Hello, my name is . . . Greg Mabin
Iowa coaches seem to love his intangibles
Greg Mabin didn't get a bedroom full of offers and letters. In the end, it was Iowa, Tulane and Jacksonville State (an FCS school).
For the pedigree crowd, this probably didn't do a whole lot for you.
The doubt is going to be there, but let's, just for a minute, try to see what Iowa saw.
Mabin finished his senior season at Calvary Christian Academy in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., with 52 catches for 877 yards and 15 touchdowns. As a junior, he had 58 catches for 1,094 yards and 12 touchdowns. So, he produced.
He has return skills, taking a kickoff and a punt for touchdowns during his career.
He's 6-2, 190. That seems to be the prototype for Erik Campbell's wide receivers at Iowa.
Mabin committed to Iowa relatively early in the recruiting process, pulling the trigger on Iowa in November just before his high school season ended. If he would've waited, more offers might've come. Among those showing interest (read: waiting to pounce) was Wisconsin.
"I'd have to say when I took the visit up there I just fell in love with the whole school," Mabin said about Iowa. "The atmosphere, the coaching staff, the players, and everything just felt right. I just felt at peace about it and I felt like it was God telling me that I need to go there."
Bloodlines might be the biggest draw. (Yes, read into those what you will -- past performance isn't an indication of future success -- but one of the words that kept popping up in my interview with Iowa recruiting coordinator Eric Johnson was "intangibles." At a program like Iowa and in a state where you shake a tree and only a handful of blue chip recruits might fall out, intangibles open doors.)
Mabin's dad, Wes, played cornerback for Nebraska, winning two national titles from 1968-71. You probably remember Northwestern cornerback Jordan Mabin. That's Greg's cousin.
The offers do matter. The stars count for something. But nothing is set in stone and, basically, you never know.
From ESPN.com: Displays good makeup speed and tackling skill as a defensive back suggesting potential as a special team's coverage defender. Flashes the quickness and acceleration necessary to release off of press coverage while applying pressure on defensive backs; although his route running skills will need refinement, we like his ability to settle into open areas and not cover himself; is quick in and out of the final break; displays good sideline awareness along with natural hands; shows good concentration with the ability to catch and adjust to throws high and out of the frame. Will come inside and catch in traffic; can make defenders miss at the second level while demonstrating quick re-start ability. Although we don't see a great 2nd gear this guy has the long speed necessary to go the distance; is efficient running the speed sweep. Mabin is presently flying under the radar as a major level prospect. However his athleticism and production warrant continued evaluation as the season progresses.
What Iowa coaches said
Recruiting coordinator Eric Johnson: We got his tape halfway through this year. He's a guy you can see on offense or defense. He's a tough kid. You see him blocking guys, hitting guys on defense. He brings toughness to that position and has decent speed. Jake Rudock's quarterback coach in high school worked with Greg and turned us on to him. Very smart kid. Great family. Father played at Nebraska. Cousin was a starting corner at Northwestern this year. Good bloodlines.
What I think
I know this might be recency effect, but do you get the vibe that the switcheroo might be going on here with Ruben Liles to WR and Greg Mabin to DB? Mabin was a second-team all-county as a defensive back. (Just second team? Easy, we're talking a Florida county.)
When Johnson talked about "physical" and "toughness," that got my attention. Maybe a safety?