Recruiting Rewind: '10 Class

Members of Iowa's 2010 recruiting class already have exhausted their eligibility while others return for their final seasons in 2014. HI takes a look back at the group, where ranked each player and things panned out.

IOWA CITY, Iowa - Recruiting rankings can be fun to follow. That's especially true if one keeps them in perspective.

These ratings are based on performances at the high school level, camps and combines, for the most part. The competition varies across the country and they're only an estimate of future success. Athletes mature at different rates and factors such as college comfort, social adjustment, academics, etc. all can play a role in the outcome.

We finally find out the accuracy of the recruiting rankings after a player arrives in college and performs. At a place like Iowa, we hear about athletes frequently rising above their prep ratings. Is that a truth or a myth?

Fortunately for us, we can research it through our handy dandy data base. It remembers recruiting rankings all the way back to 2002.

I'd like to revisit a lot of these in the next few weeks during a relatively slow time of the year for Iowa athletics. I refuse to explore it chronologically, however. I'm a rebel.

I'm going to start with the 2010 cycle because these players are entering their fifth year as Hawkeyes or have just left for the NFL. They're fresh in our consciousness.

Here we go (in order of when verbally committed to Hawkeyes):


Location:Solon, Iowa
High School: Solon
Position: LB
Scout Rankings: 3-Star, No. 32 OLB in Class
Other Reported Scholarship Offers:Stanford.

The Skinny: Morris likely would have garnered more interest on the recruiting trail had he not been the son of Iowa Equipment Manager Greg Morris. Other suitors probably felt he was heading to the Hawkeyes and saved their resources for more attainable prospects. Morris was forced into action early with injuries at linebacker in 2010 and suffered through some growing pains early in his career. By the end of his run in '13, he had become one of the most productive linebackers in the Big Ten, earning second-team all-conference honors from the media and coaches. He signed a free agent deal with New England last month before being released for reportedly failing a physical. He's currently trying to catch on with another NFL team.

The Verdict: Perhaps slightly undervalued coming out of high school considering he developed into an all-B1G performer. Still, the No. 32 OLB LB ranking coming out of Solon seems pretty reasonable in retrospect.

Location:Warren, MI
High School: Fitzgerald
Position: LB
Scout Rankings: 3-Star, No. 17 MLB in Class
Other Reported Scholarship Offers: Illinois, Indiana, Michigan State, Pittsburgh, Purdue, Wisconsin.

The Skinny: Gray represented a nice catch for the Hawkeyes at a position of need. Unfortunately, the marriage ended quickly. Gray left the program in August of his true freshman year. He attended camp but never began classes. He popped up on a Central Michigan roster but some cursory internet research by me couldn't uncover anything of significance from his performance there, if he ever did see the field.

The Verdict: Well, it certainly did not work out from an Iowa standpoint. It's tough to know whether or not his evaluation was accurate. This is a case where extenuating circumstances sabotaged what might have been. Let's move on.

Location:Baltimore, MD
High School: Gillman School
Position: LB
Scout Rankings: 3-Star, No. 30 MLB in Class
Other Reported Scholarship Offers: Auburn, Ohio State, Penn State, Tennessee, Virginia.

The Skinny: Poggi was considered a big catch and the possible first sign that the Hawkeyes might mine the talented Gillman program in the future. The recruiting relationship never materialized and Poggi's carer was wrecked by a series of injuries. He left the team and followed his other dream of playing in a rock band. I've heard it's pretty good.

The Verdict: Much like Gray, the vision, hope and promise elicited by Poggi's Hawkeyes' commitment proved much greater than what showed up on the field. We'll never know what might have been had he stayed healthy.

Anthony Ferguson Jr.
Location:Baltimore, MD
High School: Gillman School
Position: DT
Scout Rankings: 3-Star, No. 82 DT in Class
Other Reported Scholarship Offers: Penn State, Duke, Virginia.

The Skinny: Ferguson was expected to team with Poggi to help solidify the middle of the Iowa defense. Instead, he left football after one season during which he red shirted. He continued on as a student at Iowa and graduated last month.

