2009 Recruiting Class Awards

With the 2009 Recruiting Class nearly in the books, HN.com rolls out its Recruiting Awards. We select the best in several categories, such as speed, size, extra heartbeat, the sleeper, the overlooked and many more...

With 2009 signing day upon us, HawkeyeNation.com hands out its fictitious, but hopefully entertaining list of Recruiting Class Awards. 

THE FASTEST:  Brandon Wegher of Sioux City Heelan.  Now, the true 40-yard dash time for Wegher is a bit elusive.  Some say he has gone 4.28, which is what he reports on his own website, www.wegherfootball.com, but that seems unlikely.  That's Deion Sanders-speed.  He has certainly gone sub 4.50 electronically timed, which is very impressive, perhaps even flirting with 4.39.  He reports a 6.99 run in the 60 meters and a 10.69 in the 100 meters.  Anyway you slice it, he's fast, and the fastest player in the Class of 2009. 

THE BIGGEST: Nolan MacMillan of Toronto, Canada.  He is listed at 6-6/285, and he one well put together kid, who is still young for his class and is still growing.  All of this without the work of Chris Doyle, and that starts to get you excited.  He played for The Hun School, a very prestigious academic program and one heck of a football powerhouse. 

MOST IMPRESSIVE TAPE:  It's hard to argue with going with Wegher here, but perhaps Stephane Ngoumou's highlight reel was impressive just because of how unexpected a surprise his late commitment to Iowa was.  At 6-4 and over 200 pounds, he has the size you want, and that's before getting in line with Coach Doyle's diet and conditioning program.  Fairly graceful if still a tad raw, I think a lot of people in this state see a lot of upside potential here. 

THE SLEEPER:  There's just something about Dakota Getz's story that rings with me.  Perhaps it's some parallels to Brandon Myers and Allen Reisner's recruitment; both of those players were on their way to the Missouri Valley Conference to play football for UNI before Iowa came in late in the recruiting process and gave them scholarships.  Getz was on his way to Western Illinois before the same thing happened.  Getz is from a small school in Illinois, and after speaking with him, I could sense that he will arrive on campus with that chip on his shoulder from perhaps being overlooked by several programs, including the instate Illini.

THE ONE THAT GOT AWAY:  One might write in the name David Barrent in this space, the offensive lineman from West Des Moines Valley.  He committed to Iowa in early May of 2008, so the Hawks definitely targeted him early in their process.  When you receive a scholarship offer from Iowa that early on, they want you.  As much as some people would like to think that's not the case, just recall the Hawks track record of being fairly stingy with early offers.  It's why I am always most pleased when one of Iowa's early targets winds up committing to Iowa, because they saw something.  Now, the optimist could say that Nolan MacMillan's commitment to Iowa makes up for it, and that MacMillan played against better competition and that MacMillan might be better suited to player earlier than Barrent and has more upside.

THE ONE THAT DIDN'T:  Brandon Wegher.  This was a close call between Wegher and Davis, because both of them were highly recruited, four-star instate players.  Wegher had February 2008 offers from Penn State and Auburn, among many others.  How many Iowa high school players can you remember getting an offer from Penn State and Auburn at any time in the recruiting process?  Here is a list of offers Wegher received, again, from his website:  Arkansas, Auburn, Arizona, Buffalo, Illinois, Iowa State, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Penn State, San Diego State, Texas Tech, Wisconsin and Wyoming.  Davis' list was also very impressive:  Arizona State, Cincinnati, Wisconsin, Oklahoma, Colorado, Illinois, Nebraska, Kansas and Minnesota to name a few. 

THE NEXT ‘HEARTBEAT PLAYER':  Shane Dibona.  There's something about this kid that just screams out ‘heart and soul.'  Dibona's coach said that he has never seen a player go from first step to full speed as fast as Dibona, and that didn't matter if he was talking offense or defense.  It's likely he begins his Iowa career as a fullback, and at Iowa, this is a position of power and knocking people's teeth out.  Iowa fans appreciate and notice punishers like this. 

FUTURE STAR:  Keenan Davis.  Dominique Douglas was on his way to relative stardom at Iowa City, after leading all freshmen in college football with nearly 50 catches his rookie year.  He was 6-0/190.  DJK has certainly jumped up to grab that spotlight after a solid sophomore season.  Davis has two or three inches on both of those players and he is certainly faster than Douglas.  If he can keep a level head, focus on the little things and run solid routes, his upside is exciting to think about.  Having WR Coach Erik Campbell to teach hone his craft is also an exciting prospect, just as it is for Jordan Cotton and Ngoumou.

OVERLOOKED:  One of the downsides to grayshirting is that you are mostly an afterthought in the recruiting process, at least in the eyes of the public spotlight.  Jake Reisen was a grayshirt last year, so he will be a part of the 2009 recruiting class.  He was 6-2 and just above 200 pounds last year when he told Iowa he would accept their grayshirt offer.  It sounds like he is up to 225 pounds right now and is one of the few linebackers in this class, if not the only one as of Tuesday night.  Dominic Alvis of Logan-Magnolia, a 6-4, 230 pound defensive line prospect, is grayshirting at the present time, and if that holds true, he is the second ‘commit' of the Class of 2010, behind Solon's James Morris.

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