Ferentz on McCall

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Early last season, recruiting analyst Tom Lemming wrote a blog post that named Mika’il McCall one of the top big backs in the country.

The 6-foot, 215-pounder, however, doesn’t put himself in the “big back” class.

“I qualify myself as an average back,” said McCall, who rushed for 1,328 yards and 14 TDs at Thornridge (Ill.) High School last fall. “I don’t weigh that much, I’m probably just stronger than what a back is supposed to be. I think I’m much faster than the average big back.

“I don’t really classify myself as a bigger back, I classify myself as a running back.”

So does Iowa.

McCall was one of four running backs signed in the 2011 recruiting class. McCall joins Rodney Coe, a bona fide big back at 255 pounds, and late signees Jordan Canzeri and Damon Bullock.

McCall doesn’t classify himself as a big back, but his weightroom numbers put him in that neighborhood — a 405-pound bench press and a squat max of 550.

Links -- Here is a piece on McCall's recruiting from the Northwest (Illinois) Times. "He just felt it was not a good fit, maybe a matter of trust," [Thornridge coach Mike] Morrissey said. "I think Iowa will be a good fit for Mika'il. He will have a chance to play right away and contribute. Everyone knows what a great athlete he is and I think he can help (Iowa) Coach (Kirk) Ferentz and the Hawkeyes."

Three most interesting bio items -- 1) Rushed for 1,328 yards and 14 touchdowns as a senior. 2) Father, Oliver, is former heavyweight boxing champion. 3) Rushed for 1,072 yards and 10 touchdowns as a freshman.

Ferentz on -- With only two running backs on scholarship, it was a critical need in the 2011 class.

"It was a big need for us," recruiting coordinator Eric Johnson said.

"Mika’il McCall was the first one to jump on board. He was a kid who was committed somewhere else. Came to a bunch of our games. So, we asked if he was sincerely interested in us. He said he was. So, we opened the door to recruit him at that time. He was a guy we felt very strongly about, but we wanted to do a little bit more research before we ended up offering him a scholarship. We felt comfortable offering and we feel he’s going to be a tremendous football player.

"He really has deceptive speed. I don’t think people know how fast he really is. Good speed, power back. Reminds you of a guy we’ve had here before in that respect."

Projection is fun -- A unique combination of power and speed, McCall is built for Big Ten running back.

How soon? Iowa signed four running backs, so it depends how many are ready in year 1. I could see McCall, Rodney Coe and either Jordan Canzeri or Damon Bullock playing in '11.

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