The Hawkeyes will be featuring one of the best OL's in the Big Ten this fall, but will also be losing four of five starters. The Hawks still have some great young players coming up, but this recruiting season will be crucial in adding four to five key pieces to the future of the offensive line. One of the Hawk's top priorities, regardless of position, is OL Mike Jones.
"I made my first visit to Iowa a few weeks ago and I loved it," Mike exclaimed. "The visit went well, and was without a doubt, one of the best visits I have taken so far to a college."
"It is hard to explain what Iowa City can do to someone. I liked Coach Doyle and Philbin, and especially Coach Ferentz. I told Coach Erb if they win 8 or 9 games this year, they'll for sure be receiving one of my official visits. There was nothing in particular that stood out, but every component of the program was solid."
Mike has made no secret of his desire to play for a national championship. Iowa has yet to prove they are on the national championship scene, but signs are certainly all positive for the direction of their future.
"One thing I know is Iowa is re-buidling," Mike remarked. "They have a great line this year and should be able to build behind that solidly. I know that I will have the chance to come in and play for four years along with some very good young talent they have. Like I said, seeing 8 or 9 victories from Iowa would sure show a whole lot to me."
Mike currently shows Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin, Nebraska, Colorado, Notre Dame, Tennesee, Miami(FL), and Oklahoma on his list to go along with Iowa. All have offered except Miami. So with such a strong list of national contenders, what will be the deciding factors for Mike?
"I'll be asking questions like how comfortable I feel and how much I enjoy the coaching staff. Is the coaching staff good enough to win a national championship? How well will I fit in with the whole scheme of the program, including the community?"
Hawk fans have always found it difficult to lose an offensive line recruit, especially due to Coach Ferentz's background. HTO.com asked Mike the ever so tough question on how he rates offensive line coaches?
"I ask the coaches a lot of questions. Each coach operates differently so there is a lot of little things I have to look into. An example is what type of blocking schemes they run."
Coach Ferentz and Philbin have already gotten a leg up with the word of mouth process. Mike's older brother, Jim Jones, is currently an OL for the Baltimore Ravens, former stomping ground of Coach Ferentz.
"Jim never got the chance to play for Coach Ferentz, but he told me everyone in Baltimore has nothing but good things to say about him."
Knowing how Coach Ferentz operates on the professional level has to sit very well for Mike. Coach Ferentz has not shied away from making big goals for the Hawkeyes, and Mike shares the same attitude with the big goals he has set for himself. Mike will have a very tough choice this fall, and should rightfully take his time to make sure he is entering the best program for him.
Will Coach Ferentz and staff be able to prove to Mike that Iowa is the best place for him to learn and play his way to the NFL?