The Verdict: The Poggi-Ferguson haul from Gillman brought Iowa a lot of attention on the recruiting front. The Hawkeyes topped schools like Penn State for them. In the end, neither player made a tackle in college.

Location:Chicago, IL
High School: Lane Tech
Position: DT
Scout Rankings: 3-Star, No. 111 DT in Class
Other Reported Scholarship Offers: Colorado, Illinois, Northern Illinois, Western Michigan.

The Skinny: Injuries had LTP considering quitting the game early in his Iowa career. He returned home over the semester break and thought it over. He decided to return to Iowa City and everybody connected with the program is pleased he did. Already a two-year starter, Trinca-Pasat enters his senior season coming off a junior season that saw him total a sack and eight tackles for loss in earning all-conference honorable mention. He plays the dirty-work DT spot responsible for absorbing blocks and he has emerged as did his productive predecessors at the position like Karl Klug, Matt Kroul, Jared Clauss, Tyler Luebke, etc.

The Verdict: Trinca-Pasat represents the classic, under-the-radar recruit on which Iowa has built a strong, blue-collar program through the Kirk Ferentz Era. You'd have to think he's been more productive than quite a few of the 110 DTs ranked ahead of him in the '10 Class.

Location:Huxley, IA
High School: Ballard Community
Position: TE
Scout Rankings: 2-Star, Not Rated Nationally in Class
Other Reported Scholarship Offers: None.

The Skinny: The Hawkeyes saw something early on in Vier and offered him a scholarship the summer before his senior season. They were going to give the athletic 6-foot-7 prep quarterback a shot at that position with the idea of moving him to tight end if that didn't work out. Unfortunately, Vier's college career never got off the ground due to injuries. A severe back issue ended his football run in '11.

The Verdict: It's too bad the Iowa coaches never had a chance to work with the versatile Vier. He's another case of what-might-have-been.

Location:Kimberly, WI
High School: Kimberly High
Position: DE
Scout Rankings: 3-Star, No. 80 DE in Class
Other Reported Scholarship Offers: Indiana, Iowa State, Minnesota, Nebraska, Purdue, Wisconsin.

The Skinny: Hardy was looking like a potential bust heading into last season. He then emerged in '13 when starter Dominic Alvis went down with a back injury. Hardy started the final six games and heads into this fall No. 1 on the depth chart. The former Wisconsin player of the year lacks flash but is solid in contain and plays his assignments.

The Verdict: The Hawkeyes were fortunate to have Hardy step in for Alvis last year and he's been a key member of rebuilding a position that was a mess a few years ago.

Location:Denison, IA
High School: Denison High
Position: OT
Scout Rankings: 3-Star, No. 55 OT in Class
Other Reported Scholarship Offers: Iowa State, Kansas, Kansas State, Missouri, Nebraska.

The Skinny: Um, yeah, this one worked out pretty well. Scherff played quarterback as a prep junior and has turned into one of the best in the country at protecting them. He would have been a first-round NFL pick had he come out this year and he has a chance to be a Top 10 selection in '15. He's the face of the '14 Hawkeyes.

The Verdict: It's safe to say Scherff would be a five-star if we re-ranked the OTs nationally right now.

Location:Whitehouse, OH
High School: Wayne High
Position: OT
Scout Rankings: 4-Star, No. 24 OT in Class
Other Reported Scholarship Offers: Boston College, Maryland, Michigan, Michigan State, Virginia.

The Skinny: One of the marquee names in this class as a U.S. Army all-American, Ohio State gauged interest from Donnal to have him join the Buckeyes on signing day. He stuck with the Hawkeyes. He emerged as a contributor early in his college career but injuries have slowed his progress. He enters camp as the No. right tackle and has a chance to break out and reach the pros.

The Verdict: Donnal's trajectory after health issues puts him in the range of where he was ranked.

