This story appeared in the Februar, 2005 issue of Hawkeye Nation Magazine. For ordering information, CLICK HERE.
The Hawkeyes start wrapping up their current recruiting class, hosting a few official visits. If they have a pretty good handle on that class, they are starting to research underclassmen in a little bit more detail. If they're going into the schools of the upperclassmen, they're talking to high schools coaches about their underclassmen.
Also at this time, recruiting services are delivering information to the Iowa coaches. That helps develop the Hawkeyes' underclassmen list. They're also starting to send out videotapes to prep coaches for anything that they don't have in for underclassmen. This is done so when they get back in the office in February, they can hit the ground running on evaluating videotapes for the underclassmen.
Sometime during this month, the Hawkeyes also are likely to host a junior day for their top targets in the class. They'll take the prospects to a basketball game or an academic event.
Iowa wraps up its current class on signing day during the first week of the month. The Hawkeye also are likely to host another junior day during the early part of the month. These junior days are the first opportunity to familiarize the student athletes with university and football program.
The Hawkeye coaches continue to monitor the incoming videotapes from high schools to make sure they have material to evaluate.
February also is the month when Iowa starts hitting the recruits with mailings. They send out information about the university and program. Up to this point, the correspondence through the mail has been filled with quotes and eye-catching information.
The Iowa coaches continue many of the same tasks that were being performed in February. They continue evaluating player tapes.
They also start calling high schools to talk with them about their prospects, and continue mailing the athletes. Some of the top prospects begin to get personalized correspondence.
Hawkeye recruiters continue evaluating tape, talking to prep coaches and mailing athletes. This also is the month for the spring game/practice/workout, and prospects come in and get their first real look at Iowa football on the field. The school also hosts another junior day this month.
During the last two weeks of April and into the month of May, coaches are given six weeks during which they can go into high schools four times to make evaluations of players. NCAA rules prohibit college coaches from speaking directly with the prospects, but they can meet with high school coaches and earn valuable face time.
The staff continues its in school visits, evaluating tape and mailing prospects. It's also allowed to call each senior-to-be prospect once during the month. The coaches usually limit these calls to the top targets. During the call, Iowa uses the opportunity to get a feel for what the teenager is thinking and works on selling the Hawkeyes and the school.
Also during May, Iowa receives academic transcripts for the prospects. This usually results in the elimination of athletes on the list.
Iowa hold its camp for high school players during this month. At its conclusion, each coach assigned to an area of the country works to get his list down to about 20-30 prospects. This means the original list of 2,500 athletes is whittled down to about 180.
The next step requires each coach to name his Top 10-15 prospects from his group of 20-30 in his given area of the country. These are players that either have offers already from Iowa or are real close to being offered.
From those lists, a list of top prospects at each position is generated. And by the end of this month, each position coach will watch tapes of those prospects and formulate the top prospects at his position. Now, the Hawkeyes have their priority list.
The Iowa coaches return from vacation at the end of June and the beginning of July. They start up again by conducting a big meeting going over each positional ranking. They'll start to focus in on the top prospects with mailings. Some prospects will swing through town on unofficial visits.
The staff spends most of its August preparing its current team for the upcoming season. But the coaches also will host another junior day usually at the beginning of August before two-a-days start for the Hawkeyes and the high schools.
Iowa also hosts a couple of open practices for the fans on selected weekends during August. Prospects from the region often attend these functions to see what two-a-days are like with the Hawkeyes and also witness the fan support.
The NCAA allows college coaches to call senior prospects once a week starting in September. Iowa also begins obtaining tape of prospects from their senior seasons.
The coaches also start sending mail to juniors of interest during this month. Iowa generates this list largely from questionnaires sent to the prep coaches.
Iowa continues making phone calls to senior prospects and evaluating new tapes coming into the office. Some prep players may ask to take their official visits during this month, but the Hawkeyes have tried to move away from the practice of these visits in-season due to the lack of time the staff has for the recruit.
Colleges are able to start in-person evaluation of players, but Iowa rarely uses these opportunities. The Hawkeyes are not keen on sending their coaches out for game evaluation during their season. They feel time is better served to coach players already on campus.
November Phone calls, watching tape and occasional in-person evaluations continue into November. At the end of the month, coaches start going on in-home visits and hosting official visits.
The official visits really pick up in December and the heart of recruiting takes place. Prospects come in for weekends usually centered on a home men's basketball game. Verbal commitments start to roll in and the recruiting class really starts to take shape.
Iowa continues recruiting while at its bowl by writing prospects during free time.
Source: Iowa Recruiting Coordinator Eric Johnson