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You can make an argument that Texas defensive back Chevin Calloway is the most decorated recruit Iowa has ever landed.
During a Periscope video Monday evening, Calloway, a 5-10, 180-pound, cornerback from Bishop Dunne (Dallas), picked the Hawkeyes over ... everyone. That’s not really a stretch. Here’s a sample of the offers Calloway piled up: Alabama, Ohio State, LSU, Notre Dame, Michigan and, of course, home state Texas and Texas A&M.
Calloway read a statement off his phone, which sat in the middle of a Dallas Cowboys star. That’s kind of fitting for how the Hawkeyes’ 2017 class is shaping up.
Calloway is the fifth Texan to commit to the Hawkeyes for 2017. Running back Eno Benjamin (Wylie, Texas) said he was going to recruit for the Hawkeyes. He’s gone above and beyond. Joining Calloway and Benjamin are wide receiver Gavin Holmes (Justin), defensive back Matt Hankins (Flower Mound) and quarterback Peyton Mansell (Belton).
In his statement, Calloway mentioned Iowa’s 81 percent graduation rate and defensive coordinator/secondary coach Phil Parker’s track record with sending defensive backs to the NFL (a Parker-coached Iowa defensive back has made it to the NFL in 11 of the last 17 years).
“It’s hard to beat that,” Calloway wrote.
Thank God pic.twitter.com/6Kn6ako7dg— Chevin Calloway (@_chev1_) July 11, 2016
Also, during his visit, Calloway posted some pictures of him and all-American cornerback Desmond King on his Twitter feed. Tight ends coach LeVar Woods is listed as the lead recruiter. Benjamin didn’t hurt, either. And neither did Parker and King.
Calloway visited Iowa in late June. In an interview with HawkeyeReport.com, he ticked off a lot of the things that have fueled Iowa recruiting 2017 (with Calloway’s commitment, Rivals has Iowa’s class No. 15 in the nation and fourth in the Big Ten).
“I loved it,” Calloway told HawkeyeReport. “Great coaches, great players, great alumni, and great development in young men. I think 11 out of the last 17 years they’ve put (a DB) in the NFL.
“Also, the coaches have been there for a while, so they aren’t going anywhere. They try to help you be successful not just in football, but in life. And the facilities were off the chart.”
Other factors have kicked in for Iowa. The Hawkeyes finished 12-2 last season and won the Big Ten West Division. They played in the Big Ten title game and in the Rose Bowl, two huge exposures. And in Calloway’s case, King won every award a defensive back can win during a junior season that saw him pick off eight passes.
“I think it meant a lot to talk to him and for him to talk about how much he had developed into a great player and person there,” said Calloway, who’s No. 89 among Rival’s top 100 prospects. “I can see how they really made him into something great.”
Iowa will have a huge need at corner in 2017, when King and fellow senior Greg Mabin will have graduated.
Sure, signing day isn’t until Feb. 1 2017, but Iowa fans can spend the rest of the summer debating who has the more impressive offer list: Chevin Calloway or defensive end A.J. Epenesa? (Who knows where Epenesa’s offer list would’ve gone if he hadn’t committed in January.)
Calloway is Iowa’s 15th commitment. Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz told The Gazette in late June that Iowa’s 2017 class was likely headed to the high teens or possibly as many as 20.
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