Location:St. Louis, MO
High School: Hazelwood East High
Position: WR
Scout Rankings: 2-Star, Not Ranked Nationally in Class
Other Reported Scholarship Offers: Illinois, Minnesota.

The Skinny: Listed as a safety coming out of high school, the speedy Shumpert played as a true freshman, mainly on special teams. He spent a lot of time on the depth chart throughout his Hawkeye career but never seemed to break through. Early in his senior season he caught some flack for dropping passes but recovered nicely to finish his Iowa stay strong. He was signed by the Chicago Bears as a free agent this spring.

The Verdict: Not a lot of two-star, unranked players end up contributing in the Big Ten. I'd say Shumpert did just fine.

Location:St. Louis, MO
High School: Hazelwood East High
Position: OLB
Scout Rankings: 2-Star, Not Ranked Nationally in Class
Other Reported Scholarship Offers: Minnesota, Wisconsin.

The Skinny: A poster child supporting the notion that Iowa is one of the top programs in the country at developing talent. Playing the unsung LEO linebacker position, Kirksey excelled and recorded 315 career tackles (16th all-time among Hawkeyes) as a three-year starter. He racked up six tackles (1.5 for loss) at the Senior Bowl and raised his draft stock. The Cleveland Browns snapped him up in the third round of the draft last month.

The Verdict: Simply put, Kirksey was grossly under ranked coming out of high school.

Location: Hyattsville, MD
High School: Dematha Catholic
Position: RB
Scout Rankings: 3-Star, No. 50 RB in Class
Other Reported Scholarship Offers: Kansas State, Maryland, Michigan, Michigan State, Minnesota, Stanford, Wake Forest.

The Skinny: Coker created a big splash as a true freshman, stepping in for the suspended Adam Robinson and rushing for 219 yards to earn offensive MVP honors in the '10 Insight Bowl. The following year, he was suspended from the Insight Bowl after running for 1,384 yards as a sophomore. He never played another down for the Hawkeyes and transferred to Stony Brook.

The Verdict: Coker lived up to his ranking on the field. He could have finished very high on Iowa's all-time rushing list had he stayed at the school.

Location: Miami, FL
High School: Monsignor Pace
Position: RB
Scout Rankings: 2-Star, No. 177 RB in Class
Other Reported Scholarship Offers: Duke, Minnesota, Troy.

The Skinny: Johnson officially visited Iowa the same weekend as fellow Sunshine State RB James White. The Hawkeye coaches told them they were taking one more player at their position with Coker already committed. Johnson jumped on it that week and White ended up at Wisconsin. The rest, as they say, is history. White enjoyed a strong career with the Badgers. Johnson was booted from the Iowa program after being chased by police.

The Verdict: Johnson's ranking was affected by an ACL tear in high school that hampered the start of his Iowa career. Even after it got going, it never really got going.

Location: Cincinnati, OH
High School: Hughes Center
Position: CB
Scout Rankings: 3-Star, No. 77 CB in Class
Other Reported Scholarship Offers: Akron.

The Skinny: After injuries slowed him early in his Iowa career, Lowery emerged as a first-team all-Big Ten selection his senior season. He returned two interceptions for scores against Western Michigan last year and his one-handed pick at ISU landed him on the national highlights. Lowery signed as a free agent with the St. Louis Rams last month.

The Verdict: From 77th-ranked cornerback in the country to first-team all-Big Ten ain't too shabby.

Location: Iowa City, IA
High School: City High
Position: QB
Scout Rankings: 3-Star, No. 38 QB in Class
Other Reported Scholarship Offers: Cincinnati, Nebraska, Stanford, Wisconsin.

The Skinny: The most-publicized recruit in this class, Derby served as a lightning rod for fans and media. They debated whether or not he could play quarterback at the high-major level. He began his redshirt freshman season as the No. 2 signal caller before being moved to OLB after an off-field incident. Then, he left the program saying he wanted to play QB. He did so at Arkansas last year but has since moved to tight end, where he'll be in '14.

The Verdict: Derby's story likely will be discussed among the Iowa faithful for years. The final chapter being told in Fayetteville will be an interesting one to watch. He looked good during the spring game and I wouldn't rule him out as a possible pro.

