A Look At Iowa Hawkeyes Recruiting For 2010

Spencer RoachCorrespondent IAugust 11, 2009

Here's an analysis of Iowa's 2010 recruiting class so far.  They have picked up ten recruits, coming in as the 42nd best class on rivals.com and as the the 36th best class on scout.com. 

After a fast start to their newest class, the Hawkeyes' recruiting slowed down a bit, but they still are building what looks like a very good class.  These are in no particular order.

1. Andrew Donnal (OL—6'7'', 280 to 285 lbs, 4.91 to 5.5 forty yard dash)—Whitehouse, Ohio

Rivals.com—Four star recruit; 5.8 Rivals rating (which means All-American candidate); 17th best lineman.

Scout.com—Three star recruit; 33rd best offensive tackle; "bench presses 305 pounds and squats 450, has a 3.3 core GPA and a 22 ACT, and also played basketball and track."

Espn.com—Three star recruit; grade of 79 (which means good prospect, almost outstanding); 24th best offensive tackle; "Donnal is a versatile lineman that doubles as an offensive and defensive tackle.

He has good size and his height is especially impressive. Very solid run blocker that comes out of his stance quickly with power. Unloads on the defensive lineman and immediately puts pressure on the defender with his body weight making it tough for the opponent to get off the block.

Tends to be high and often chest blocks thus not getting a lot of movement off the line of scrimmage; needs to keep a flatter back throughout the block. Uses his hands in locking up the defender but could be a little more violent with initial punch.

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Possesses very good feet and gives great effort downfield to pick up and extra block and is very fluid when pulling and trapping; excellent mobility for such a big offensive lineman. Pass protection is solid and uses his hands more consistently in the passing game.

Needs to kick back a little deeper on dropback but does a good job of controlling he pass rusher and keeping proper inside relationship between defender and quarterback.

On defense, comes out of his stance a little high and exposes his chest to the blocker but fights to separate and disengage from the offensive man. Pursues hard to the football and, like on offense, gives super effort finishing the play.

Long arms help on defense and regularly tips pass at line of scrimmage or when pass rushing off the edge. Donnal is a very good player that is best suited for offense at the next level. He possesses solid fundamentals, has good mobility, and gives outstanding effort. He should have a very productive college career."

From these reports, Donnal sounds like he has more strenghts than weaknesses and overall is a very good recruit.  Listen for his name in a few years.

2. Anthony Ferguson (DT—6'2'', 260 to 280 lbs, 5.0 forty yard dash)—Baltimore, Maryland

Rivals.com—This prospect is currently not rated yet by this site.

Scout.com—Three star recruit; 66th best defensive tackle.

Espn.com—This prospect is currently not rated yet by this site.

Ferguson doesn't have any notes on him yet, but I will put anything I get on him in here.

3. Austin Gray (LB—6'1'' to 6'2'', 203 to 220 lbs, 4.6 forty yard dash)—Warren, Michigan


Rivals.com—Three star recruit; 5.7 Rivals rating (which means All-Region candidate); 9th best inside linebacker.


Scout.com—Three star recruit; 16th best middle linebacker; "An explosive kid who is at his best when headed straight up field. Shows good closing speed and burst and doesn't waste a lot of motion once he finds the ball.

As a blitzer, he has good timing and anticipation and again shows the explosiveness to get past blockers. In space, has decent change of direction and good straight line speed. He does not appear super comfortable dropping into coverage and that will be something he can develop in college."

Strengths are his aggressiveness, hitting ability and instincts; Weaknesses are his pass coverage skills.

Espn.com—Three star recruit; grade of 77 (which means good prospect); 22nd best inside linebacker; "Gray is a downhill run filler and a very good one for a traditional 4-3 defense looking for a stout middle run stopper. Has good overall size and actually appears to have more bulk on film.

Will need to add some size to remain durable at the next level but has the large frame to do so. Current strength and explosiveness are ahead of the curve for the high school level. At his best attacking downhill and vertical with square shoulder pads.

