116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
What causes a ton of the dissonance in college football recruiting is, of course, the unknown.
That extends from fans to coaches to the players under recruitment. From the player's view, sometimes you never know who likes you until they offer a scholarship. You see free college and it's probably prudent to say yes to that. But then, a bigger, better Big Ten place offers you free college.
Desmond King, Iowa's latest commitment for the 2013 class, received an offer from Central Michigan committed to Central Michigan last summer. Then, not long thereafter, the 5-foot-9, 185 defensive back from Detroit's Crockett High School, switched to Ball State.
During his visit to Iowa last weekend, King, who finished with a Michigan state record 29 career interceptions, said yes to the Hawkeyes. The good news for Iowa is he won't have long to think about this one. The national signing period is next Wednesday.
"It feels great," King told HawkeyeReport.com. "I know I've got to get bigger, stronger, and faster because there's a lot of talent that I'm going to be competing against, but I can't wait."
King had eight scholarship offers, with all but two (Iowa and Indiana) coming from the Mid-American Conference. Josh Helmholdt, Rivals.com's midwest recruiting analyst, told HawkeyeReport that he believes height and speed were issues. He also said King did receive more Big Ten offers, but they came with qualifications.
King is Iowa's 16th recruit for the 2013 class. During his visit, Iowa coaches told him they want him to play cornerback, making King the only corner commit in the '13 class. Iowa is bringing in Malik Rucker and Solomon Warfield as safety prospects.
Last season, King rushed for 2,368 yards rushing and 32 touchdowns. On defense, he made 41 tackles and had seven interceptions.
Scouting snippet (from ESPN.com)
The Positive: King is likely a projected cornerback at the next level after having played as a scatback on offense as a feature runner and roaming middle safety on defense. He likely plays in this defensive role as the best athlete where he is told just to key the QB and make plays on the ball which is what he does. He is not as tall as his listed height and possesses below average height for a corner. This is a very explosive and quick athlete. Flashes great elusiveness and suddenness through the hole and second level. Sees the field well and redirects through the small creases sharply. Can stop-start and make tight cuts showing great balance and body control.
The Pause: Defensively, this is a player that has a corner skillset, but very few reps actually playing corner which makes him tough to project. Is a high point safety and as mentioned above is allowed to key and diagnose and track the ball. Shows very good ball skills and the ability to elevate to the highest point. He has quick feet and lateral change-of-direction to suddenly move and cut in a short area of space. Height could be somewhat of a liability in the redzone if on the perimeter, but he is feisty and very competitive when the ball is in the air. King is definitely quicker than he is fast and is also a short-stepper. Has return capabilities to be a factor in the return game. Good player that is a non-BCS/BCS 'tweener.
What Iowa said . . .
Recruiting coordinator Eric Johnson: “He was a kid Phil [Iowa DC Phil Parker] recruited late in that area. Tremendous athlete and even a better attitude. He's a kid who makes you feel good when you're around him. I think he's one of the steals of in our class. I think he is really a good football player." Was it his height that might've kept his recruiting in check? "I don't know, because he's a really good-looking kid in person. He's all of 5-10, 5-11, he's a good-looking kid."
What Rivals.com said . . .
Midwest recruiting coordinator Josh Helmholdt: “I've always been of the mindset, give me a kid with speed, give me a kid with fluidity in his hips to turn and run with wide receivers and I'll take that over a 6-1, stiff cornerback every day. Desmond King definitely has that fluidity. He's not a blazer. That's not to say he's not fast, because he does have adequate speed for the cornerback position. But at that height -- he's probably about 5-9 1/2, maybe 5-10 -- some coaches want a kid who can just fly. That's not Desmond. But he is so instinctually aware at the position that he plays faster. You can't fake 29 interceptions. He plays in the PSL, which isn't a heavy-passing league. That league doesn't throw the ball around the field like a lot of other leagues. You can't fake 29 interceptions. That's an outstanding number. It really speaks to just his feel for the position, his knack in pass coverage and I do think he is a great, late pickup for the Hawkeyes."
What I think (FWIW, obviously) . . .
King committed to two MAC schools before Iowa got serious with him. Remember the Micah Hyde recruitment? Phil Parker knew about him and didn't move until late January. At that time, Hyde had a brother at Michigan State. The Spartans heard about Iowa's offer and tried to get into it, but Hyde was on a plane headed toward his official visit and eventual commitment to Iowa. Hyde finished his career with 38 consecutive starts. King is a shorter, quicker corner. It sounds as though he has the muscle to play WRs physically. He also has legit RB skills -- 2,360 and 33 TDs as a senior -- but he's a full-time corner now. He could play quickly if the technical learning curve is short.