In all honesty, was this year's class what was expected from many around the nation? Or even up to the expectations of the staff?
The answer to that question can easily be answered, NO!
However, this is not a class that should cause Hawk fans to hold their heads down by any means. There are many good athletes in this class and players that will make an immediate impact.
One thing that is often overlooked is player development. As one team source once told me, "It does not matter how highly the classes here at Iowa are rated because we have Coach Doyle." Not only is it Coach Doyle, but the entire staff is one of the best in the nation in developing players. While this staff may not have the national recongition as others or even the proven past record, nobody works harder than the staff here at Iowa. More film evaluation is put in at the Jacobsen Building than you'll find anywhere else in the country.
This class very much reminds me of the class signed two years ago. However, the difference is there are better interior lineman in this class. This is one of the best defensive line classes Iowa has ever signed. However, I very much see a lot of similarities in Richie Williams and Jovon Johnson that I saw in Benny Sapp and Bob Sanders two years ago.
After speaking to many sources and putting a lot of research into this recruiting class, I have put together my thoughts on who fits best for certain categories of this recruiting class.
This award goes to LB Edmond Miles from Tallahasse Godby High School. The 6'1 195 LB was one of the hottest prospects entering the month of January. Much like Abdul Hodge last year, Edmond was a bit overlooked because of his size. However, it will not take long for Edmond to get in the 225-230 range, and he has some of the best natural insticts you'll find in a linebacker this year. Norm Parker loves "hitters", and much like Abdul Hodge once again, these two will be bringing the load for the next few years.
DE Steve Burch has absolutely everyone involved around him raving about his potential. DePorres Head Coach Greg Carter told HTO.com, "We have had many D1 prospects, including my son Tyrone, but Steve is one of the most dominating prospects to ever come through here." Steve will likely play DE in college. The only disadvantage is his height at 6'2, but his explosiveness and ability to make plays is phenominal. I fully believe Steve will have every opporunity to make a splash at DE next season.
Steal of the Class:
DB Richie Williams is my choice for this award. It was a tough choice because there are several guys who I believe were not recruited highly enough, but I have just heard way too many good things about Richie. Richie once agains brings the hitting ability to defense that Norm Parker loves. Norm Parker coached two DB's at Vanderbilt from the same county, Cory Chavous and Fred Vinson, and both ended up 2nd round draft picks in the NFL. North August Head Coach Joe Long informed HTO.com, "Richie is just as good as the two above coming out of high school. The south missed out on Richie." Also, make sure to check out the comments from Michael Carvell of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution as he felt the same way as Coach Long about Richie's abilities. Richie has already playing in a tight man-to-man coverage scheme at North Augusta, and that will help him make an immediate splash here at Iowa.
Chris Felder is a widely known lineman, but Hawk fans better believe that Chris Thomas will turn out to be a heckuva of an offensive lineman here at Iowa. He will get some of the best coaching in the nation, and one thing that is great about him is the fact that he is not done growing. Although he moves well for his size right now, wait until Coach Doyle gets him in better physical condition.
The staff got on RB Justise Hairston a little late in the process, but do not believe he was not one of their top targets at RB. He easily would have been a top three choice for them back in October, along with Nate Schiccatano and De'Angelo Williams. Justise will bring a power type running style, along with his speed, that Hawk fans have never seen before.
Obviously, there is going to be a player or two in this class that likely will not pan out. That will happen every year in recruiting, but Iowa does have a solid class, in which you will see many contributors before it is all said and done. I hope you have enjoyed the coverage here at HTO.com throughout the recruiting season and we have enjoyed delivering the information.
In fact, we hope many of you can keep the support coming through the non-sports months as we enter them with a premium suscription. We believe we have the best premium product to offer for Hawk fans on the internet. All you have to do is simply CLICK HERE!