Explosive tackler who stones ball carriers in the hole and limits second efforts. Not real reactive but mirrors ball carriers adequately well between the tackles and takes very few false steps. Shows good short-area power and physicality at point of attack and is difficult to turn out of the hole.

While he can jolt blockers back he will need to watch his leverage at the next level and work on improving his hand/shedding technique. Able to overpower and out physical high school blockers between the tackles but will struggle to rely just on brute strength in college.

Takes direct angles and is quick enough to scrape and make plays off-tackle. While he chases with a good motor to the sideline he lacks great speed and overall range. Stiff in the hips as well and struggles with his lateral agility when outside of the tackle box. Shows wasted motion turning to run.

At times appears limited athletically in space and ability is more suited for the short-area. Displays adequate skills covering his middle hook zone versus the pass and can time the blitz and be a handful for smaller backs in pass pro.

Overall, Gray is a very aggressive, high motored linebacker with a good nose for the ball. He could get exposed at times versus offenses who spread the field but its hard not to like what he brings to the table as a blue-collar, total football player."

Gray looks like he has a few things to work on and needs to get a little bigger, but he's a very talented player and is likely to eventually start for the Hawkeyes.

4. Mike Hardy (DE- 6'4'' to 6'5'', 250 to 260 lbs, 5.0 forty yard dash)- Appleton, Wisconsin


Rivals.com—Three star recruit; 5.7 Rivals rating (which means All-Region candidate); 30th best defensive end.

Scout.com—Three star recruit; 70th best defensive end; "Unanimous Fox Valley Association selection as a junior."

Espn.com—Three star recruit; grade of 76 (which means good prospect); 81st best defensive end; "Watching Hardy play he certainly gives off a blue collar vibe. He does not wow you with his athleticism nor does he move on dancer's feet, but the kid does play like a wild charging bull.

He has good size and could fit well as a strong-side 6/7 technique or could possibly develop into a defensive tackle. He has a good get-off, though you would like to see him crowd the ball more. He is best against the run and that is likely how he will earn his keep in college.

He is a physical kid who displays good raw strength. Displays the ability to take on a blocker and generate power from his lower body and hold his ground. Does a solid job with his hands.

While he flashes the ability to play half-a-man, he can seem to just try and run over blockers at times. Flashes the ability to squeeze down. He has a good motor and pursues to the ball.

He is not a threat to run down plays, but does take solid angles in pursuit. He can seem a little rigid in his overall movement. He is a solid tackler. As a pass-rusher he can create some push, but mainly comes across as a bull rusher and needs to keep developing his game as a pass rusher.

Hardy has a tough guy feel to his game. Could develop into a tough and physical run defender who could take reps at end and also possibly slide down inside and takes reps there also."

Hardy sounds like he isn't that athletic, but has very good strength and a good motor.  He's good against the run, but needs to improve his pass rush.  He's a very good prospect, and he could end up playing DT also.

5. Matt Hoch (DE—6'4'' to 6'5'', 230 to 240 lbs, 4.8 to 4.9 forty yard dash)—Harlan, Iowa


Rivals.com—Three star recruit; 5.7 Rivals rating (which means All-Region candidate); 23rd best defensive end; benches 300 pounds and has a 32 inch vertical.

Scout.com—Three star recruit; 75th best defensive end; "Matt Hoch finished his junior season with 96 tackles, 21 tackles for loss and eight sacks. Hoch says he can bench 225-pounds 14 times.

He also can squat 450 and reports a 31-inch vertical jump.

Hoch reports a perfect 4.0 core GPA and is waiting for his April 4 ACT results. 'If I end up going out west I want to major in marine biology,' he said. 'If I stay in the Midwest I’m thinking about dentistry or something in business. I’m not exactly sure.'"

Espn.com—No ratings available, but says that Hoch registered 96 tackles, 20 tackles for loss and eight sacks last season. 

Hoch sounds like a decent player and should see some good playing time at Iowa.

