Recruiting Targets: The Offense

Iowa has had a recent upswing in recruiting activity, as two players committed to the Hawkeyes last week. HawkeyeNation.com takes a look at who some of the offensive targets are as Iowa continues down the 2006 recruiting road in this 'Target Board' update...

QUARTERBACK

The Hawkeyes have hit a few bumps along the road so far in 2005 in targeting their top quarterback prospects. Still, there remains plenty of confidence in Iowa City that a top flight signal caller or two will make their way into town.

Obviously, Arvell Nelson's name has been floating around for a while and there is no question Iowa would love to sign two quarterbacks in this class. Preferably, they would love to find an athlete at the position that could perhaps play elsewhere (Austen Arnaud fit that category very well) and find a more polished quarterback that will compete with Jake Christensen down the line (Mitch Mustain/Tim Tebow are two top choices here).

RUNNING BACK

Iowa has made some scholarship offers to running backs thus far, but there is still doubt on whether they will sign anyone in the Class of 2006. Iowa could use potential running backs in this class for other positions, but my gut tells me that by the time November rolls around and Iowa has a better feel for their young running backs on campus, they may skip out on signing one in this class.

As of right now, Stanley Havili is the name you hear the most if Iowa elects to sign a running back. Brandon James was a name you heard at this position, but Iowa targeted him more as an athlete. The commitment of Anthony Bowman may no longer present a need for James.

WIDE RECEIVER

Iowa landed a commitment (Anthony Bowman) they have been looking for quite some time, dating back to when they had hoped to gain the commitment of Terrance Jones alongside Damian Sims two years back. Iowa has wanted a shifty, elusive playmaker in the slot, which they are hoping they have with Grigsby and McCollum now. They will be creative in how they use him and I now look for them to sign at least two other receivers in this class that will help stretch the field and present match up problems with their size.

Iowa has felt very confident about their chances with James Cleveland dating back to when they were the first school to offer. Iowa obviously is hoping to gain a visit from Damian Williams, and there is no doubt they will have their eye on Andrey Baskin out in Camden, NJ. There are a few others on the board right now, but Cleveland is the one guy I feel best about to take one of those two spots as of right now.

TIGHT END

At this position, there are basically three names to concern yourselves with; Nate Byham, Ben Cleveland, and AJ Edds. Iowa will keep an eye on a few others, but the Hawks would absolutely love to sign two out of three mentioned above. I feel it's pretty safe to say even signing one would make them feel a lot better about their TE situation. All three can stretch the field vertically, and would present excellent options in the passing game to go alongside Anthony Moeaki. I feel confident Iowa will land an official visit from all three mentioned above.

OFFESIVE LINE

Iowa is only looking to sign one or two offensive linemen in this class and have made Julian Vandervelde a member of the Class of 2007. Iowa really liked his overall athleticism, work ethic, and the ever so important ability to move his feet in making Vandervelde the projected center to compete with Rafael Eubanks.

Matt Carufel and Keith Williams remain the top priorities along the offensive line, and the only question remains is whether Iowa will be able to land both. That would be the perfect scenario, but given their scholarship limitations, I don't think they would fret if only one were to choose Iowa. Right now, Iowa is considered one of the two or three favorites in each prospect's recruitment and I feel they will have an excellent shot at landing at least one of them.

Lastly, looking ahead at the Class of 2006 and knowing there are not a lot of scholarships to hand out, I feel there will be eight scholarships handed out on the offensive side of the ball.


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