While providing their players with a chance to rest, recover and focus on academics, the Iowa coaches traveled around the country on Monday and Tuesday working on securing the future of the program. From Texas to Ohio to Florida and points in between, the staff called on recruits.
Veteran Jim Reid was entrusted with arguably the biggest assignment. The co-linebacker coach stopped at St. Xavier High in Cincinnati Monday to check in with Scout.com's No. 1-ranked MLB in the 2015 Class, Justin Hilliard. Hilliard officially visited Iowa Oct. 11 and it's been reported that he will be back in Iowa City on Nov. 1.
Hilliard verbally committed to Ohio State ahead of the Hawkeyes and Notre Dame in July. His official visit to Iowa raised some eyebrows. Him setting up a trip for the second home game in a row has attracted even more attention.
Hilliard is telling people that a key reason for visiting Iowa is to see his older brother, C.J. Hilliard, a freshman running back with the Hawkeyes. But the door for stealing him away from Ohio State appears open enough for the Iowa staff to invest time in trying to make it happen as evidenced by Reid's stop at his school this week.
The Buckeyes flipped in-state LB Jerome Baker from his Florida pledge this week. That increased speculation that Hilliard might be considering Iowa.
Speaking of big recruits from Ohio, offensive line coach Brian Ferentz visited James Daniels at Warren Harding High on Monday. Scout's No. 4 center in '15 chose Iowa ahead of Ohio State and Alabama at the end of July. He hasn't wavered from his pledge but the Hawkeyes have continued to building their relationship with him.
In keeping with the approach to continue recruiting prospects even after they've committed, Seth Wallace met up with Jack Hockaday at his Maroa (IL)-Forsyth Senior High School. He also saw Hales Franciscan athlete Dominic Christian in Chicago Tuesday after spending the day before in Fort Lauderdale catching up with St. Thomas Aquinas linebacker Chris Hart and Flanagan High athlete Adrienne Talan, a Temple verbal.
Head Coach Kirk Ferentz joined his son, Brian, in Chicago on Tuesday. They dropped in on DePaul Prep defensive line target Raequan Williams and Nate Vejvoda, a tight end pledge from Providence Catholic.
Reid also connected with a couple of '16 prospects in Cincinnati - Hills Christian Academy DE Prince Sammons and Moeller TE Jake Hausmann. He then descended on Indiana for juniors. In Fort Wayne, he popped in on Bishop Luers WR Austin Mack and Wayne High DE Auston Robertson and also saw Avon QB Brandon Peters in Indianapolis.
Chris White hit up the nation's capital. DeMatha Catholic (Hyattsville, MD) Safety Tyler Green, an Ohio State verbal, was paid a visit. In the '16 class, the Hawkeye running back coach saw Landon School (Bethesda, MD) OLB-TE Keith Simms Gwynn Park High (Brandywine, MD) WR Devonte Young and Gonzaga College (DC) OLB Kyle Taylor (brother of Miles Taylor).
Reese Morgan tackled the home turf. Iowa's defensive line coach checked in with verbal pledges Levi and Landan Paulsen, Jake Newborg, Brady Reiff and Brett Waechter. He also saw Humboldt LB-FB Brady Ross, a preferred walk-on offer holder, and Iowa Central DE Jareid Combs, both '15s, along with'16 South Dakota lineman Matt Farniok.