Focus 2007: Analyzing Iowa's Preps

Scout.com's Josh Clark offers an in-depth report on the Class of 2007 in Iowa. The collective group of talent that has already garnered more attention than last year could be one of the strongest groups in recent memory. In fact, the talent at the skill positions might make this group one of the best instate collections of talent Iowa has seen in some time.

There were no Iowans on the official list of signees in the Hawkeye Class of 2006. That is a first in the Kirk Ferentz era and may very well be a one-time only occurrence.

The Hawkeyes did gain the commitment of offensive lineman Julian Vandervelde, but he will not join the team until January 2007, as he will take a greyshirt next fall.

One promise that can be made for the Class of 2007 in the state of Iowa is that the Iowa Hawkeyes will more than double the amount of offers they made last year within the state (two - Vandervelde and Ames quarterback Austen Arnaud).

WHO WILL BE OFFERED BEFORE SUMMER CAMP?

There is no exact science in making this determination, and there are still a lot of evaluations left to be done. Also, not one of us are members of the Hawkeye coaching staff nor do we know the evaluations being done on their part.

However, I can say at this time that I feel there are only three prospects who I can see the Hawkeyes offering before their summer camp.

One offer was made this past weekend at Junior Day when Bettendorf wide receiver Colin Sandeman received the news from Coach Ferentz. Those close to the situation have a hard time believing that Iowa would miss out on a Bettendorf prospect with Kirk Ferentz at the helm.

The other two players who, I believe have the best shot of receiving an offer before the summer camps are Des Moines Lincoln defensive back Jordan Bernstine (nephew of former NFL'er Rod Bernstine) and Oskloosa athlete Tyler Sash.

The Hawkeye coaching staff gave Bernstine a lot of positive feedback at Junior Day this past weekend. Safety is not a critical need for them in the class so they will be cautious in extending an offer, which likely means more film evaluation. But I wouldn't be surprised to see Bernstine receive an offer by the end of May.

West Branch's Caleb Walter is a guy who I believe will have an outside chance. I will talk about him further down below.

PROSPECTS WHO COULD BE OFFERED AT SUMMER CAMP

Another skill position athlete who will likely receive strong consideration will be Sioux City East's Tre-Darrius Canady. A skilled athlete, who is also a smooth runner, Canady doesn't possess the explosiveness nor overall size/strength that I believe Iowa will look for in what appears to be a class where they will only sign one running back.

However, I do believe Iowa will want to give him a chance at cornerback, and that is a position that he could be asked to workout at camp this summer.

Getting back to Walter, he is a guy that I believe Iowa will have to identify a position for him to play. Right now, I can only see Iowa signing one tight end in the class, and there are a few out of state options that I know will grab their attention, such as Columbia Rock Bridge's Aron White.

However, Walter's size, athleticism, productivity, and work ethic will undoubtedly catch Coach Ferentz's eye. You'd have to think they will find a place to play him somewhere.

Another defensive back surely to receive some looks is Kyle Steinbrecher (6'3 190) from Davenport Assumption. Without a huge need at safety, I believe he is a guy that Iowa will possibly give a look at wide receiver in camp. I'm expecting his camp performance will largely impact his offer chances.

Linebacker is also area where Iowa will have the option to be very selective in the Class of 2007. There are two legitimate options within the state of Iowa in Humboldt's Tyler Nielsen (6'4 215) and North Scott's Sean Gerard (6'4 195). Nielsen's athleticism will likely garner more attention, but Gerard's motor and toughness will catch the Hawkeye coaching staff's eye. Sean Gerard is physical and is a football player. Iowa could offer both with one of them being a potential move to defensive end.

Offensive line will be a need in the Class of 2007 and there will be a few choices within the state of Iowa. Starting out, looking at the size of Evan Tecklenburgh (6'8 330), he is hard not to mention first. The Muscatine product is guy that has already caught Iowa's eye, but as usual, Iowa will likely wait to test his footwork. among other things. at summer camp.

Humboldt has yet another prospect in Cody Hundertmark (6'4 265), who I believe will receive a strong look from the Hawkeyes. Iowa will also give a look to Davenport Assumption's Matt Bentler (6'5 270) and Grinnell's Will Eilert (6'4 245).

FINAL NOTES

All in all, I see Iowa offering the normal five to seven prospects in the state of Iowa next year, and looking who is on the board currently you would have to feel Iowa has a great shot at getting most of the players they do offer. Bernstine is the only one that some believe could potentially leave the state, but I believe Iowa will have a very good shot in his case as well.

Looking ahead at the Class of 2008, some believe that Davenport Assumption's Willie Argo may be the most talented prospect in Iowa THIS FALL. You hate to put expectations on the kid, but many have raved at his abilities.

Des Moines Lincoln looks to feature another talented skill player in Adam Robinson who started at tailback for them mid-way through the season.


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