So this class is either mostly completed, or half way home; either way, you are looking at one of the earlier ‘filling out of the dance cards' we have seen in an Iowa recruiting class in some time.
My thoughts on early commitments are that these are kids that Iowa targeted from an early perspective, thus they really saw something in them from their junior tape that made them feel good enough to offer them one of their precious and finite scholarships. To me, an early commit is someone that verbals for you before the calendar turns to November.
In the case of late September and October commits, the Iowa coaching staff has had time to see some limited tape from a senior season, and make an offer (if one hadn't been there already). I always feel good about that, too.
None of this is to say that I don't feel good about prospects that commit later in a class; recruiting is a long and winding road.
Here are a few names to shed some light on how the rest of Iowa's recruiting road may play out this year. These are names that I believe to be on Iowa's radar through conversations with multiple sources, not just names in a recruiting database, as that is not always reflective of a school's interest.
Merrell has offers from UNC, NC State, Pitt, Rutgers, Tennessee, Virginia Tech and West Virginia, among others. He also has a twin brother. He is a four-star prospect as rated by Scout.com. Alex Williams has offers from Arkansas, East Carolina, Ole Miss and Arkansas.
Keensen Chambers may be a new name to Hawkeye fans; he is 6-6, closer to 240-pounds right now. I believe he was at one time part of South Carolina's recruiting class last year, but did not enroll. Amazing point to share here: as Brian and I were trying to track down information on this player, we were able to get in touch with him. And it turns out he is visiting Iowa City this weekend. Brian Finley spoke with him and you can read this amazing story HERE.
With the commitment of Harrell, and as is always the case in recruiting, some of these names could be fluid.
Here are some other names that Iowa is in contact with but do not yet have an offer: Martin Hopkins of Illinois, Chase Douglas of South Dakota, Dominic Alvis of Logan-Magnolia High School, Forest Stuckey of Kansas and Aaron Hush of New Jersey.
IN THE FOLD: None
ON THE RADAR: Cornerbacks: Darious Thomas of Cedar Hill, Texas may have an offer from Iowa. He is 6-0, 175 pounds, but to say that he is ‘on the radar' would be in the classic Iowa recruiting sense. This player certain fits the bill with regards to diamonds in the rough that Iowa hones in on and develops into quality players, while the several other school wonder in hindsight what they missed.
Also in the mix but without an Iowa offer are Eric Loper of New Jersey, Torian Philips of New York and Kareem Pratt of New Jersey.
Safeties: Jarius Jones of Wharton High School in Tampa Florida has an Iowa offer. Iowa has not been mentioned prominently during his recruiting process, but if the Hawks were able to make a trip to the Outback Bowl this year, we have seen instances where something like that has benefited Iowa on the recruiting trail (see Vernon Jackson and the 2004 Cap One Bowl).
Both Glaud and Hodges are highly rated players. Hodges said in a Scout.com story dated November 12th that it's down to Rutgers and Penn State; he has been a verbal to Rutgers. But he also said that he wants to take an official visit to Iowa.
Glaud has offers from Maryland, Boston College, Iowa, Rutgers, Tennessee, West Virginia and others.
One thing that has been common in these two offensive and defensive write ups, is that Rutgers disappointing season has had the potential to dismantle a very, very impressive recruiting class for the Scarlet Knights. Iowa is running into Rutgers on the recruiting trail quite a bit.