Any given year, if Iowa is going to make a push for the Big Ten championship game, that push is going to be fueled by linemen. One year, the Hawkeyes might have a dominant offensive line. The next year, they might have an Adrian Clayborn, Anthony Nelson or A.J. Epenesa strip-sacking their way to all-Big Ten.
Iowa is a lineman school. With four Outland Trophies, eight Big Ten offensive linemen and five Big Ten defensive linemen of the year and O-lineman Tristan Wirfs going in the first round of the NFL Draft and defensive end Epenesa going in the third, you already know Iowa is a lineman school. Linemen get their own bus when the team takes that path, so the case is made. You get it.
Jeremiah Pittman probably noticed that, too.
The 6-2, 260-pounder from Arlington Heights, Ill., and St. Viator High School announced Monday on Twitter that he will attend Iowa.
Iowa isn’t the only program that believes the path to Indianapolis is paved by linemen. Thirteen other schools offered Pittman, including Wisconsin, Missouri, Michigan State and Northwestern. With Missouri and Michigan State extending offers, you could argue that Pittman’s recruitment extended out of region. Iowa State, Boston College and Texas Tech also offered. Pittman was recruited by schools in the Big Ten, Big 12, ACC and SEC.
When Pittman tweeted his commitment, he tagged in Iowa linebackers coach Seth Wallace and D-line coach Kelvin Bell.
Pittman told HawkeyeReport.com that it came down to Iowa and Northwestern.
“I’m very happy and just very excited about my decision,” Pittman told HawkeyeReport.com. “I was able to get to know the coaches at Iowa really well. My family and I had all of the information we needed on Iowa. I was ready to make my decision so we talked it over as a family and I called up the Iowa coaches and committed.”
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He hasn’t visited Iowa. COVID-19 has been something for everyone in the college football recruiting world to deal with. The Big Ten has a recruiting moratorium in place up to June 1.
The programs doing the recruiting have their issues with connecting. So do the recruits.
“I’ve taken online visits and seen so much already regarding videos and seeing everything at Iowa including the campus,” Pittman said. “The relationship I have with the Iowa coaches is great. They just make me feel like a part of the family already and they truly care about you on and off the field.” By the way, Pittman is looking forward to his campus visit.
Pittman said Iowa is thinking 3- or 5-technique for his position. Basically, the 3 is a defensive tackle who aligns on the outside shoulder of the guard. A 5 technique, he would line up across from an offensive tackle.
Pittman is Iowa’s 15th recruit. The Hawkeyes have piled up eight linemen in this class. Pittman will join West Branch’s Jeff Bowie, Bettendorf’s Griffin Liddle and Urbandale’s Max Llewellyn on the defensive line.
Rivals ranks Iowa’s 2021 class at No. 8 in the nation and third in the Big Ten (behind Ohio State and Michigan).
— Running back Samson Evans has left the Iowa football team, according to his Twitter.
Evans (6-0, 210) redshirted in 2018 and didn’t play in 2019. He came to Iowa City from Prairie Ridge High School (Crystal Lake, Ill.). He tweeted Monday and thanked the UI and said he’s looking forward to the future.
That should pull Iowa to 85 scholarships. The Hawkeyes were around 86 for a few months. Programs have until the season begins to be at the NCAA number of 85 scholarships.
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— On Tuesday, Iowa took a 2021 walk-on commitment from Luke Elkin, a long snapper from Neenah, Wis. He is a football and hockey captain for Neenah. Elkin earned 4.5 stars from Kohl’s Professional Camps. Kohl’s has Elkin ranked No. 9 among long snappers it has scouted for the 2021 class.
The website said: “Elkin is a special kind of talent within this 2021 class, he brings the explosiveness, athleticism and size (6-1, 190) that make him a prospect to keep an eye on. Elkin performed great at the Kohl’s National Scholarship Camp scoring on 9 out of 12 long snaps and posted an impressive .66 second average snap.”
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