In looking at the Class of 2006, the Iowa Hawkeyes have focused their attention on landing a defensive end and have primarily targeted Sarasota's Walter Dublin. While there are plenty of talented defensive ends the Hawkeyes may want, it's Dublin who has piqued their interest the most because he fills a need.
"Coach Ferentz told me it wasn't just that Iowa wanted me, but that they needed me," said Dublin. "Coach Ferentz didn't lie, and told me straight up that they have a decent amount of defensive linemen, but they were lacking a speed rusher off the edge. He really wants me to come in to play the weakside spot and give them someone who can sack the quarterback."
While Dublin was pleased to hear that his talents were truly coveted by the Hawks, he was even more pleased with the people in Iowa City.
"The visit was definitely a pleasant surprise. Everyone there was real friendly and had a smile on their face. People are not like that here in Florida. The community really supports their football team and the professors there at the University really make it their focus to ensure the players are getting an education and graduating," stated Dublin.
In speaking with Dublin, it was easy to recognize that he possesses maturity.
"Coach Ferentz told me that beyond my ability on the field that I also had the type of character they wanted on their football team. He told me there was definitely a spot for me on the team. I mean, really, there isn't much I have to say about the coaches at Iowa as everyone already knows how good they are," explained Dublin.
Dublin spent a lot of time with Hawkeye defensive line coach Ron Aiken as well.
"You know Coach Aiken is a great coach, and that is evident in the fact they have sent 11 defensive lineman to the NFL in the past four years," added Dublin, who said he would try to officially visit the Minnesota Gophers this upcoming weekend. "The facilities at Iowa were incredible, too."
Dublin pointed out that Iowa made a strong impression on him this weekend but did not mention any particular leader. Instead, he stated that his top three teams currently are Iowa, Ohio State, and Minnesota, in no particular order.
Dublin will make official visits to Minnesota and Ohio State, and said his last two visits could come down to a lot of schools, including Louisville, West Virginia, Northwestern, and much of the Big Ten.
"I brought three cameras and a notepad with me to Iowa City to help me create a scrapbook of all my visits. I will not let the excitement of my last visit make my decision, but rather I will jot down all of my experiences, compare the schools, and decide where I'm going to feel the most comfortable playing the next four or five years," stated Dublin.
The Iowa Hawkeyes made no secret this past weekend that is it their hopes he will make Iowa City his home. One thing for sure, it appears there is a strong likelihood Dublin could end up in the Big Ten Conference.