HTO.com Special Holiday Recruiting Update

Hawkeye gifts are beginning to be unwrapped, and HTO.com has a can't miss Christmas day story! Get the most in-depth and inside report on Hawkeye football recruiting right here at HawkTalkOnline.com. It comes from all angles, from quarterback recruiting to wide receiver recruiting. Get the latest on both Tommy Zbikowski and Mike Jones!

Quarterback
The nation's top quarterback, Chris Leak, made his visit to Iowa City last weekend. Reportedly, the visit went very well for Chris. In fact, many raved about his maturity and felt that he was already a sophomore on campus. There is no question among the Hawkeye coaching staff that he could step in and be a serious contender for the starting job from day one.

The word around Iowa City is the staff is seriously leaning towards only signing one quarterback if Leak chooses Iowa. They are very high on Eric McCollom, though, and will give serious consideration to signing him. In fact, if he signed, he would likely come in to compete with Jason Manson on which one stays at QB and which one switches positions. Its been said McCollom doesn't stand much more than 5'10, and Iowa is the only school currently recruiting him as a quarterback. Could he eventually turn into a cornerback?

Drew Tate's visit went well, as expected, but he also stands in the 5'10 range and doesn't carry a big frame. Considered a pro-style quarterback, many questioned if he had the size to be a legit divison one quarterback. That will be left up to Drew to prove in the college ranks. His high school career certainly carries momentum, but Iowa may decide to go in the direction of Chris Leak.

If Leak goes elsewhere, expect the Hawks to enter the picture with JUCO QB Walter Washington. He has good mobility and size to go along with a strong arm. In fact, at 245, they may ask him to lose a few pounds. Right now, though, he is on the backburner.

Wide Receiver
The staff is disappointed in losing out on three of their top prospects in Andrew Weatherly, James Townsend, and Phillip Jones. They especially wanted Weatherly, and still have an outside shot. Landing Leak would certainly help their cause in fighting for a January visit. p>Townsend's high school coach at Delran is a former GameCock. It appears that it would be a shocker not to see James in a South Carolina jersey!

After those three, things begin to appear a big slide to other players. The staff has not viewed many other receivers that they really want. Therefore, Chandler and Grigsby could be the only two WR's in this class. Of course, they will then look to sign three or four the following year with Adrian Arrington leading the way!

Mike Jones/Tommy Zbikowski
Mike Jones remains the top target at Offensive Line, and right now Iowa is considered the slight favorite to many in the Chicago area. Mike is set on taking all five official visits at the moment. However, he will be flying down to San Antonio this Monday with Tommy Zbikowksi. Tommy is likely to announce his decision before the end of winter break, and Nebraska/Iowa appear to be the slight favorites currently. The big issue is his desired position, but with Chris Leak potentially coming to Iowa that would help him feel more comfortable playing free safety. Tommy and Mike could end up being the Blake Larsen/Matt Roth duo of this year with their trip together to San Antonio; much like the Miami(FL) visit Blake and Matt attended together. Tommy also plans to meet up with Leak on the trip. Could Zbikowski's decision potentially come up at halftime?

Offensive Line
The staff will be looking to sign at least two more offensive lineman. With no luck in signing a pure tackle, Iowa is leaning more towards playing Mike Jones on the outside rather than inside. Iowa has connections to Mike Alvarez, back to Coach Ferentz's coaching days at Maine, and will be trying to get involved while practicing for Orange Bowl. Also, it appears likely the staff will receive strong consideration from Ryan Schuler in making a January visit. It is also likely the staff could bring in Charleston Gray for an official visit.

Ray Lankford/Khayyam Burns
With the commitment of Chris Brevi, the staff told both prospects to explore other options. The staff is still working very hard on Zbikowski, and potentially signing him could mean a move to linebacker for Brevi. Brevi is already above 210 and has the frame to easily be in the 230/235 range. It may not matter on Zbikowski as his speed and hitting ability could develop him into a very fine linebacker at the "Mike" or "Will" spots.

Scholarships
Iowa has fourteen current known commitments with Corey Reddick signing with Kansas State. It also likely means they will reward another eight or nine scholarships. Below are my most likely choices for whom the scholarships will be given out.

QB: (1 or 2)
RB: (1)
TE: (1)
OL: (2)
DT: (1)
CB: (1 or 2)
S: (1)

There is an outside chance of the staff signing both Kittrell and McCray. Also, the staff may sign Eric McCollom, and later determine whether he plays quarterback or cornerback.


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