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Croot Loops: The Links

Six years of recruiting links? Six years of recruiting links

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Marc Morehouse

Here are the links to the “Croot Loops” series, which only feels as though it’s been running for months. Yes, I believe the Croot Loops title will be a one-time thing. I don't want it to distract from the information, which I'm afraid it has.

I would love to hear from you on these.

Who has the quickest track to playing time? Who is the sleeper? Who is the Karl Klug? Who is the “whoa, who’s that guy?”

I’d like to thank Iowa recruiting coordinator/defensive line assistant Eric Johnson for the interview he gave on signing day. His insight here is much appreciated. I'd also like to thank midwest recruiting analyst Josh Helmholdt for his insights. Great stuff from both. Hope you enjoyed it as much as I did.

I learn from these probably as much as you do.

These have accumulated over the years.

Here's the "Hello, My Name Is" links for the 2013 class.

Here is the link to the “Hello, my name is . . .” series for the 2012 class.

Here is the link to the “Ferentz on” series for the 2011 class.

Here is the link to the “Ferentz on” series for the 2010 class.

Here is the link to the “Ferentz on” series for the 2009 class.

Kicker Mick Ellis -- “Mick is simply an outstanding kicker. He has one of the biggest legs in his class and kicks with excellent consistency off the ground. Field goals are D1 ready right now. He is also big on kickoffs. Kicks very well under pressure. A focused and mentally ready kicker. Mick is a fine young man with a great attitude and work ethic.”

Cornerback Jalen Embry -- “He’s very good at the wide receiver position and could help out there. His highest upside is on defense, but we have him listed as an ‘athlete’ because he could play either side of the ball in college.”

DE Terrance Harris -- “He is a defensive end. He’s probably a little undersized from a height standpoint, but he’s a strong guy at the point of attack. He can run. You’ll see him chase plays down from the backside. Bigger guys don’t like to leave their feet. He’s one of those guys who’ll lay out and leave his feet."

 OLB Parker Hesse -- "He’s kind of in the mold of Chad Greenway. He played all over the field, quarterback, every thing. You don’t want to throw those labels out, but he was that type of player. Once he gets in a weight room and he focuses on a single sport, he’ll put on the weight and be an excellent player for us.”

RB C.J. Hilliard -- "What I like about him is he’s going to be able to do everything that’s going to be asked of him. He can run between the tackles, he can play on the edge. He can catch passes out of the backfield and he’ll be a good blocker for you. He’s a good all-around back."

CB Joshua Jackson -- “He could be a corner, he could be a safety, he could flip over to wide receiver. Excellent athlete. He’s one of those guys we’ll get into camp and see where he fits in.”

CB Marcel Joly -- “I think you look at him, Omar [Truitt], Josh Jackson, we have some guys who redshirted in this past class who I think you’ll see be outstanding in the return game. I think we’ve helped ourselves on special teams in the last two years with the athletes we’ve brought in.”

P Dillon Kidd -- "“It’s an area that we think we need healthy competition this spring and this summer, so we feel like we have a chance to have a good football team this next year. I know we’ve lost some really good players in that area, so we want to add to the competition.”

OL Lucas LeGrand -- “I’m interested in seeing how his career develops. He could come in and just end up being depth or he could get a fire lit under his rear-end and turn out to be one of those great Iowa offensive linemen that they produce on a regular basis."

LB Aaron Mends -- “He can run. He was another guy who saw in our camp. He was banged up his senior year. He’s not the biggest guy. He’s 6-feet, 200-and-whatever pounds. He can run and he’ll hit you. Once he gets into a college weight room and puts on a little size, you can’t teach speed and quickness. That’s what he has."

DE Matt Nelson -- "He’s got such a long frame. Once he fills out, he’s going to be a totally different player. Does he play tight end? Does he play defensive end? Sounds like defensive end is what they’re looking at him for. It could be a 6-7, 290-pound defensive end."

OLB Ben Niemann -- “You could see him playing wide receiver, linebacker, safety, all of that. He came to camp and was extremely athletic. You can see the toughness on tape. He showed it again when he came to camp."

LB Jameer Outsey -- "Even before he stepped on the field, he was one of those guys who immediately pick out. He just looks like a college linebacker should look."

OL Keegan Render -- "He’s an inside guy, no question. We didn’t necessarily need inside guys, but he was a guy we evaluated and offered early. We felt very strong about him as a football player."

WR Jay Scheel -- “I think he’s the best athlete in the state."

RB Markel Smith -- “A very similar style to Montee Ball.”

S Miles Taylor -- "Taylor may need some polish to his overall game, particularly in coverage, but has some ability and physical tools to mold. We would like to see him add size while improving speed and flexibility."

CB Omar Truitt -- "We’re so much zone you have to ask your corners to be support the run. There’s not a position on our defense where you can say that guy can take a play off from a physicality standpoint, so our corners have to be able to hit.”

QB Tyler Wiegers -- "He’s one of the most accurate passers I’ve covered in the past couple of years. He throws such a beautiful ball."

Here is a list of preferred walk-ons (compiled by

Miguel Recinos - 6-foot-1, 173-pound P/K from Mason City, IA (Mason City)

Jake Gervase - 6-foot-1, 190-pound DB from Davenport, IA (Assumpton)

Dalton Ferguson - 6-foot-4, 315-pound OL from Solon, IA (Solon)

Jacob Sobotka - 6-foot-3, 215-pound LB from Mount Ayr, IA (Mount Ayr)

Zach Johnson - 6-foot-3, 245-pound LS from Minnetonka, MN (Hopkins)

Eric Grimm - 6-foot-2, 200-pound LB from Olney, MD (Good Counsel)

Brandon Snyder - 6-foot-0, 190-pound DB from Inwood, IA (West Lyon)

Sam Brincks - 6-foot-5, 221-pound DE from Carroll, IA (Kuemper Catholic)

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