Ferentz on Alston
Quinton Alston picked Pitt and Dave Wannstedt early, but his plans were blown up when Wannstedt and Pitt went separate ways in December.
Mike Haywood was hired and then fired one day later after an arrest for felony domestic abuse. That was enough for Alston, who's family was very much involved in his journey to big-time college football.
So, Alston went from a place that had three head coaches in a span of about a month to a place that's had two in the last 33 years (Hayden Fry went 20; Kirk Ferentz enters year 13).
Links -- The South Jersey Courier-Post writes about "Team Alston." Quinton Alston's mom, Connie, took an active role in the recruiting process. She has a blog (What No One Tells You About Football Recruiting) and a Facebook page on the topic.
Three most interesting things from his bio -- 1) Saw action in just two games as a senior because of injury (meniscus surgery on a knee; still got 18 scholarship offers). 2) Recorded six tackles for the north team in the Chesapeake Bowl (picked for this despite missing most of the season). 3) Earned academic recognition in each of last four years.
Ferentz on -- On signing day, coach Kirk Ferentz was asked about the three linebackers Iowa recruited and how they might sort themselves out.
"We'll wait and see," he said. "We'll get them on campus and last year is about as high a number of first-year players that we have had that have played and we will probably continue on in that vein. It has continued to work well for us so realistically, maybe one or two will play but the rest will redshirt. But, feel real good about those guys, building a good nucleus there. Been hit pretty hard the last two years at that position and certainly our injuries last year, between that and the running back position, really affected our team and affected our special teams as well."
I think Alston was in Iowa City the same weekend as DT commit Darian Cooper.
"And getting Quinton Alston to jump on board. He helped that way, too [recruit other kids]," recruiting coordinator Eric Johnson said. "They really developed a relationship a couple weeks ago. A bunch of those kids came in together and really became close."
Projection is fun -- Alston probably can play any of the three linebacker positions. If he bulks up to the 245 or 250 range, he could perhaps move inside to D-end. He's coming to Iowa City with roughly the same dimensions as Broderick Binns.
Does he have a shot to play in 2011? I think he does. I could see Alston in a special teams role. Injuries at linebacker of course took a chunk out of linebacker, but it also hampered Iowa's special teams last season.