Location: Arlington, TX
High School: Martin
Position: DT
Scout Rankings: 3-Star, No. 68 DT in Class
Other Reported Scholarship Offers: Iowa State, Kansas State, Nebraska, Purdue, TCU, UTEP.

The Skinny: Johnson was considered a nice catch for the Hawkeyes, albeit one with academic concerns. He ended up qualifying for college but failed to make the grade once he arrived. He red shirted in his first season before being dismissed from the team. He never saw the field.

The Verdict: Johnson could have been a productive college player. We'll never know.

Location: Sterling Heights, MI
High School: Stevenson High
Position: DT
Scout Rankings: 3-Star, No. 54 DT in Class
Other Reported Scholarship Offers: Central Michigan, Illinois, Kansas, Michigan State, Wisconsin.

The Skinny: Progress was slow and steady for Davis and he broke out as a redshirt junior in '13. The Michigan native earned second-team all-conference honors last season after posting 5.5 tackles for loss and helping to anchor a much-improved defensive front. Davis has positioned himself to play professionally and could move up draft boards with a strong final campaign.

The Verdict: It took hard work and development to get there, but Davis has lived up to his ranking and then some.

Location: Johnsburg, IL
High School: Johnsburg
Position: TE
Scout Rankings: 4-Star, No. 2 TE in Class
Other Reported Scholarship Offers: Arizona, Illinois, LSU, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Wisconsin.

The Skinny: The highest ranked player in this Iowa class, Fiedorowicz played as a true freshman but needed time to adjust to the college game after lining up at wide receiver in high school. He became an accomplished blocker and caught six touchdowns as a senior. He earned first-team all-conference laurels in '13 and was the 65th player taken in last month's NFL draft, the first pick of the third round.

The Verdict: Fiedorowicz may have fallen short of lofty early expectations but he waited his turn and produced when it was his time.

Location: Bloomfield, MI
High School: Brother Rice
Position: WR
Scout Rankings: 2-Star, No. 182 WR in Class
Other Reported Scholarship Offers: Bowling Green, Central Michigan, Toledo.

The Skinny: The Hawkeyes brought Martin-Manley in for a late official visit and convinced him to come off his Bowling Green verbal commitment. He's expected to start for a third year in a row in '14. He's totaled 122 receptions (10th all-time at Iowa) and 10 touchdowns in his career. He also ranked eighth nationally in '13 with a 15.7 yard punt return average.

The Verdict: Martin-Manley easily has outperformed his two-star ranking.

Location: Wellman, IA
High School: Mid-Prairie
Position: S
Scout Rankings: 2-Star, Not Ranked Nationally in Class
Other Reported Scholarship Offers: Northern Iowa.

The Skinny: Iowa has done well swooping in late in the process and grabbing players away from UNI. Like Mike Elgin, Brandon Myers and others before him, Miller made the most of his Hawkeye opportunity. A three-year starter, Miller rolled up 222 career tackles and seven interceptions. He was an honorable mention all-Big Ten pick as a senior. He signed a free agent deal with the Green Bay Packers last month.

The Verdict: From an unranked two-star to a three-year starter in the Big Ten with an NFL shot, Miller has done very well for himself.

Anthony Hitchens
Location: Lorain, OH
High School: Clearview
Position: LB
Scout Rankings: 2-Star, Not Ranked Nationally in Class
Other Reported Scholarship Offers: Indiana, Kansas.

The Skinny: Hitchens played safety and running back as a true freshman and contributed on special teams. He moved up to linebacker as the Hawkeyes transitioned into a smaller, faster second level. He started for two years, finishing with 270 tackles, 20th on the school's all-time list. He was named second-team all-conference as a senior. The Dallas Cowboys drafted him in the fourth round last month and he has a chance at early playing time with an injury to Sean Lee.

The Verdict: Hitchens steadily improved during his Iowa career and ended up showing that high school rankings don't tell the whole story.

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