Recruiting Round-Up 1/12

With a little more than three weeks until national signing day, Iowa inched closer this week to filling out its '14 class with the addition of JUCO Punter Dillon Kidd. Hawkeye Insider reached out to a couple of other athletes on the team's board and brings you the latest on Chukwuma Okorafor and Elijah Lee in this recruiting Round-up.

With Iowa adding JUCO punter Dillon Kidd this week, its crop of known commitments for the 2014 recruiting class rose to 19. Kirk Ferentz said several times throughout the fall that the group would have around 20 members.

Historically, Ferentz's estimate falls short of what the total ends up being. My best guess is that this bunch will hold 22 athletes.

The Hawkeyes would love to address the edge on both lines with their remaining 1-3 scholarships. Another wide receiver also would fit nicely on the roster.

Iowa missed out on a couple top targets during last week's all-star games. Offensive tackle Brian Wallace chose Arkansas and New Jersey wideout Adonis Jennings pledged for Pitt. Both officially visited Iowa City towards the end of the season.

The staff has regrouped during the dead period in hopes of finishing strong leading up to the Feb. 5 National Signing Day. Much of that included going back over prospects that may have chosen other schools but left the door open to be recruited. I reached out to two of them this week.

Blue Springs, MO outside linebacker/defensive end Elijah Lee verbally committed to Kansas State in late March. The Hawkeyes offered a scholarship to the 6-foot-4, 220-pounder in May. He attended a junior day in Iowa City last winter.

Iowa continued recruiting the talented edge rusher throughout the process. Lee has said all along that he would only come off of his Wildcat commitment if the school brought in another player at his position in '14. That hasn't happened and it appears the Hawkeyes have moved on.

"I haven't talked to them in a while," Lee said this week in a Facebook message.

Asked if he was solid with his K-State commitment, Lee said, "Yeah, I am."

While the ship appears to have sailed on Lee, a possibility remains for landing Southfield, MI offensive tackle Chukwuma Okorafor. The 6-5, 275-pounder is verbally committed to Western Michigan.

Okorafor told me last month that Iowa was pushing hard to flip him from his Broncos' pledge. He also said he was sticking with his original commitment and that the process was stressing him out.

I checked back with Okorafor this week after seeing reports that he was still open to hearing from schools other that Western Michigan. He told me in a text that the Hawkeye coaches are working diligently to secure his services.

Okorafor has responded to me throughout the process but he's also played things close to the vest. It's been understandable when you consider his position. He's getting some pressure to play close to home but his curiosity of lining up at a Big Six Conference school has him torn.

Since Western Michigan received Okorafor's pledge, he's picked up offers from Arkansas, Florida, Iowa, Nebraska, N.C. State and Virginia. Saturday, Oklahoma presented him with a full-ride opportunity.

Asked this week if he was open to Iowa and other schools, Okorafor continued to keep his thoughts private.

"I don't mean to be rude, but I'd rather not talk about it," he told me in a text message.

It made perfect sense. If he said he was open, Western Michigan and the other schools apply more pressure to him. He's already said that he's felt overwhelmed.

However, if he wanted to end it, he could by telling everyone that he's solid with Western Michigan and not entertaining overtures from other programs. Why won't he do that? Simple. He is open to the other universities.

The Iowa coaches reached a point with Lee where they felt their efforts were a waste of time. They have not arrived there with Okorafor, who still is in play with a little more than three weeks until signing day.


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