HawkeyeInsider Mailbag 8/16/15

HawkeyeInsider will run a weekly mailbag that will release every sunday, answering any Iowa Hawkeyes' fans questions posed throughout the week. Insider Derek Young will share his wealth of knowledge with all users of the site.

ANY INSIGHT ON WHY REALLY GOOD RECRUITS STEER AWAY FROM Iowa? IS IT THE BORING AND PREDICTABLE OFFENSE? NOT BEING ABLE TO PLAY RIGHT AWAY? NOT BEING ABLE TO USE SOCIAL MEDIA? - Iowabread

DY: I'll have a story that kind of explains this but many of the challenges are associated with location. A better product on the field obviously helps, but it's hard to get kids to visit Iowa City. There isn't a strong home recruiting base. You don't have a chance with kids if you don't get them onto campus, so that's the biggest fight. With the recruiting calendar sped up, waiting to get them on official visits is usually too late. They're asking kids to come to Iowa on their own dime, and that's a tall order for some families since Iowa is recruiting a large number of kids that are hours from Iowa City.

As long as they know they have a chance to play early if deserving, playing time isn't a huge concern. Kids want to play early but they'll have to battle to do so at every program and most high school prospects understand this. Lack of social media isn't going to tip the scales for any recruit.

DO YOU FEEL LIKE IOWA SHOULD BE DOING MORE WITH JUCOS? - Iowabread

DY: It's a way to acquire more talent, and add immediate depth, so I do believe Iowa could benefit from it. They are looking for certain types of individuals when they recruit though and that makes searching the junior college programs a bit more limited. I think it would benefit them but they aren't the only program that chooses to avoid those ranks.

WHAT IS YOUR OVERALL IMPRESSION OF Jay Scheel? - OkieviaIowa

DY: I like him. I would be surprised to not see him see the field more this season. He was a guy that was open a lot in the little bit of practice we have seen so far. They need guys that can separate downfield and he seems to be able to do that more consistently than others. He was with the second unit in most of the scrimmage yesterday, and connected with Wiegers often.

HOW DOES THIS IOWA TEAM SIZE UP TO SOME OF THE IOWA TEAMS THAT YOU PREVIOUSLY COVERED WHEN YOU WERE HERE? - 2015178

DY: I actually covered Iowa recruiting, not the team, so this is my first time in Iowa City covering the program in this manner. I think the defense matches up with some of the top groups. The offense does not. They have a lot of room for improvement between now and the opener. Beathard can get the ball down the field, but he needs the protection so the timing is on the money.

I SAW COMMENTS FROM ONE OF THE MEDIA FOLKS COVERING IOWA PRACTICES STATING IOWA"S LACK OF SIZE ON THEIR DEFENSIVE LINE. DO YOU FIND THAT TO BE AN ISSUE? - OkieviaIowa

DY: In what I have seen it is not an issue. Jaleel Johnson is a big dude and has been more active. I think he could blossom this season. The other tackles are Ekakitie and Bazata. Bazata needs to stay healthy, though. Ott and Meier have been great in practice. No issue if you ask me.

SORRY IF THIS HAS ALREADY BEEN ANNOUNCED, BUT ARE YOU THE NEW ROB HOWE? BY THAT I MEAN, ARE YOU THE NEW ADMIN HERE? - jshawks

DY: Yes, I am. I like Rob Howe a lot, and consider him a friend. I respect the work he does and consider him among the best on the beat for any team that I have gotten to know. He is great at what he does. I'm not looking to replace him, because you can't, but I will do the best for this site and be myself. I'm really looking forward to the adventure with all of you folks.

WHERE DO YOU THINK IOWA STACKS UP IN THE BIG TEN THIS SEASON? - BethLong

DY: It's obviously Ohio State and Michigan State in the Big Ten, and then everybody else falls in line behind them. At this point, Iowa is probably on par with Northwestern, ahead of Indiana, Illinois, Maryland, Rutgers, and Purdue, and behind the two juggernauts, Nebraska, Wisconsin, Penn State, Michigan, and Minnesota.

That is how I see it. Inconsistency could allow them to fall down with Illinois, Indiana, or Rutgers, and improved offense could raise them up there with someone like Minnesota. I'd place them at 8th or 9th in the conference.

DEREK, WHERE IS YOUR HOME WORKING BASE? - jedn1

DY: I just moved to Iowa City about 9 days ago, actually. I'm on the east side so I'm working from there. I have been to all the media availabilities since I arrived - Media Day, first 30 minutes of one practice, and then Kids' Day as well.

SINCE YOUR BACKGROUND IS RECRUITING - WHO IS THE MOST IMPRESSIVE HIGH SCHOOL RECRUIT YOU HAVE EVER WITNESSED AND HOW HAS HE PANNED OUT IN THE COLLEGE RANKS? - lumuhawk

DY: Some of the five-stars I have seen in person are Notre Dame linebacker Jaylon Smith, Florida cornerback Vernon Hargreaves, Ohio State safety Vonn Bell, Ole Miss wideout Laquon Treadwell, Penn State quarterback Christian Hackenberg and that group will all be high round NFL draft picks this upcoming year.

Some haven't turned out as well such as Michigan's Derrick Green, Shane Morris, and Dymonte Thomas, but that whole team has had their struggles. Louisville receiver James Quick and Alabama wideout Robert Foster also have not produced much thus far. Some of the more recent classes the standouts I saw were LSU linebacker Clifton Garrett, Auburn offensive tackle Braden Smith, Ohio State defensive end Sam Hubbard, Texas A&M quarterback Kyle Allen, Michigan athlete Jabrill Peppers, and Alabama defensive lineman Da'Shawn Hand. I've also seen the top overall recruit from this class in Rashan Gary.

WILL THERE BE ANY COVERAGE OF IOWA WOMEN'S BASKETBALL? THEY ARE A FUN TEAM TO WATCH AND HAVE A REALLY GOOD FRESHMEN CLASS COMING IN. THIS IS A TOPIC THAT HAS BEEN BASICALLY NON-EXISTENT. - bltnazah

DY: I can try to increase the presence there if that is what the board wants. I can't stretch myself too think since I am working by myself in Iowa City, but I'll always do whatever I can to supply the information that is wanted by the subscribers on the board.

WHAT DO YOU THINK OF IOWA"S CURRENT RECRUITING CLASS COMING IN NEXT FALL? - Retired

DY: There's a handful of guys that I think definitely have a lot of potential, and a lot of upside, such as linebacker Amani Jones and defensive lineman Cedrick Lattimore. Tight end T.J. Hockenson could be a very good tight end as well. They filled this class up early so they trust the evaluations they have on them and believe they got the guys they wanted. You don't take reaches this early in the cycle. From my perspective, it is full of guys that definitely weren't the highest recruited, but a good share of them have high upside from the bit of film I've watched.




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