The Great Lakes are behind me, and now all I see is corn, glorious corn, waiting for harvest. That's right, I'm back from my MichOhio sabbatical and am glad to report that my full attention is now back on the great state of Iowa. What does that mean to you? A back-by-popular-demand edition of Prospects, Previews and Predictions, this week featuring an update of the Top 16 Iowa high school seniors who are still sitting on the shelves without a scholarship offer from either Iowa or Iowa State.
Before we take care of the preview and predictions end of things, let's focus on the prospects. Earlier this week Ankeny ATH Andy Brodell
received a scholarship offer from the University of Iowa to go with previous offers from Iowa State and Pittsburgh. One of the most talked-about players in the state, Brodell is well-known for his exploits running the football s well for capturing state and Drake Relays gold in the 100 meters last spring. Brodell has yet to commit to either Iowa or ISU, but five other in-state players have picked the Hawkeyes and six Iowans have pledged to become Cyclones as of today.
But what about those Iowa preps who still await an offer from either Iowa or ISU? Which of these kids have the best shot of eventually garnering an offer from one or both of the in-state Division I-A schools? Or, at the very least, receive a "preferred" walk-on invitation from either program.
Well, I am going to do my very best to answer that question. And if my film study and sources prove true, below are the 16 most Division-IA-ready players in the state who currently hold no Iowa or ISU offer.
Rob Bruggeman C-DT 6-4/255/4.9 ** (Washington) Cedar Rapids: Is Bruggeman the best in-state prospect who has yet to receive his first offer? I think he is. (London Hayes would be if he were in better shape with the grades.) Bruggeman is the total package and it won't be long before he has multiple offers on the table.
Dallas Cawiezell TE 6-5/215/4.7 NR (North Scott) Eldridge: Attended Iowa's junior camp over the summer. Cawiezell is a talented athlete who runs the 200, 400 and throws the discus in track and is also a standout in baseball and basketball. Certainly belongs on any list of top in-state prospects.
Nick Foxen DE 6-3/215/4.7 NR (Western Dubuque) Epworth: A member of Western Dubuque's 4 x 200 relay team and a frame that will support 30 to 40 more pounds. That's a good combination for prospective defensive end in either Iowa or ISU's schemes. Really an active player.
Ashland Grady RB 6-1/210/4.5 NR (Dowling) WDM: If Grady, who is currently nursing a bruised knee, could stay healthy for an entire season, his stock would probably rise immensely. Rushed for over 1,000 yards as a junior and has the size, speed and overall make-up to play major college football.
Ryan Grenko WR-S 6-2/180/4.6 NR (City) Iowa City: Has already stated that his college football goal is to play for his hometown Hawkeyes. Whether or not he will be offered a scholarship to do so is the question. Grenko ran with current Hawkeye Calvin Davis on City High's 4 x 400 relay team his sophomore year.
London Hayes RB 6-1/190/4.5 *** (East) Des Moines: Who is leading the state of Iowa in rushing this season? No, it's not Jason Scales. It's Hayes and his 841 yards through three games. Has big-time talent, but more than likely JUCO academics.
Mark Huygens DT/DE 6-4/255/5.1 NR Sergeant Bluff-Luton: Makes plays all over the field and proves nearly impossible to block. Huygens is a dominant football player at the small-school level. Should have the size and athleticism to assimilate his ability up the ladder into Division I-A football.
Curtis Meendering OT 6-5/290/5.4 NR (West Lyon) Inwood: An all-state performer as a junior, Meendering is still a work in progress but has major college size and comes from a prep program that has produced a handful of Division I-A players in recent years.
Andy Payton OG/DE 6-4/245/5.3 NR (West) Waterloo: A physical player with a solid build and room to add on, Payton is a three-year starter at West and a four-sport athlete. His brother Josh played at Iowa State. Helped pave the way for the Wahawks rolling up over 600 yards on the ground in the first games of the season.
Derek Retherford QB 6-3/175/4.8 NR Johnston: Is off to somewhat of a slow start this season but still has had enough past success and big-time camp experience to warrant further evaluation.
Warren Suess QB 6-4/180/4.7 ** (Washington) Cedar Rapids: The son of former UI quarterback Phil Suess has had plenty of contact with Iowa/ISU coaches, but as of yet no offers. Most certainly has the ability to play Division I-A quarterback for someone.
Zack Wells QB 6-3/180/4.6 NR Muscatine: Has all the physical tools -- both passing and throwing -- and the athletic make-up of a Division I-A quarterback.
Kyle Wilcox OT 6-4/255/5.3 NR (Dowling) WDM: Has good size, excellent body control and solid technique but is receiving most of his recent recruiting attention from out-of-state programs like Kansas and Northwestern. Could get caught up in a numbers game as both Iowa and ISU continue to pursue top linemen from out of state.
Ashton Winchel WR 6-1/170/4.5 NR (West) Iowa City: Greg Coleman who? All Winchel, an accomplished track athlete, has done is rush for 11 TDs and 688 yards in three games while filling in the for suspended Coleman. Should answer the question of is he a football player or just a track guy.
Michael Wright WR 6-2/192/4.6 NR (Hoover) Des Moines: Made the Nike Camp, Iowa, Iowa State and Illinois camp and visit tour stops over the summer and has become well-known by college recruiting coordinators around the Midwest. Wright is leading the CIML Metro in receiving so far this season with 257 yards and 3 TDs.
Derrick Young QB 6-6/200/5.0 NR (Nodaway Valley) Greenfield: An all-state performer last season in both football and basketball, Young is one of the more intriguing athletes in the state because of his impressive size. Passed for over 1,800 yards last season and has notched over 800 yards with 8 TDs so far this year.
This week's game:
Sept. 27 at Michigan State: There aren't words to describe how potentially dangerous this game is for the Hawkeyes. This is the good ol' "sandwich" game – skip the ham and cheese and insert some green Spartan meat in there right between two pieces of nationally televised bread known as Arizona State and Michigan. It's a scary deal for most teams … but this Iowa team is not most teams. It's a little special, I think. Don't get me wrong, this team is very, very capable of losing, and probably will lose at least once this season. And yes, this game does concern me for all the reasons that it should: a) sandwich, b) MSU's solid rush defense and ability to get after the passer, and 3) MSU's continued high from last week's win at Notre Dame. But, conversely, there are at least three things working in Iowa's favor: a) MSU probably won't be able to run the football against Iowa, and you usually can't win if you can't run the football, b) Like last season, MSU will likely struggle to protect Jeff Smoker from Matt Roth and the gang, and c) MSU is a team still finding its confidence whereas Iowa is a team that feels it has arrived and is only interested in making statements at this point.
The 3-point Breakdown
Quarterbacks edge: MSU +1
Running backs edge: Iowa +1
Receivers edge: MSU +1
Offensive line edge: Iowa +1
Defensive line edge: Iowa +2
Linebackers edge: Iowa +3
Secondary edge: Iowa +1
Kicking game edge: Iowa +1
Coaching edge: Iowa +2
Intangibles edge: MSU +2
The prediction: Iowa 26, Michigan State 21
This week's Art Schlichter/Stu Feiner ATS Picks
Ready to make a little money this week? Bury your man … with my help! No 900 number or credit card necessary.
LOCK OF THE WEEK: North Carolina +18.5 at NC State: NC State –18.5
Iowa State +6.5 at Northern Illinois: NIU –6.5
San Diego State +11.5 at UCLA: SD State +11.5
USC –13 at California: USC –13
LSU –13.5 at Mississippi State: LSU –13.5
Last week: 2-3
Season: 4-6, 0% LOCK OF THE WEEK