Analyzing Iowa Recruiting Home Stretch

HI Publisher Rob Howe returns with his latest installment in his running recruiting blog leading up to national signing day. In this entry, he looks at where the Hawkeyes stand with less than 48 hours to go until signing day.

IOWA CITY, Iowa - In lieu of our big board, we'll finish up this 2015 recruiting class coverage with the running blog you are reading. The big board can be time intensive and not really capture all of the news and notes happing in Iowa's recruiting. Please check back often as the information should be coming at a feverish pace up until the Feb. 4 signing day.

Keep in mind, Iowa is looking to add 4-6 more scholarship players in this cycle. Also remember that the update on top of the blog is the latest but you can read background and catch up on how things unfold as you scroll down to previous entries. Remember, things change often and not everything is black and white.

Here are some guys in play (We'll continue to update this list as necessary): Angelo Garbutt, Terez Hall.

Monday, February 2, 2015

With less than 48 hours to go before signing day, the Hawkeyes sit at 20 known verbals in the '15 Class after picking up weekend commitments from in-staters Nick Wilson and Garret Jansen. It appears that Angelo Garbutt and Terez Hall, both looking to announce on signing day, are the final two prospects on the board.

Appearances can be deceiving.

In '12, Iowa closed out that cycle by adding George Kittle and Reid Sealby. They hadn't been on anyone's radar outside of their family members and the Hawkeye staff.

There's not guarantee that Iowa will pop surprises on signing day but history tells us it could. This class looked like it would finish with about 20 commitments throughout the fall but scholarships opened up with the transfers of Derrick Willies, Reggie Spearman and Colin Goebel, all members of the '13 group.

Of Garbutt and Hall, the Hawkeyes stand a better chance of landing the former. Reports are out that he parted ways with Nebraska after officially visiting Lincoln this past weekend. He was at Iowa the week before.

Garbutt was committed to Oregon State when Mike Reilly was there and popular opinion was that he would end up with the Huskers when the coach took them over. They ended up landing four pledges this weekend and that may have changed the landscape for the Texas linebacker.

Garbutt is comfortable off the recruiting grid and it might be easier to get an interview with the president than this kid. I contacted Iowa commitment Justin Jinning Sunday night. The fellow Long Star State linebacker who visited Iowa City with Garbutt said he's working on getting him to join him with the Hawkeyes.

I also was in contact with Hall Sunday night after reports surfaced that he had committed to Missouri. After not being able to reach him for weeks, he quickly responded that he hadn't. He was not happy.

One of the Tigers coaches tweeted that they had landed a player from Hall's Georgia hometown. This protected the assistant from a recruiting violation because he didn't name names, but it also bothered the Peach State linebacker.

Signs point to Hall announcing for Missouri on signing day but you never know. The Tigers and Nebraska are the favorites but he did enjoy his Iowa official last week.

Something else to keep in mind as we navigate the home stretch, a dead period is underway through signing day unless a player is on an official visit. Coaches can contact prospects but cannot meet with them in person unless they are on campus.

Our Michigan Scout site reported that committed running back Karan Higdon visited Ann Arbor this weekend. He picked up a Wolverines offer at the end of last week.

Higdon, a key player in this Iowa class, appeared to indicate he was sticking with the Hawkeyes Sunday night. He tweeted at a couple of Iowa commitments that he would see them at the spring game.

Wisconsin linebacker Jake Whalen announced Sunday night that he was committing to the home-state Badgers after officially visiting them this weekend and getting his greyshirt offer upgraded to a full ride. He visited Iowa the week before.

Michigan defensive tackle Eddy Wilson said on Friday that he was sticking with his Purdue commitment. Texas DT Darrion Daniels committed to Oklahoma State on Friday.

Wednesday, Jan. 28, 10 a.m.

At the risk of showing my age, Iowa is trying to flip Wilson - Michigan defensive tackle Eddy Wilson, not the late comedian who uttered the phrase, "Here come the judge."

If that reference was lost on you, consider yourself unlucky. You're young enough to have missed the great Flip Wilson. I encourage you to Google some of his You Tube footage.

