This past weekend, many had expected the Hawkeyes to offer and recieve a verbal from OL Chris Thomas. HawkTalkOnline.com ran a story, talking to Thomas's Head Coach Tim Rimpfel, earlier this week introducing Thomas to many Hawk fans. With the loss of OL Jon Cochran, Thomas is the 2nd OL in this class that the staff was looking for and should be projected to be at G alongside Ben Cronin.
"I had a real good time on my visit," Chris said. "I was able to see the city, facilities, and weight room. I also met with a professor to learn about the education some. It was a great visit."
Chris, who was measured last week by his coach bare foot at 6'4 (1/2) 304 lbs., is a new name to many Hawk fans and recruiting fanatics around the nation. However, there is no reason to believe Chris is a fallback recruit with Coach Ferentz and Philbin's background coaching the offensive line.
"My junior season was not so good so I can understand coaches backing off me. However, Coach Philbin followed up on me and decided to give me a second chance. I think it was meant for me to go to Iowa."
Chris has not yet qualified with a 2.4 GPA and 870 SAT, but will he will be re-taking the test and fully expects to qualify. With a few points more on his GPA this last semester, he will have no problem qualifying either. Actually, Iowa's attention to academics did play a huge role in Chris's decision.
"Iowa told me they had the fifth best graduation rate out of the fifty or more bowl teams this season. I really liked that fact."
What other recruiting pitch(es) did Iowa sell to Chris?
"They gave me a detailed background on Coach Ferentz. He coached a lot of good offensive lineman in the NFL so I was very happy with that."
With the emergence this year for Chris, it could not have just come from nowhere. Chris was very honest in what his positives and negatives were as a lineman.
"I just worked very hard in the weight room and with techinique drills during last summer. I feel I'm a combination lineman that can run block and pass block. I still need to get in the weight room and add strength, but I move well for my size."
Who was Chris's host?
"Coach Ferentz's son, Brian, was my host. He is a nice guy. He took me with a couple other guys downtown and it was a good time. All of us recruits realized that there was not many students back yet so that did not affect us much."
So did he hear of any other commitments?
"I know that JUCO DT, Wesley, committed to Iowa. I did not hear of any other guy's decisions."
Well, certainly gaining a big lineman like Chris had to give De'Angelo Williams good thoughts about Iowa's future running game. Chris Thomas will be a very interesting prospect for Hawk fans to watch over the next few years as he develops. Could Iowa once again be landing a "diamond in the rough."?