Hawks Eye New Jersey Defensive end

The Iowa Hawkeyes will lose every defensive line starter at the end of this season. They have made it a priority in replacing talented seniors like Matt Roth and Jon Babineaux in the Class of 2005. Iowa also continues to make the Garden State a large priority, so both of those aspects collide with their interest in a previously committed New Jersey defensive end.

Dakota Walker is a name that surfaced on Iowa's radar screen last spring as a potential target along the defensive line. After giving a verbal commitment to Rutgers, many thought he was off the board.

That is not the case, as Walker has informed Rutgers he will be checking out his options.

"I gave Rutgers a soft commitment because at the time it felt right to do," explained the 6-foot-5, 200-pound Walker, who has reported 4.6-second 40 speed. "I've told them I'm going to check out my options, and they understand. I want to explore what is out there for me and I will be able to do that through my visits."

So far, Walker has taken just one official visit, and that was to Purdue. He will wait until after the season to set his other visits.

"I'm going to decide between Syracuse, UCONN, Iowa, Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia Tech for my remaining visits," Walker said.

Although that seems like a large list of schools to compete amongst for his final visits, Walker says the Iowa Hawkeyes have an 80-percent chance of receiving a visit.

"Iowa has a real good winning program, and their coaches seem to be real down to earth. Coach (Darrell) Wilson is recruiting me and he has told me I'll have the chance to come in and make an early impact. I haven't gotten to speak to any of the players, yet, but I have played against Albert Young and Shonn Greene," said Walker.

Darrell Wilson recruits New Jersey for Iowa, and has played a vital role in reestablishing the Iowa-New Jersey connection for the Hawkeyes. Wilson once coached high school football in Camden, New Jersey.

Walker also informed us that Coach Wilson has compared him to previous Hawkeye defensive ends and current Hawkeye Matt Roth.

"He told me that I'm quick off the ball, and that I'm very relentless. He said they like the fact that I'm in on nearly every single tackle, and always find a way around the ball."

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