Jason Ford, a 4-star RB out of Althoff Catholic HS in Belleville, Ill. was in Iowa City on Friday and Saturday to visit the Hawkeyes. By Saturday night, he'd given his verbal commitment, becoming the third member of the 2008 Iowa recruiting class.
"I already knew who, basically, my top two were, so I was deciding between Iowa and Illinois," Ford said of his process. "I visited Illinois last week and Iowa this week. I looked at the depth chart.
"I liked both places, but I could just see myself playing at Iowa earlier. I think I have a better chance to play my first year."
While on campus, Ford participated in 7-on-7 drills, with an opportunity to show off some more skills he hadn't displayed to the coaching staff before.
"They really didn't see me catch the ball on highlight film, but they got to see me play a bit of wideout and play some DB as well," Ford said.
Saturday night, Head Coach Kirk Ferentz got a call from Ford with some good news.
"I called Coach Ferentz later that night and told him," Ford said. "The coaches found out about it the next morning. He was really excited, he said it made his week."
One question that immediately springs to mind for many recruitniks on the message boards would be Ford's connection with Wes Kemp and Robert Steeples, both fellow Saint Louis-area standouts. Kemp currently holds an offer from the Hawkeyes, while Steeples is still waiting.
"I talked to them about (coming to Iowa,)" Ford said. "They like them, they're going to take one of their officials to Iowa. Hopefully I'll try and get them there too."
Ford said it's a relief to have this decision out of the way, and won't be entertaining any other offers from schools trying to enter the race for his services.
Ford held 10 offers, with his top four being recently reported as Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, and Wisconsin. This is the highest-rated tailback prospect in recent memory for the Hawkeyes, and comes quick on the heels of the departure of Shonn Greene, who had been penciled in as the starter for the 2008 and 2009 Hawkeye team after an expected redshirt in 2007.
Brian Finley can be reached at email@example.com