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National Signing Day 2012: A Close Look at the Iowa Hawkeyes' Offensive Recruits

David Fidler Correspondent IFebruary 1, 2012

National Signing Day 2012: A Close Look at the Iowa Hawkeyes' Offensive Recruits

1 of 14

    In the previous article, I looked at Iowa's defensive recruits. In this article, I will break down the Class of 2012's offensive recruits.

    Unlike last season, where approximately a third of the recruits came to Iowa City as tweeners—players who could wind up at a number of positions depending on how they developed—this year's group looks to be more cut-and-dried.

    The breakdown of the offensive players is as follows: one JUCO quarterback, one true freshman quarterback, two running backs, four receivers, zero tight ends, one JUCO offensive linemen and three true freshmen O-linemen.

    There is also one punter/kicker whom I put with the offensive group, though he will more than likely wind up a punter.

    For the players' measurables, I used both Scout and Rivals Hawkeye sites, the information on which doesn't always match. Nevertheless, I usually relied on the less "impressive" of the two choices, as players typically inflate their weight, height or 40 time, for obvious reasons.

    I split up the offensive and defensive players based on what the scouting sites felt was their primary position—not where I felt they'd end up.

    Finally, please don't refer to any of these young men as "studs."

    It is not only disturbing but it is also worth making the effort to remember that they are more than pieces of meat.

Tevaun Smith, WR; Kent, Conn.

2 of 14

    Measurables: 6'2", 186 pounds, runs the 40 in 4.4 seconds

    Other Offers: Connecticut, Temple

    Commit Date: Dec. 15, 2011

    Possible Positions: WR, CB, S

    Chances of Playing in 2012: 35 percent

     

    My Two Cents

    Smith looks like he will end up on offense.

    He doesn't look like an experienced route-runner yet, but he could contribute on special teams, as Iowa's return situation will be wide open.

Mitch Keppy, OL; Port Byron, Ill.

3 of 14

    Measurables: 6'5", 287 pounds, runs the 40 in five seconds

    Other Offers: None known

    Commit Date: April 7, 2011

    Possible Positions: OL, DT

    Chances of Playing in 2012: 10 percent; he will have more opportunity on the defensive side of the ball, but don't expect it to happen.

     

    My Two Cents

    Keppy is a Hawkeye legacy. His father, Myron, played for Hayden Fry in the mid-1980s.

    Keppy will be a project, but he is the type of under-the-radar player who has become the backbone of the Hawks under Ferentz. He is a farm boy and a thick-framed, all-around athlete who has room to add more tonnage.

    Keppy will likely pop up on the depth chart in 2013-2014 after a few years under strength and conditioning coach Chris Doyle.

George Kittle, WR; Norman, Okla.

4 of 14

    Measurables: 6'4", 200 pounds, runs the 40 in 4.47 seconds

    Other Offers: Air Force

    Commit Date: Feb. 1, 2012

    Possible Positions: WR, TE, LB

    Chances of Playing in 2012: 10 percent

     

    My Two Cents

    Kittle is the second of this season's Iowa legacies. His father, Bruce, played for Hayden Fry in the early 1980s.

    As George grew up in Iowa City, it seems that he jumped as soon as he got the offer to join the Hawks. His story is one of a number of happy, inspirational stories that surround this season's class.

    Kittle will put on 40-50 pounds and be something of a short Scott Chandler—a h-back—or he will keep his fairly lean frame and stay at receiver.

    Personally, I expect the former, but it won't happen this season. Expect to see a beefed-up Kittle on the depth chart in 2013-2014.

Reid Sealby, OL; Byron, Ill.

5 of 14

    Measurables: 6'4", 250 pounds, runs the 40 in 4.8 seconds

    Other Offers: Air Force

    Commit Date: Feb. 1, 2012

    Possible Positions: OL, DT

    Chances of Playing in 2012: Five percent

     

    My Two Cents

    At 250 pounds, Sealby is a project, but the Hawkeye coaches aren't strangers to projects—especially on the offensive line.

    Don't expect to see Sealby on the depth chart for two years. When we do see him, he'll be 50 pounds heavier.

Greg Mabin, WR; Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.

6 of 14

    Measurables: 6'2", 190 pounds, runs the 40 in 4.4 seconds

    Other Offers: Tulane

    Commit Date: Oct. 14, 2011

    Possible Positions: WR

    Chances of Playing in 2012: 30 percent

     

    My Two Cents

    Mabin knows the position, which will help him when he gets on campus. However, even though the Hawks are short on a go-to guy, they are not short on eligible bodies at receiver.

    As Mabin does not appear to be a return man, he will likely only see the field if he fights his way into the two-deep as a pass-catcher.

Barkley Hill, RB; Cedar Falls, Iowa

7 of 14

    Measurables: 6'0", 190 pounds, runs the 40 in 4.59 seconds

    Other Offers: Iowa State

    Commit Date: Jan. 23, 2012

    Possible Positions: RB

    Chances of Playing in 2012: 50 percent

     

    My Two Cents

    Hill is an Iowa running back, so he's got a chance of playing right away.