Anyway, back to recruiting. That's what we're here for, right?

Eddy Wilson played host to Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz and defensive coordinator Phil Parker on Tuesday night for an in-home visit. The Hawkeye staff members got their message across.

"They really want me to visit," Wilson told Hawkeye Insider after his meeting with Iowa.

The Hawkeyes picked up their intensity with Wilson earlier this month. It looked like they would receive an official visit from the West Bloomfield (MI) High product this past weekend. The 6-foot-4, 260-pounder hauled in a Purdue offer on an official to West Lafayette the week before that and verbally committed.

Iowa tried to recover from that blow by continuing to pursue Wilson. The Hawkeyes and Pitt offered him scholarships right after he pledged to the Boilermakers.

Purdue has fought off the competition to this point. But although it sounds like Pitt has moved out of the picture, Iowa remains in it. Still, Wilson has not locked in an official visit.

"If I decide to visit anywhere, it will be Iowa," Wilson said. "I'll make that decision by Thursday (tomorrow)."

In case you missed it, the Hawkeyes tried unsuccessfully to flip Georgia defensive tackle Miles Fox from Old Dominion this past weekend during his official visit to Iowa City. Monday, he told us he was sticking with the Monarchs.

"It's the better place and a better situation for me," Fox said of ODU.

West Des Moines Dowling safety/linebacker Nick Wilson told HI that he enjoyed his official visit to Northern Illinois this past weekend. The Western Illinois verbal felt like he could be in line for a Husky offer. He said his official to Iowa this coming weekend was still on.

Farmington Hills (MI) Harrison High safety Michael Ojemudia also played host to Ferentz and Parker on Tuesday. He received an Iowa offer Sunday on his official visit there and then picked up an Indiana opportunity later that night when he returned home. He's been considering an official visit to the Hoosiers this weekend.

Monday, Jan, 26, 5 p.m.

Iowa played host to its largest group of official visitors in the 2015 recruiting cycle this past weekend. The number was boosted by many of the current verbal commitments like Jake Newborg, Ryan Boyle, Jack Hockaday, and Levi and Landan Paulsen.

Those pledges tried to convince another group of prospects in attendance to join them. That pack included Darrion Daniels, Angelo Garbutt, Jake Whalen, Terez Hall, Michael Ojemudia and Miles Fox, all of whom have offers.

Daniels, the biggest fish, told me Sunday night that he was not accepting interview requests until after he commits, which has been reported to be coming Friday. The Dallas Bishop Dunne defensive tackle said on social media that he was enjoying his Iowa official. I have left messages with his father and high school coach hoping to gather more information so stay tuned

Hall visited Iowa on Thursday and Friday before doing the same thing at Missouri during the weekend. He's scheduled to be at Nebraska this coming weekend. He told me he'd like to wait until after his visits to do interviews but the Hawkeyes' competition here obviously is stiff. I've been unable to track down Garbutt despite leaving multiple messages with he and his coach. He did not commit, however, and has official visits set this week to Texas Tech and Nebraska.

Whalen spoke with me about his visit. He raved about it but will honor his official visit to home-state Wisconsin next weekend, where he has been offered a grayshirt as a fullback.

Likewise, Fox said he would honor his upcoming official to Old Dominion despite Iowa impressing him. He committed to the Monarchs in April.

The Hawkeyes offered Ojemudia on his visit, resulting in his de-commitment from Eastern Michigan. He did not pledge to them, however, and picked up an Indiana offer Sunday night. He told me he's considering a Hoosiers official this coming weekend and also would be hosting Iowa Head Coach Kirk Ferentz for an in-home visit this week.

So, where do these developments leave Iowa? It's tough to say with any degree of certainty considering most, if not all, of these prospects still plan to visit other schools. But, we'll take a shot based on what we know or are hearing.

As much as Daniels liked his visit, and Iowa offering his younger brother, '17 Damion Daniels, this weekend, much of the information out there is pointing to it being a Big 12 battle between Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and Texas Tech, where his father played. The good news was that the speculation wasn't coming from Daniels, himself.

