IOWA CITY — Iowa has put out its official list of signees for the 2018 football recruiting class.
So, recruiting 2018 is officially over. How did Iowa do?
Rivals has Iowa 38th nationally and seventh in the Big Ten. That’s enough. More stars the better, obviously, but whatever happens today is step one for everybody.
— Between walk-ons and scholarship players, Iowa is adding 40 players to the fold Wednesday. I think that’s probably a record. (Sorry for the lamestream media joke. Twitter is kind of the same show.)
I do think Iowa took a hard look at walk-ons and redid things. I’ve also become stuck on this post from Yahoo’s Pete Thamel (love his stuff) about the Patriots and undrafted free agents.
“There’s an equality to the players drafted and undrafted in the eyes of the evaluators,” said former Patriots executive Mike Lombardi, who now works at The Ringer. “There’s no agenda. When you remove the agenda of player procurement, you end up with what are best players. You admit mistakes like they have; you don’t worry about it.”
Maybe this is the idea: Walk-ons are a hungry group with that whole “shoulder chip” thing. If a schollie guy jogs out onto the practice field, the walk-on is sprinting. The walk-on is tying his shoes faster, getting his ankles taped more efficiently.
As Pete’s post states, this creates value in practice. Players learn how to practice and how to get things out of practice. In 1999 and 2000, you could see Iowa had the guts of a good O-line, but the players were young and in development. That group's mantra was concentrating on one thing every day. I think four of those guys ended up in the pros and Robert Gallery and Eric Steinbach are among the best to ever walk in the place.
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I’m not saying the Hawkeyes are New England. But you know the programs share some philosophies. Both Feretnzes have been in the belly of the Belichick beast.
— Some fun Twitter back and forth this morning between CB recruit Julius Brents and recruiting coordinator Kelvin Bell. Iowa listed Brents at 160 pounds. Brents tweeted at Iowa: “160?”
— I know Solon’s Tyler Linderbaum still is coming into Iowa as a DT prospect, but he very well could switch to center, especially with Iowa in the market for a center (probably after 2018).
If Linderbaum does shift to OL, you’ve got Cody Ince, Jeff Jenkins and Jack Plumb. That’s a terrific OL class. OL needs to raise the floor after last year. This is how that happens.
— I believe the thing you see walk-ons signing (it’s all over the social media) is a financial aid agreement (covering admissions expense?). They sign that and the school can acknowledge their arrival. Otherwise, schools can’t talk about them because they’re still recruitable.
— Hits for this class: Maybe linebacker. It was a need, need, need position for the Hawkeyes. They lost juco Will Honas to Nebraska, but they did get Jayden McDonald, a 6-1, 220-pounder from Suwanee, Ga., and he’s a good get (Iowa beat Ole Miss and K-State).
The secondary was a huge hit. Dallas Craddieth (it’s CRAD-ith) might play next year. Probably will. Brents and D.J. Johnson are a pair of 4-stars that might’ve gotten hunted late if they didn’t sign with Iowa in December. Erie, Pa., CB Terry Roberts comes with Jovon Johnson’s endorsement. He’s one of the best DBs to play for Phil Parker, who probably gets mentioned in a few of those recruiting awards that the recruiting sites give to assistants.
— Really interested in seeing what Kaevon Merriweather is all about.
Western Michigan and Division II Ferris State offered Merriweather basketball scholarships. The 6-foot-2, 195-pound prospect played a season of football at Romulus (Mich.) High before transferring to Belleville High School his senior year.
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Parker quietly evaluated Merriweather and Iowa didn’t offer until his official visit last weekend.
More to come later today.
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