Hawks Ahead in 2010 Recruiting

Iowa's football recruiting class of 2010 has 10 verbal commitments thus far. When looking back through past seasons, this is the most 'hay in the barn' at this date in August that the Hawks have enjoyed. It's changing how Iowa will recruit the rest of the way, too. Recruiting Coordinator Eric Johnson talks about those aspects and more...

Q: When you look back at the 10 or 11 recruiting classes you have been a part of at Iowa, is this the furthest along you have been with regards to verbal commitments?

Eric Johnson: Definitely. We have been talking about it for the last few weeks as a staff that we are going to have some different scenarios going on once official visits happen because we have not had this many commitments at this time of year in the past. That being said, as everyone knows recruiting never stops and you try to hold on to the ones you have and you have to recruit those guys just as hard because of the way kids change their minds

Q: Is this an ideal set up for you, getting some hay in the barn so early, commitment wise?

Johnson: Its been nice because we have the ones that we have right now and now we can focus our attention on a smaller group of kids rather than a broad pool of players. We have been able to tell some guys we have only one spot left and we will take the first gy that commits at your position. It allows us where maybe at this time of year last year we were recruiting 10 guys for two guys for two spots, we are down to two or three guys for one spot. It helps you give more personal attention.

Q: You were involved with college football before the advent of the internet back in the late 1990's. Has technology made your job harder or easier?

Johnson: Probably a little bit harder just because kids nowadays are getting so much information that sometimes its hard for them to tell what is factual and what is not factual. With the internet, they are getting bigger heads at this point in their lives than they should have because of all of the interviews and they are seeing themselves on the internet more and more and its harder to bring them back to reality as to what its really like. It makes it harder to recruit because they are reading about what another kid is saying that you are recruiting, and that may or may not be true. Sometimes people talk to be heard and not always present the facts the way they are. So you have to undo some of the things that they think is going on. Ten, Fifteen years ago, a kid in Michigan may not know you are recruiting a kid in Wisconsin. Now everyone knows everything. It makes it more difficult. Then the message boards and you get some people saying things that they have no idea as to what we are thinking and that may influence a kid. There is so much information that it makes it more difficult.

Q: From signing day to when a kid arrives at fall camp, is there deprogramming that has to take place? As you said, they have had a taste of being a star and they come here and realize they are a true freshman...is that a harder adjustment to make because of exposure?

Johnson: Here in Iowa in our situation, we have not necessarily gotten the premier kid. We have taken kids that have fit what we are looking for. We would take a premier kid that fits our criteria of course. But we haven't had to do too much deprogramming. Our guys come in and work hard. from our point of view, I don't know that I would say that.

Q: The Coches Poll came out Friday and had Iowa at 21. Some folks say Iowa does better when it's off the radar. There is a good buzz around this program locally, would you rather have it that way?

Johnson: Once we get into two a days, which is what we started (Friday), we are focused on getting practice going, taking one day at a time and getting better each practice. The rankings will change once the year starts. We just can't pay a lot of attention to that.

Q: So basically you told the wife and kids goodbye for a few weeks.

Johnson: Two nights ago, that was it. We said we will see you here in January or February (laughs).

Hawkeye Insider Top Stories