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Iowa enters the 2013 season potentially strong on the second level of its defense. All three starting linebackers return as well as a few key backups.
While that bodes well for this coming fall, holes will be left to fill the following season when the three No. 1s are expected to have finished their eligibility. On the recruiting trail, that's called opportunity for playing time.
Much like the defensive end position, the Hawkeyes are hotly pursuing linebackers in 2014. It's an obvious need in this cycle.
Here's a look at some players at the position with Hawkeye offers and interest:
Melvin Keihn, 6-3, 225, Baltimore Gilman School - Keihn is the No .15 OLB prospect in the class and reports offers from Iowa, Miami, Notre Dame, Rutgers and Virginia Tech, to name a few. The Hawkeyes are the program furthest west from Maryland that have offered him a scholarship. They have a good relationship with the Gilman staff.
Brandon Lee, 6-3, 210, Indianapolis Lawrence Central - Lee is just tapping into his natural ability and has a high ceiling. He has visited Iowa and the Hawkeyes are among the schools recruiting him the hardest. California, Kentucky, Louisville, Michigan State, Missouri, Northwestern and Oregon are among a long list of programs to have offered Lee with Alabama, Florida, Michigan and Ohio State keeping tabs on him. If some of the big boys come in, it likely will change the game.
Dvonta Derricott, 6-2, 215, Garden City (KS) CC - Iowa offered a scholarship to Derricott in early April and the opportunities keep rolling in for the talented Virginia native. The Hawkeyes sit well here as Jim Reid recruited this athletic backer out of high school while at UVA. Derricott plans to graduate from Garden City and enroll at his next school in January with three years to play two. Arkansas, Baylor, Kentucky, Oklahoma State, Oregon State, West Virginia and Wisconsin join Iowa in having offered him.
Jimmie Swain, 6-3, 212, Lee's Summit (MO) High - Stop me if you have heard this before. This is a guy who Iowa offered early and has since blown up. The Hawkeyes came forward in January. Now, Swain reports offers from Kansas State, Michigan State and TCU - the three schools he favors at this point - along with Arkansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Northwestern, Oklahoma State, Oregon and Tennessee.
Elijah Lee, 6-3, 210, Blue Springs (MO) High - Lee attended Iowa's junior day in January and left impressed. Kansas State then came in with an offer and he verballed there. The Hawkeyes returned with an offer earlier this month. Lee said he's solid with the Wildcats unless they recruit over him.
JaWhaun Bentley, 6-2, 220, Hyattsville (MD) Dematha Catholic - Bentley is another player identified and offered early by Iowa. He said he is going to take his recruiting process slowly and reports offers from Maryland, Pittsburgh, Rutgers, Virginia and West Virginia. Former Iowa Assistant Darrell Wilson is leading the way for the Scarlett Knights, which could be an interesting dynamic for the Hawkeyes in this part of the country.
Raymon Minor, 6-4, 215, Richmond (VA) Benedictine High - Reid gives Iowa a connection with Minor. He's still in the early stages of his recruitment and reports offers from Clemson, Miami, Nebraska, Rutgers, Virginia, Virginia Tech, Wisconsin and others.
Jameer Outsey, 6-3, 225, Somerset (NJ) Franklin High - Iowa came forward early with an opportunity for this raw product from the Garden State. He also holds offers from Akron, Pittsburgh and Temple. Michigan State, Rutgers and Virginia are tracking him as well.
Clifton Garrett, 6-2, 227, Plainfield (IL) South High - The Hawkeyes offered Garrett more than a year ago but his recruitment has been on warp speed for at least that long. He has his pick of wherever he wants to go in the country and it looks like LSU is the leader right now.
Nyles Morgan, 6-3, 220, Crete (IL)-Monee High - The Hawkeyes waited a long time to offer Morgan and likely jumped in far too late. He reports offers from Alabama, Florida, Michigan, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Oregon and Texas A&M, to name a few.
Other Possibilities Awaiting Offers - Dameon Willis, Cleveland; Carl Fuller, Detroit; Bradley Ivey, Kansas; Trey Knes, Missouri; Tori Millender, Illinois; Colton Moskal, Illinois; Jason Sylva, Massachusetts.
Offered But Off Board - Sidney Gopre (Rutgers), Deon Drake (Michigan State), Tinashe Bere (Duke).