Pierschbacher Covering Bases

Ross Pierschbacher verbally committed to Iowa last month much to the delight of the Hawkeye Nation. While the Cedar Falls standout is still pledged to the in-state school, he doesn't want to completely close his recruitment in case change happens in Iowa City. He explains in this update.

Ross Pierschbacher plans to sign a national letter of intent with Iowa next February. It's just not a certainty.

"Something big would have to happen," the Cedar Falls standout said when asked what could occur to put him at another school.

"I pray that this doesn't happen but what if (the Hawkeyes) have another bad season and Coach (Kirk) Ferentz is in turmoil? I know the fans aren't happy about last season. You hear people talking about firing Ferentz. Something like that would have to happen. I don't see that happening with the guys they have coming back and the coaching staff they have in place."

But, it could happen. While it's unlikely Iowa would let go of Ferentz, who has a prohibitive buyout of a contact running to 2020, few things are surprising when it comes to big money athletics these days. The Hawkeyes are coming off of a 4-8 campaign and are 11-14 over the last two seasons.

Pierschbacher is considering preparation for the unexpected. In other words, he's looking at visiting other campuses.

"I'm not trying to shut all of the schools off because a year is a long ways away and a lot can happen," the 6-foot-5, 270-pound offensive lineman said. "It's a just-in-case. I'm just trying to look out for myself. I'm not trying to make the fans or the coaches mad by taking other visits.

"I don't want to be left scrambling at the end if something does happen. Right now, I'm not doing anything for a while. So, why not go check out some other schools that have invited me onto their campuses?"

Pierschbacher can't sign a letter of intent until next February. If Ferentz were to be out at Iowa, it likely would happen close enough to that date that it could be hectic re-opening his recruitment with little research done on other schools.

"I'm still solid on Iowa and I haven't thought about changing anything," Pierschbacher said. "The recruiting process only happens once and in my mind I haven't seen a lot of schools besides those in the Midwest. I think it would be fun to check out some schools out West and some more SEC schools. Alabama is the only school in the SEC that I've seen. It only happens once so why not go check it out and see what it's all about."

Cal offered a scholarship to Pierschbacher on Feb. 12. The Scout.com four-star prospect and No. 4-ranked guard nationally in 2014 also picked up offers from Boise State, Iowa State, Nebraska, Notre Dame, Oklahoma and Wisconsin before verbally pledging to Iowa last month.

"It's been steady," Pierschbacher said of schools reaching out to him recently. "With 2013 (recruiting) getting over, they're starting to look at tapes of 2014. I've been getting quite a bit on Facebook. All of these coaches are asking me to call them and inviting me to their campuses."

Pierschbacher spoke on the phone with Tennessee Coach Butch Jones Wednesday.

"There are a few in my mind," Pierschbacher said in regards to schools he might visit. "If I was to go out West, I'd like to see USC, Stanford and Oregon. If I was to go down south to the SEC schools, I'd check out Alabama. Auburn wants me to check them out. LSU and Tennessee have invited me."

Pierschbacher hasn't talked to the Hawkeye coaches about the possibility of visiting other schools. He plans to be up front with the staff.

"Like I said, I'm still solid with Iowa," Pierschbacher said. "It's nothing against them. I'm just looking out for my best interest. I'm sure they won't be happy about it but I don't think they're going to do something dramatic and pull the offer."

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