If you've been an Iowa fan during the last decade or longer, you know your team can never have enough running backs. From Aaron Greving to the rash of injuries in 2004 to Jewel Hampton being out this season, Hawkeye followers learned to understand depth at the position is extremely important.
Iowa is working hard to add to that stable in the '10 recruiting class. Marcus Coker from the Washington, D.C. area is already a verbal commitment. One of the other main targets is south Florida's James White, who is scheduled to visit Iowa for the Arizona game on Sept. 19.
"I'm looking for a place where I can get a good education, graduate and get my degree," White said. "I'd like to play for coaches that are down to earth and it feels like a home away from home. An opportunity to play early also is important."
White helped St. Thomas Aquinas of Fort Lauderdale, Fla. win a state championship and earn the No. 1 ranking in the country last season. The 5-foot-10, 200-pound back rushed 125 times for 933 yards rushing as a junior. He also had 12 receptions for 125 yards and a total of 21 touchdowns.
"It was a really nice place," White said. "All the coaches are real down to earth. (Head Coach Brett) Bielema is a great coach."
Former prep teammates and current Badger freshmen Conor O'Neill and Dez Southward helped White get a feel for Madison.
"They kind of showed me the ropes of the place and tried to persuade me to come there," White said. "It's great having people you know when you're going somewhere. They'll have been there for a year. They've already experienced it. They could help you out your freshman year."
Despite the early-season visits, White said he's not close to making a decision on his college choice. He's going to try to use all five of his official trips. He said N.C. State, Clemson, Syracuse, Purdue and South Florida all are in the picture and distance from home will not be a factor. He does not claim a favorite.
White likes Iowa.
"It's a Big Ten school," he said. "Most of the schools in that league rely on their running backs. I like schools that rely on their running backs."
Shonn Greene's big season for the Hawkeyes a year ago also impacted White.
"It's a bonus to see that they can produce great running backs," White said. "Shonn Greene won the Doak Walker last year. Coach (Lester) Erb is a great running back coach. It would be a great joy to work with him."
White said that whichever school gets him will receive a back capable of a lot of different things.
"I just feel that I'm very versatile," he said. "You can line me up in the slot. I can take it to the house for you. I can block. I feel like I can do just about everything."
Former Hawkeye Mo Brown came to Iowa from St. Thomas Aquinas. White said he does not know of Brown.