Top Targets: Offensive Prospects for 2005

Josh Clark has been covering Iowa Football recruiting for the past five years, and he chimes in with a look at some of Iowa's top Offensive targets for the recruiting class of 2005.

Quarterback

The Hawks will look to sign one quarterback in this class and there is great hope in Iowa City that it will happen before mid-fall. If that happens, Iowa will find itself for the first time in the Kirk Ferentz era, in a position to pitch a quarterback to other recruits, especially to wide receivers.

Dustin Sherer has continually moved up Iowa's list of targets on the quarterback board. Sherer ranks as one of the top Hawk prospects on the board, regardless of position, and he has made his intentions known of making a late summer announcement. The Hawkeye staff was greatly impressed with him during his junior day visit and came away feeling he was the total package at the quarterback position. He possesses great intelligence, field presence and has a strong and accurate arm.

Jake Christensen is a name that is emerging right up there alongside Sherer on the target list. I believe Iowa would love to land one of these two, and if they don't, they have positioned themselves to try and land some other quality quarterbacks, such as Evan Sharpley and Rob Schoenfield, players they have already offered.

Running Back

Right now, it is hard to say who will emerge as Iowa's top target at the running back position and I also feel Iowa will only take one running back in this class.

Corey Robertson is a diamond in the rough the Hawks discovered (and offered) shortly after Signing Day, and he is quickly emerging as one of the top backs in the Lone Star state. He will be attending all three days of Iowa's upcoming summer camp and that will be a great advantage for the Hawks in selling the program. He has great size, excellent vision, and is able to reach a second gear.

Javon Ringer is another name very high on the Hawks board at this time, and rightfully so, as he his elusiveness and ‘juking' ability has conjured comparisons to a young Barry Sanders. Obviously, no one should prematurely label him the next Barry Sanders, but Ringer possesses the same type of running ability Hawk fans saw in Fred Russell with a little more size coming out of high school and with added strength. Ringer needs to become qualified, but the Hawks will be working very hard on bringing both he and teammate Brandon Harrison in for a visit.

Wide Receiver

The Hawks are in desperate need of signing some quality receivers in this class, especially one or two with size and big play ability. They missed on their top four targets last year, and this year they hope to have better luck with an early quarterback commitment as I mentioned above.

Much has been written on Marcus Wilson with his uncle, Darrell, currently the outside linebackers/special teams coach at Iowa. There is no question Marcus will take an official visit to Iowa City, and the Hawks seem to be the favorite. But remember it's never easy recruiting against any east coast schools in New Jersey. And you better believe Wilson will see many ACC and Big East suitors.

Iowa has offered a few other prospects like Greg Orton and David Grimes, but I don't believe the staff will have a feel for their top choices until they get closer to the fall. New names always appear at this position, and I would expect we'll hear Iowa's name mentioned with a national prospect more prominently this fall, much like we did with Dwayne Jarrett a year ago.

Tight End

The Hawks will be looking to sign two tight ends in this class. Coach O'Keefe's offense revolves around a lot of two tight end sets, and the Hawks would like to sign a combination of an athletic receiver at the position, and also one that excels in run blocking. Obviously, the main criteria is to develop all tight ends into well balanced performers, and Iowa would be in heaven if they landed Chase Coffman, a receiving specialist, and Anthony Moeaki, a more athletic Eric Jensen.

Coffman will have a lot of pressure to attend either Kansas State or Missouri, with his father formerly a Wildcat and the Tigers continually gaining commitments from the state's top players. However, the Coffman family is greatly impressed with the use of tight ends in Iowa's offense, and the selling pitch of Dallas Clark could go a long way in this recruitment. This will be a tough recruitment to predict throughout the months to come, but the Hawks should be one of the final three schools come decision day.

Moeaki is a kid that could very well end up on the west coast, and right now from what I'm hearing, Iowa seems to be the only school that could prevent him from returning west. A huge selling point for Moeaki will be teammate and offensive lineman Dace Richardson, whom happens to be a LA native and reportedly USC has him as their #1 offensive lineman in the country. Therefore, it wouldn't surprise me to see both head out west.

Make no mistake about it, while these two prospects are high on the board, if Iowa is able to get a visit from James Dray, they will take it in a heartbeat. This is a kid much like Tom Santi of last year, and will be one of the top five tight ends in the nation, which is a strong statement with the amount of talented tight ends around the states this year.

Offensive Lineman

Much has already been written on this position and it is no secret the Hawks have already discovered many of their top targets.

Dan Doering, Dace Richardson, and David Moosman will all be heavily recruited prospects for the Hawks, and I expect Iowa to land an official visit from all three prospects. Doering has already publicly stated that he will use two of his five official visits to Iowa and Notre Dame. It would be quite the story to see Iowa land all three, and there is confidence in Iowa City that it can be done. The Hawks will be working very diligently on all three prospects and the coaching staff continues to send all three of them hand written notes here and there. We learned last night that Lester Erb and Ken O'Keefe were recently in Chicago and we know that they visited Doering's high school on Monday.

Tyler Blum may be a tight end and defensive end in high school, but I will be greatly shocked if he doesn't end up as an offensive lineman at the next level. Just read his coach's comments available in his bio on his player page (click his name to get there). This kid has the potential to be a great left tackle if given the right coaching and strength and conditioning program, much like the scenario for Robert Gallery only five years ago.

Iowa is on a few other national names as well, such as Reginald Youngblood and Brian Roche, but I envision them staying in the Midwest this year with their main focuses. I also believe Iowa will likely offer at least one other in-state offensive lineman, besides Blum. While Coach Ferentz will likely start out Ryan Bain on the defensive line if he is to gain a commitment, word on the street is he also sees Bain as a potentially great center.


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