Jonathan Stupar could not have visited Iowa City on any better weekend in seeing the performance of Dallas Clark. Jonathan will still make a visit to Florida State, followed by a fifth visit to either Notre Dame, Boston College, or Miami(FL). He has completed trips to Virginia, Arizona State, and Iowa. One strong advantage Iowa has over the others, besides their terrific use of the tight end, is playing in the Big Ten conference. Jonathan's father, Steve, is a former Nittany Lion, and his uncle is former NFL QB Jeff Hostletter, who starred at West Virginia. Right now, Iowa and Virginia have the early edge according to sources, but the Hawks will need to continue to finish strong. Jonathan is one of the top prospects on the Hawks' board at this time.
Ernest Mason gave a verbal commitment to Wisconsin this week, giving Hawk fans disappointing news from the Fort Worth area. The Hawks still are in very strong contention with Michael Turner, Terion Caldwell, and Charleston Gray, and all three will be officially visiting. The reports around Fort Worth indicated to HTO.com that Ernest is a track guy playing football. He has the burner speed and playmaking ability, but do not believe Iowa has lost the complete package at WR. In fact, Herb Grigsby is more of a physical presence on the field, and contains the same playmaking potential as Mason. Herb has great explosiveness off the line, but right now does not have the leg strength of Mason's in running a 100 yard dash; however; that will come with work of Coach Doyle if the Hawks are able to land him.
Speaking of Grigsby, his name has not carried around as much in recent weeks due to the reports of his spring commitment to Arkansas. Herb is keeping an open mind with recent offers from Arizona and Ole' Miss, and loved his visit to Iowa City, including the chance to meet Merton Hanks. The Hawks are sitting very well with Herb, and are hoping to land both he and Byron Williams to start their WR recruiting.
Also, noting back to Wisconsin, don't be surprised for the Hawks to battle hard in getting some late visitors into town. The match-up is potentially looking like the biggest this season in Kinnick, and could have much to do with the Hawks' chances in playing on January 1, 2003. The Hawks will have two big recruiting weekends following. Akim Millington, Harvey McDougle, and Reggie Smith will be in town for Northwestern, and Travis Thomas, Cameron Bobb, and Luke Knauf are slated for the weekend of the 23rd.
6'4 240 (4.9) DE Bryan Mattison has set his official visit with the Hawks for December 6th. HTO.com will be in attempt to get a story on Bryan by the end of this week, but sources have told us Iowa is a very strong player in his recruitment right now. In fact, Bryan and his father, Greg Mattison (current D-Line/Recruiting Coordinator at Notre Dame) made a visit to Iowa City this summer. Word is that Notre Dame was going to offer in attempt to help pick-up attention in Bryan, but with offers from the Hawks, Colorado, Oregon, Iowa State, and others there is plenty of good attention being shown.
Concern has grown over the past few weeks in regards to the possiblity of losing out on Byron Williams. However, there is not much to worry about. Byron absolutely loved his visit to Iowa City, but is doing his father's wishes in visiting more schools. He will visit Virginia Tech, which could present a scare, but Iowa is in favor over Purdue and Rutgers. In fact, Byron's mother even went out and bought a Iowa shirt before the end of Byron's official visit so you'd have to believe they'd hate to waste money. Byron would certainly be a great start in Camden where the Hawks are still battling for a visit from Turk McBride, Preston Brown, and Elijah Robinson.
Two Steve Burch clones to watch out for this fall are 6'2 240 DE Ravon Ellis (Ann Arbor Huron)and 6'2 240 DE Antoine Jackson (Detroit Crockett). Do not be surprised if these two names pop up again in December along with ATH Oseloka Keys, whom HTO.com reported on a few weeks back.
Lastly, two of the Hawks' top DB prospects in Jonathan Jackson and Walt Gilbert both have room to improve academically. The Hawks are remaining in pursuit, much like Steve Burch last year, but the Hawks patience has paid off in the past and once again could in these two prospects. The Hawks have backed off Marcus Clayton a bit because of his size. Marcus is a tremendous player and athlete, but the one area the Hawks will be looking to improve at cornerback is in adding size, and Mike Phillips would be the perfect option at this time.
Lastly, the Hawks are off to a fast start in the season, and it very could help translate into a great closing of the recruiting season. One impact player that has now shown an interest in visiting Iowa due to the fast start is Darieus Hiley. He is one of the top athletes in the country, at both WR and CB, and preferably could make an immediate impact for the Hawks at cornerback.