The Hawkeyes have won the battle with coveted Cedar Falls' offensive lineman Ross Pierschbacher. Now, a 13-month war begins.
Pierschbacher, a 6-4, 275-pounder, announced his commitment to the Hawkeyes on his Twitter account Saturday afternoon. "Just got off the phone with Coach [Kirk] Ferentz, I have taken a big step forward in my life by committing to the University of Iowa!"
This is a verbal commitment, so it's non-binding. The binding part for Pierschbacher won't come for another 13 months, when he signs and faxes his letter of intent to the University of Iowa next February. Still, by all accounts, Pierschbacher is a good get.
Rivals.com midwest recruiting analyst Josh Helmholdt calls Pierschbacher a "potential top 100 recruit" for the 2014 recruiting class. The Cedar Falls High School junior also has offers from Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Nebraska and Wisconsin.
Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly made overtures about NFL jobs this week. That pushed Pierschbacher to a decision, he told HawkeyeReport.com.
"It was between Iowa and Notre Dame coming down to it and just with the stuff with coach Kelly, I know coach Ferentz is going to be there for a while and just the stability," Pierschbacher said. "It's a big deal to me to play in front of Iowa people. I grew up here and I've been an Iowa fan for my whole life, so it just meant a lot to me. I couldn't see myself going anywhere else really."
Pierschbacher is the first official commitment for Iowa's 2014 class. South Dakota wide receiver Matthew VandeBerg, 6-1, 170, has accepted a grayshirt offer from Iowa, meaning he'll go on scholarship when the spring semester starts in 2014. His scholarship would then count toward the 2014 class.
Pierschbacher said Iowa will put him on the Bryan Bulaga-Riley Reiff track. Those two started their Hawkeye careers as guards before moving to left tackle and leaving a year early to become first-round NFL draft picks.
"Yeah, they [Iowa coaches] think they're going to do what they did with Bulaga and Reiff and all of them," Pierschbacher said. "They're going to start me out at guard my first couple of years or first year and then they're going to move me out to left tackle. So, that's the plan right now."
There hasn't been any movement on the 2013 recruiting front for the Hawkeyes since mid-December, when Iowa gained a commitment from Ohio running back LeShun Daniels and lost one to Michigan when safety Delano Hill de-committed.
Iowa's 2013 class stands at 16. Iowa could end up with 19 or 20 in this class, with Chicago linebacker Reggie Spearman and Maryland athlete Jacquille Veii being possibilities. The national signing period begins Feb. 6.Here's a link to a video interview from yesterday HawkeyeReport.com had with Pierschbacher.