The Hawkeyes seem to be playing catch-up with Garbutt and Hall. The former was committed to new Nebraska Coach Mike Riley at Oregon State and I would make the Huskers the favorite for his services. The latter squeezed in his Iowa trip between Missouri and Nebraska visits and the Hawkeyes couldn't be considered the favorite.

Fox sounded like he was comfortable at Old Dominion. Whalen seemed torn. Ojemudia talked about the long distance between Detroit and Iowa City but Bloomington isn't much closer.

My best guess here is that Iowa lands Whalen and Ojemudia. I just can't call the Hawkeyes for anyone else in the group but am not saying it's out of the question. The coaches still have time to convince them and sometimes situations change with the competition.

I think there's a decent chance that West Des Moines Dowling linebacker Nick Wilson gets an offer and commits if he officially visits this weekend. That would probably leave 1-3 rides available for handing out. Please check back here as we learn of more possibilities.

Friday, Jan. 23, 10:30 a.m. CT

A couple of players firmly on Iowa's board but without scholarship offers to date are expected to officially visit during the next two weekends, they told Hawkeye Insider. They're both being viewed as players who could play safety or linebacker in college.

Farmington Hills (MI) Harrison's Michael Ojemudia said he would be arriving in Iowa today and staying until Sunday. He said he'd likely be heading to Indiana next weekend and perhaps going to Wyoming at some point. The Eastern Michigan verbal has an offer from the Cowboys but not one from the Hoosiers.

Ojemudia told me on Thursday that after recent conversations with the Iowa coaches, he believes he'll receive a scholarship offer on this weekend's visit. It could lead to an on-campus commitment.

Should Ojemudia commit, that could take West Des Moines (IA) Dowling safety/linebacker Nick Wilson out of the picture. He told me Thursday that he will be officially visiting Northern Illinois this weekend and is scheduled to be in Iowa CIty next weekend. He's verbally committed to Western Illinois.

Thursday, Jan. 22, 4 p.m. CT

News broke Thursday that the Hawkeyes would be playing host to Georgia outside linebacker Terez Hall on an official visit beginning tonight. The 6-foot-3, 205-pounder from Lithonia King High also reported scholarship offers from Nebraska, Cincinnati and Indiana.

It's a big weekend for official visitors in Iowa City. Verbal commits Ryan Boyle, Jake Newborg, Levi Paulsen, Landan Paulsen, Nate Vejvoda, Jack Hockaday, Justin Jinning, Emmanuel Ogwo and Jerminic Smith are confirmed.

That leads us to the non-pledged prospects with offers scheduled to be in town. Darrion Daniels, a four-star defensive tackle from Dallas, highlights the group. Fellow Texan Angelo Garbutt, an OLB from Lewisville Hebron, also is expected to check out the Hawkeyes as is Wisconsin MLB Jake Whalen.

Daniels would be the biggest catch but also the hardest to land. He's a Texas Tech Legacy and also being pursued by Oklahoma, Missouri and Oklahoma State, among others. Iowa has a chance because of his strong connection with assistant LeVar Woods.

Garbutt is on the market after de-committing from Oregon State following a coaching change. The Beavers former head coach, Mike Riley, now is at Nebraska, where Garbutt is set to officially visit next week. Missouri also is in the picture.

Whalen was thought to be a lock for Iowa after the Hawkeyes offered him a scholarship two weeks ago. Then, earlier this week, home-state Wisconsin came in with a greyshirt opportunity. Iowa likes him at MLB while the Badgers, who he'll officially visit next weekend, see him at fullback.

Thursday, Iowa jumped in with an offer for Purdue verbal Eddy Wilson, who also picked up an opportunity from Pittsburgh. The Michigan defensive tackle said he's not sure if he'll visit Iowa City but is considering it.

Branden Hunter of the D-Zone tweeted on Wednesday that Iowa was scheduled to visit Detroit Northwestern athlete John Dozier today. He'd likely be a defensive back in college but also has excelled as a receiver in high school.

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