During evaluations, a coach may say he doesn't believe a kid has enough strength to play in the Big Ten. There is a simple response given by Iowa, if they like what they see on tape; ‘Send him to Coach Doyle.' Another coach might question technique learned at the high school level. The simple response given? ‘Send him to Coach Kirk Ferentz.'
Last year, Iowa shocked a few people when they offered and signed Rashad Dunn late in the recruiting game. Many southern schools simply looked at the 6-foot-3 250-pounder and felt he'd never have the size or strength to be a big-time offensive lineman. Iowa did not worry that, as they looked at the way Rashad moved his feet and his overall athleticism. They saw a player who was just oozing potential and needed the proper guidance at the college level. Most importantly, they saw a kid that was willing to learn and wanted to work.
It appears that same scenario may be playing out with McKeesport, PA offensive lineman Lawrence Green in the Class of 2005.
"Lawrence transferred to McKeesport from an inner-city school right before his junior season," said head coach George Smith. "I wasn't sure I wanted to play him right away with some of the (transfer) eligibility concerns and not knowing how well he could play. What I found out is he is very willing to learn and is very intelligent."
Combine that last statement with what Coach Smith believes is natural god-given ability.
"He is just a naturally born athlete; he is just so athletic. He is the starting center on our basketball team. He has natural strength and the natural ability to move, but the best part is he is not there yet," added Smith.
When Coach Smith says "he is not there yet", that is not a disparaging remark against his star lineman. What he is saying is exactly how Iowa approaches some aspects of its recruiting; that Green's best days are ahead of him.
"I sent film out to Iowa, and they were quite impressed. Like most of the schools, they saw that he has so much upside. I know Lawrence was very impressed when he heard he had an Iowa offer," Smith said.
To this point, Green has only been offered by UCONN and MAC schools while receiving some interest from Pitt and Penn State.
Lastly, with Green's best days ahead of him, I asked Coach Smith to inform readers what Lawrence needed to work on, specifically.
"Well, he is naturally strong, but he can always get stronger from lifting. He will have to continue to improve his technique, as well. We run a wishbone offense, and we don't really do any pulling with him. He plays in a three-technique and we send him right into that defender. He will likely have to learn a new system in college."