Also, the Class of 2006 in Iowa is not as strong as recent Iowa classes, which might produce 10 division one signees per year.
No matter the conditions or factors, Kirk Ferentz will always place importance into recruiting the state of Iowa and doing as much homework as needed to gain the best insight on what offers to make.
The Hawkeyes have done plenty of homework in regards to the Class of 2006 with film evaluation, camp evaluations, visits, and more. Here is a look at who has the best shot of receiving a Hawkeye scholarship we near the final stretch before Signing Day.
Red Oak Linebacker Andy Jennings - The small school star is receiving weekly phone calls from Iowa and UNI right now. The Hawkeyes are high on Jennings but must first await a decision from prospects like Kevin Green, Jeremiha Hunter, and others. Iowa's recent commitment of Karl Klug hits home here. Jennings (6'3 215) has a personal best of 10.6 in the 100, according to Red Oak head football coach Mike Beason, and on the field this fall, Jennings rushed for 1500 yards on 151 carries, scoring 22 touchdowns.
Jennings has made several unofficial visits to Iowa, including some games this fall, and there is no question that he would likely jump on a Hawkeye offer if it was made. Jennings is another diamond in the rough discovered in small town Iowa, and the Hawks may like this kid too much let him get away.
Iowa City High Linebacker Dorian Davis - After updating his situation a bit last week in the HN Clubhouse, Davis continues to impress on the field and will have an even bigger opportunity on Wednesday evening in a playoff showdown against Bettendorf and their stud junior Colin Sandemann (see below).
Davis is attracting interest from many programs who continue to monitor his academics, and that includes the Hawkeyes. Iowa likes the ability of the hometown product but wants to see more commitment from Dorian in the classroom. A very talented athlete with a good frame, if Dorian can make the proper improvements in the classroom, he could find himself in a Hawkeye jersey next fall.
Dubuque Senior Safety Jayme Murphy - It's hard not to be a fan of Jayme Murphy, a player who works for everything he has. Murphy is a good athlete, the type that will beat those with more natural ability due to his hustle and determination. Murphy continues to receive strong interest from both Iowa and Iowa State, and according to Murphy, the Hawkeyes have told him he is on the bubble in terms of an offer but that he is at the top of their board in regards to in-state prospects.
Murphy missed two games this fall due to a partially torn MCL and admits it was not until the last two games of his season that he felt he was back to regular form. He ended up rushing for 1170 yards, averaging 6.9 yards per carry, and scored 10 touchdowns.
Cedar Falls Running Back Taylor Brookins - Brookins has helped guide Cedar Falls into the Class 4A playoffs this fall rushing for 1428 yards on 141 carries, scoring 10 touchdowns. Those numbers have helped keep Iowa interested, and thus far, the Hawkeyes are the only D1 school to call on a weekly basis.
Iowa has told Brookins that they like his frame and the combination of his speed. The Hawks obviously have their sights set on Stanley Havili and continue to recruit a few other backs as well, but whether Brookins receives an offer will likely come down to whether Iowa has any remaining scholarships to fill and if they feel Brookins could work out at another position, if needed.
Other Notables: Iowa is likely to ask Albia offensive lineman Pat Steinbach, Davenport Assumption defensive lineman Fritz Bentler, Sioux City East defensive lineman Alex Tomes, among others to walk-on next fall. Don't be surprised if Bentler ends up going the Air Force or Army route. Talking about Davenport Assumption, Iowa has invited offensive lineman Michael Manternach to games this fall and likely will ask him to walk-on as well.
Class of 2007 Headliners
The class of 2007 in Iowa looks to be a stronger class than 2006, mainly due to the fact that for once prospects at the skill positions are likely to headline the class. Here is a look at who I believe are the top two juniors in Iowa at this time.
Sioux City East Running Back/Cornerback Tre-Darrius Canady - Canady, from my neck of the woods, is a terrific athlete at 5'10 and 175 pounds (4.52). He is primarily used as a tailback for East and rushed for nearly 1800 yards on 250 carries only nine games this fall. While he didn't receive much time at cornerback this fall in limited action, he showed plenty enough on film to cause thoughts that he could play on that side of the ball.
Canady is a physical player, and while at cornerback, he consistently came up and hit ball carrriers. He has very good feet and can move his hips well, too. I don't believe it will take long for Iowa to offer Canady when they begin serious evaluations for the Class of 2007.
Bettendorf Wide Receiver Colin Sandemann - Standing at nearly 6'1 and 185 pounds, Sandemann may be the closest thing to Tim Dwight since he starred at City High, although, not quite the burner. Sandemann lines up all over the field at receiver, and even sometimes as an H-Back. Sandemann has caught 39 receptons for 776 yards and 15 touchdowns thus far this season, as well, as rushing for 87 yards on ten attempts scoring two touchdowns. Sandemann has also returned four punt returns for touchdowns.
Sandemann possesses breakaway speed and great hands. There is no question he will be a division one prospect next fall, and the Hawks surely already have their sights on the Eastern Iowa native.
Two other potential division one skill position prospects that could receive quite a bit of interest are Des Moines Lincoln athlete Jordan Bernstine (5'11 175; nephew of former NFL'er Rod Bernstine) and Oskaloosa wide receiver Tyler Sash (6'1 180).
Some Other Juniors Worth Noting: Davenport Assumption OL Matt Bentler (6'4 270) and DB Kyle Steinbrecher (6'3 175); West Branch QB/ATH Caleb Walters; West Des Moines Valley WR/DB Alex Sandvig; City high running back Travis Gobush