Texas Wide Receiver Jerminic Smith verbally committed to Iowa Sunday, according to his coach at South Garland High, Mark Cox. The 6-foot-1, 180-pounder became the 17th known verbal pledge in the 2015 Hawkeye recruiting class.
"I think Iowa is getting an outstanding player," Cox said. "We moved him up to varsity his sophomore year and the game was not too big for him. He's done nothing but get better from there and he's had an outstanding senior year."
Smith has caught 61 passes for 1,101 yards and 10 touchdowns this season. He's accomplished that as a marked man.
"We run a spread and we have to move him around quite a bit to try to fight the double teams," Cox said. "We use him in the slot and on the outside and put him in motion quite a bit. He gets bracket coverage pretty much all the time where they bring down a safety on him. He's a really good route runner and has great hands."
Smith joins fellow Lone Star state product, Emmanuel Ogwo, and Adrian Falconer from Florida as receivers in this Iowa recruiting class. The Hawkeyes start Kevonte Martin-Manley, a senior, and junior Tevaun Smith at the position this year.
"The thing that stuck out to me was that all the athletes there are like family," Smith said. "That was the big thing I was looking for. Those are the people I'm going to be around mostly."
"Tech got in there first but Iowa and Coach (Bobby) Kennedy jumped in early as well and stuck with him," Cox said. "I told Coach Kennedy that I really appreciated how they recruited him. They were a class act all the way."
Iowa was the first visit Smith took. As such, he considered checking out other schools for comparison purposes.
"I might stop at TCU because it's close but it's not something I think I will definitely do," he said.
Smith talked to the Hawkeye coaches about possibly seeing other schools.
"They were kind of OK with it. I think they prefer I don't. But they know I'm all Iowa," he said.
Smith feels comfortable with Kennedy.
"He's a great guy. He's recruited me for the last two years. At first, I didn't think he was really interested but our relationship kept growing. He says I'm his guy," he said.
Cox said South Garland ran a pro-set during Smith's sophomore year. It helped the receiver improve his blocking, something he'll need to do with the Hawkeyes.
"He's an exceptional blocker. That won't be a problem," Cox said.
Smith started off his high school career slow academically, Cox said, but he's picked it up during the last two years.
"He could be better but like a lot of young kids he needed to learn how to apply himself. He's done a good job of improving his transcript and he's a very capable student," the coach said.
Smith said he wants to study Kinesiology in college.