Defensive Recruiting Notes

Featuring one of the Big Ten's best defenses in 2003, the Hawks will be looking to re-load on the recruiting trail. provides an in-depth report on just what prospects are being sought by the Black & Gold.

The Hawks had a very good year in signing defensive lineman last year, and you can expect them to only sign three or four this year. The Hawks will be looking to sign at least one defensive tackle, with a potential second possibility, and two defensive ends. You can expect one out of the crop of Matt Kroul, Mitch King, and Grant McCracken (if he commits) to play at the defensive end spot.

DE Vernon Gholston of Detroit Cass Tech listed Iowa as an offer, but it is still unclear whether Iowa will keep high intensity interest in him throughout the process. Although Gholston is raw, he is extremely well built and athletic (6'3 238 4.45). He has been poorly coached. At the Ann Arbor Nike Camp, he appeared lost many times in drills, and after looking like a Tarzan in testing, players quickly started chanting "Jane".

Iowa will be looking to sign two more linebackers as well. Preferably two to handle the "Mike" and "Will" positions. The Hawks have their eyes on a few "Mike" candidates. They would love to land a visit from James Bryant. At the "Will" position, they will be looking to add some speed as their was a drop-off in last year's group of linebackers. Kyle Williams is currently the headliner on the list, but expect the Hawks to have a few others in mind as Kyle will be one of the most heavily recruited linebackers in the country.

The Hawks will be looking to stock defensive backs this year, as they have the past few years. However, they will refuse to take marginal prospects. The Hawks are working hard on landing at least one out of Cortney Grixby and Brandon Robinson. The Hawks will also keep their eyes on a few Ohio defensive backs, Ted Ginn, Brandon Underwood, and Tyler Griffin (nephew of Archie).

At free safety, Ben Maljovec is positioned as the top target at this early stage. A terrific athlete with a great attitude, and of course, from an area the Hawkeye staff loves, Ben could end up committing at some point this summer. The Hawks have also continued to become more and more impressed with WR Tom Dance of Erie Cathedral Prep, whom will also play safety this upcoming fall. If the Hawks do decide to offer Tom, they would be considered the early favorite, and ultimately could end up placing him at strong safety. He has excellent size and is a very physical player.

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