Notes from . . .

With around 19 scholarships available, Iowa looks for LBs, playmakers

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Believe it or not, it's nearly two months until the national signing period begins.

As you know, Iowa has 15 commitments and is very near the 85 scholarship limit for next season. How many more? My guess would be 20 or 21 on the high end and 18 or 19 on the low.

Yes, I know Iowa is maybe one off the 85, but Iowa can "oversign" by three.

How does that work?

The Big Ten requires programs to make an honest assessment of how many scholarship slots will be available for next year. This includes those who finished eligibility, early NFL entrants, quitting and transfers and etc.†Once the school has that number, itís allowed to add three. Thatís how many recruits it can bring in.

If the schools intend to oversign, the conference wants to be notified before it happens.

Iowa will lose 19 seniors, including at least 16 on scholarship. There could be more departures, for a variety of reasons, but right now Iowa's scholarship number is 19 for 2013.

So, Iowa could oversign by three players as long as it documents how it can fall below the 85-man scholarship limit. It has to do that before camp opens in August.

So, 19, give or take.

Here's publisher Tom Kakert with a recruiting update:

With only a few spots left to fill in the Class of 2013, Kirk Ferentz and his staff have to be selective in which recruits they pursue and offer.

Last week during his end of the season press conference, Ferentz confirmed once again that there were only three or four spots left in this recruiting class. When pressed about which positions were the biggest need, Ferentz didnít duck the question.

ďI think just looking at some defensive needs right now. We have three senior linebackers, but we're thin and we've been depleted there medically. So that is certainly a concern. Then on the offensive side, guys that could score touchdowns would be a good thing. We've got a couple, so if we could get some more, that would be great,Ē he said.

Basically, Ferentz said they were looking to add one or two linebackers and one or two playmakers on the offensive side of the ball.

The Hawkeyes have a commit from John Kenney, a three star linebacker prospect from Indiana. Kenney was feeling some pressure from other prospects in Indiana to flip to the Hoosiers, but he resisted that temptation and will graduating early and enrolling at Iowa in January. Iowa also has a verbal commitment from Des Moines Lincoln prep Trevon Young, who is currently listed as a linebacker. But, at 6-foot-4 and 220 pounds, the three star prospect could end up growing into a defensive end.

The Hawkeyes are currently making a strong push for a couple of linebacker prospects. Reggie Spearman, a three star prospect from Chicago currently committed to Illinois, visited Iowa City in early November and is still weighing his options. The Hawkeyes also recently extended a scholarship offer to Jake Roh, a 6-foot-3 and 200 pound linebacker prospect from Arizona. Iowa linebacker coach LeVar Woods visited Roh last week to extend the scholarship offer and he will visit Iowa this week (Thursday-Saturday) before also visiting Boise State. Rohís older brother, Craig, played at Michigan. Could that help the Hawkeyes?

"My brother, just from playing there against them, says Iowa would be a great place to play," Jake Roh said. "He says it's a real college town with a lot of tradition."

One final name to watch is Levonte Robinson, who made an official visit this past weekend. The 5-foot-11 and 215 pound linebacker is a high school teammate of current Iowa commit Solomon Warfield, who also made his official visit this past weekend. Iowa recently picked up their interest in Robinson, who currently holds offers Eastern Michigan and Toledo, but the Hawkeyes have not offered. Iowa told him this weekend that they hope he will stay patient with them as they wait to hear from other prospects who have offers.

The other need area is obviously at the skill positions and the Hawkeyes are still making a push to land either a running back or wide receiver. Currently, Ferentz does not have a commitment from a running back in the Class of 2013. They recently pulled a scholarship offer to three star athlete Berkley Edwards, who committed to Minnesota last week. It should be noted that Iowa will be putting Mark Weisman on scholarship in January as a running back. The Hawkeyes did offer Boston College commit LeShun Daniels last week. The Eagles recently fired their head coach and the Ohio native is thinking about making an official visit to Iowa, but says he remains committed to Boston College.

At the receiver position, Iowa has three commitments from Rock Island prep Derek Willies, and St. Louis area natives Derrick Mitchell Jr. and Andre Harris. One name to watch could be three star receiver Brian Lemelle from Pennsylvania, who is still considering an official visit to Iowa and perhaps Dan Monteroso, who is a verbal commit to Boston College. The Ohio native chose the Eagles over the Hawkeyes in the summer.

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