli, Sebastian Smith.

  • Outlook:
  • Defensive back isn't as deep as linebacker in terms of talent with which Iowa is involved, but the Hawkeyes are getting some looks from some very good players in the secondary.

    Cox and Reeves, both from Pennsylvania, would be great gets. I think they've outgrown Iowa.

    Morgan visited Iowa City in the spring and has claimed the Hawkeyes are his favorite. I've gotten the sense that the Texas talent is waiting for something from a bigger name.

    Standifer is starting to take off. I think he probably will outgrow the Hawkeyes if that hasn't already happened.

    I think Iowa sits real well with Lile, Watkins and Payne. The first two are safeties and the third is a CB.

    I also like the list of guys I've listed as "other possibilities". There's some real good talent in that group.


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