    However, physically, Hill looks less game-ready than Iowa's other running back recruit, Greg Garmon. In effect, while he will have the opportunity to get in there, I'm guessing he will redshirt.

Ryan Ward, OL; New Lenox, Ill.

8 of 14

    Measurables: 6'6", 270 pounds, runs the 40 in 5.2 seconds

    Other Offers: Boston College, Cincinnati, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan State, Minnesota, Northwestern, Vanderbilt

    Commit Date: Jan. 20, 2012

    Possible Positions: OL

    Chances of Playing in 2012: Five percent

     

    My Two Cents

    Offensive linemen and quarterbacks rarely get immediate playing time for the Hawks. If they do, it is generally an emergency.

    Expect Ward to spend his first season in the weight room. If he flourishes in 2013 spring practice, he will pop up on the depth chart as a redshirt freshman.

Cameron Wilson, WR; Dublin, Ohio

9 of 14

    Measurables: 6'2", 190 pounds, runs the 40 in 4.49 seconds

    Other Offers: Boston College, Cincinnati, Illinois, Kent State, Kentucky, Pittsburgh, Purdue, South Florida, Syracuse, Toledo, Vanderbilt, Wake Forest and West Virginia

    Commit Date: June 20, 2011

    Possible Positions: WR, S

    Chances of Playing in 2012: 45 percent

     

    My Two Cents

    Out of the three wide receiver commits, Wilson seems the most comfortable with the position.

    As the video attests, he knows how to block,—a huge element to an Iowa receiver's game—and he knows how to run routes.

    Wilson is the most likely of any of the true freshmen wide receivers to gain immediate playing time.

Connor Kornbrath, K; Bridgeport, W.Va.

10 of 14

    Measurables: 6'6", 208 pounds, runs the 40 in 4.8 seconds

    Other Offers: West Virginia

    Commit Date: June 25, 2011

    Possible Positions: K, P

    Chances of Playing in 2012: 95 percent

     

    My Two Cents

    Unless Kornbrath has trouble adjusting to college life or playing at a higher level, he will be the Hawkeyes' punter in 2012.

Cody Sokol, QB; Scottsdale Community College, Scottsdale, Ariz.

11 of 14

    Measurables: 6'3", 210 pounds, runs the 40 in 4.8 seconds.

    Other Offers: Arizona, Cincinnati, Florida International, Maryland, Memphis, Wyoming

    Commit Date: Dec. 31, 2011

    Possible Positions: QB

    Chances of Playing in 2012: 70 percent

     

    My Two Cents

    Sokol is a JUCO player who was brought in to provide depth and compete for the starting job in 2013.

    He could also compete for the starting job in 2012 if Kirk Ferentz is genuine about opening up the quarterback competition next season.

    As the video demonstrates, Sokol is a able thrower, but he comes from a spread, shotgun offense. He will have to get used to working under center and running a pro-style offense.

Greg Garmon, RB; Erie, Penn.

12 of 14

    Measurables: 6'2", 195 pounds, runs the 40 in 4.4 seconds

    Other Offers: Arizona State, Arkansas, Connecticut, Cincinnati, Florida State, Illinois, Kansas, Miami (Fla.), Michigan, Minnesota, North Carolina, Ohio State, Penn State, Pittsburgh, Purdue, Rutgers, Syracuse, Tennessee, Texas A&M, Vanderbilt, West Virginia and a number of non-AQ programs.

    Commit Date: Jan. 3, 2012

    Possible Positions: RB, S

    Chances of Playing in 2012: 85 percent

     

    My Two Cents

    He looks like he could gain some weight, but make no mistake, one of the key reasons Garmon committed to Iowa was playing time.

    The opportunity is there, and if he shows he is a gamer, he will get the chance to carry the rock.

C.J. Beathard, QB; Franklin, Tenn.

13 of 14

    Measurables: 6'2", 180 pounds, no listed 40 time

    Other Offers: Mississippi, Southern Methodist, Tulane

    Commit Date: Jan. 30, 2012

    Possible Positions: QB

    Chances of Playing in 2012: One percent

     

    My Two Cents

    Beathard has only slightly more of a chance of playing this season than I do.

    However, he will compete for the 2013 starting quarterback job against current Hawk Jake Rudock and JUCO transfer Cody Sokol.

Eric Simmons, OL; Iowa Western Community College, Council Bluffs, Iowa

14 of 14

    Measurables: 6'3", 305 pounds, runs the 40 in 5.00 seconds

    Other Offers: No FBS offers known

    Commit Date: Jan. 12, 2012

    Possible Positions: C, G

    Chances of Playing in 2012: 50 percent

     

    My Two Cents

    Simmons has four years to play three. It surprised me that Iowa offered him, as, from the outside, the offensive line doesn't look to be short-handed.

    Maybe the Hawkeye coaches saw something in him that they couldn't pass up. That mentality has worked out well in the past.

    That said, James Ferentz will be the starting center next season, though Simmons will be able to compete for an open guard spot. Otherwise, he will be one of the front-runners for the open center position in 2013.

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