It's that time of year in recruiting. Two Iowa commits are being chased down by fellow Big Ten schools who are hoping to flip them before National Signing Day in Feburary.
Hawkeyes quarterback commit Nate Stanley of Greendale, Wisconsin has been offered by Paul Chryst and Wisconsin. They got on him after Gary Andersen and company left Madison but it wasn't in time to keep him away from Iowa City. That has not stopped them from continuing to try. And they will try until Signing Day.
Michigan State offered four-star Iowa commit Cedrick Lattimore earlier today. The Detroit (Mich.) East English Village Prep defensive tackle has 11 offers now but has also been committed to Iowa for a considerable amount of time. The Spartans are an in-state school and they swing a pretty big stick in the Detroit area so this is a recruitment that definitely bears watching as well.
Time to dive into both situations more extensively.
QB NATE STANLEY
He was recently labeled as one of the new four-star prospects by Scout. Wisconsin's old staff under Gary Andersen didn't offer but Paul Chryst and company have made Stanley a priority.
The reasons of pessimism on Iowa's behalf for this one would be that Stanley is from Wisconsin and grew up a Badgers fan. There's always going to be at least some kind of draw to want to play at Camp Randall Stadium in Madison. The Badgers aren't going to stop pursuing him so the Hawkeyes will have to fend off the Big Ten foe all the way into February.
The reasons for optimism are that Stanley feels inclined to stick with Iowa. He likes the Hawkeyes a lot and is the type of person that struggles to go back on his word, even in recruiting, and that is a big reason why he hasn't reciprocated much of the interest from Wisconsin thus far. In addition, though Wisconsin's efforts will never waver, their confidence has. Sources close to Wisconsin's side of things do not think the Badgers will be able to flip him. There's not enough time to persuade him, according to them.
DT CEDRICK LATTIMORE
Lattimore has long been committed to Iowa and was branded a four-star prospect by Scout a few months ago. Michigan State agrees with that sentiment as they have thrown their hat into the ring and are now in hot pursuit to convince him to stay closer to home.
The reasons for pessimism are a bit more substantial than in Stanley's case. The Spartans hold a lot of clout in Detroit. Their recruiting coordinator, Curtis Blackwell, is recognized as one of the most important factors in putting the spotlight on the city in terms of college exposure. His presence on the staff has only helped Michigan State in that area. Lattimore is also obviously a native from Michigan and the Spartans have become a national power over the last couple of seasons.
Also, Michigan State would not have offered if they didn't feel like they had a puncher's chance in this one. Schools tends to not even bother to offer in-state kids if they know that they will have no chance in landing them, saving image so to speak. So this offer does indicate they feel like Lattimore will certainly give them a look.
The reasons for optimism do exist as well. Lattimore loves Iowa, has been committed for quite a while now, and his teammate Chauncey Golston is a Hawkeye pledge as well. Also an alumnus of the school is the new Jim Thorpe Award winner, Desmond King. Kirk Ferentz and Iowa are no strangers to Detroit, either, and obviously are no strangers to East English Village Prep. That does matter. High school coaches do not forget what college programs have done for their kids in previous years. That could pay dividends or rewards in this case.
Michigan State swings a big stick in Detroit but the Hawkeyes have an enormously strong reputation in the area as well, particularly at the high school that produced Desmond King.
The last sign of optimism is that Lattimore did not immediately schedule a visit or begin to waver from his pledge. He simply stated that he did not know if he would visit and that he was still with Iowa and loved the Hawkeyes. Good sign for Iowa. A lot of times when prospects get that in-state offer they've been waiting on, or extremely covet, a visit is planned right away. It does help that it is a dead period.