6. James Morris (LB—6'2'', 200 to 215 lbs, 4.6 forty yard dash)—Solon, Iowa

Rivals.com—Three star recruit; 5.7 rivals rating (which means All-Region candidate); 24th best outside linebacker.

Scout.com—Three star recruit; 32nd best outside linebacker.

Espn.com—Two star recruit; grade of 74 (which means good prospect); 43rd best inside linebacker; "Morris is a hard-nosed, tough middle linebacker who also stars on offense as a bruising tailback in a fullbacks body. He looks great on the hoof, has a big, strong frame and certainly can hold up at the point of attack as an inside run plugger.

He is purely a tackle-to-tackle player with a downhill mentality. He displays solid recognition skills and reacts well. He can get over the top of blocks and make plays off tackle. He shows he can use his hands to take on and shed blockers, though he is more of a collision-type player.

He has adequate lateral movement and shows some ability to navigate his way through tight spaces, but the strength of his game is taking on and playing off of blockers inside. He is a solid wrap-up tackler who can bring a pop. He comes hard as a blitzer and can work his way through a seam.

However, Morris is limited in terms of athleticism and speed to play in space and match-up on the perimeter. Lacks the sideline-to-sideline range and hip fluidity to drop into space and cover up on backs, slots and athletic tight ends.

We would be very concerned if he got into one-on-one coverage match-ups with faster, more athletic players. He is downhill, plays extremely hard, is tough and heady, but he lacks burst and explosiveness to be a factor as a consistent blitzer or guy that will run plays down from behind.

Overall, Morris is an instinctive player with the proper demeanor for the position. If asked to play strictly within the box he can be very productive and efficient." 

Rushed for 2,163 yards and 33 touchdowns in 2008, and rushed for 1,800 yards and 28 touchdowns in 2007.

Morris sounds like he has the right mental attributes to be a very successful linebacker, but he isn't the most athletic of the bunch.  He should be a decent linebacker in his college career.

7. Jim Poggi (LB—6'1'' to 6'2'', 212 to 215 lbs)—Baltimore, Maryland

Rivals.com—This prospect is currently not rated yet by this site.

Scout.com—Three star recruit; 27th best middle linebacker.

Espn.com—This prospect is currently not rated yet by this site.

Poggi doesn't have any notes on him yet, but I will put anything I get on him in here.

8. Brandon Scherff (OL—6'5'' to 6'6'', 275 to 295 lbs, 5.0 forty yard dash)—Denison, Iowa


Rivals.com—Three star recruit; 5.7 Rivals rating (which means All-Region candidate); 45th best offensive tackle.

Scout.com—Three star recruit; 37th best offensive tackle; "An all-district selection at DT as a JR. Scherff is getting looked at to play on both sides of the ball at the collegiate level."

Espn.com—This prospect is currently not rated yet by this site.

Scherff played QB in high school, and he looks like he'll be a pretty good offensive linemen.  Not much information on him, though.

9. Louis Trinca-Pasat (DE—6'2'' to 6'3'', 230 to 235 lbs, 4.7 forty yard dash)—Chicago, Illinois


Rivals.com- Three star recruit; 5.6 Rivals rating (which means All-Region candidate); 39th best defensive end

Scout.com- Three star recruit; 81st best defensive end.

Espn.com- Three star recruit; grade of 76 (which means good prospect); "Trinca-Pasat is a thickly-built rush linebacker at the high school level who will most likely put his hand down in college to take advantage of his good vertical attacking skills.

Tall, well-built and has prototypical outside linebacker measurables but not the hips and fluidity we like to see on the perimeter making end a more likely possibility. Would be a bit undersized at end to start off his college career, but has longer arms and a frame that looks like it still has a bit of physical developing left.

Lacks great reactive athleticism and quick diagnosing skills when asked to read from normal linebacker depth but masks it well at the high school level with his above-average acceleration and top-end speed.

Covers a lot of ground with his long strider once his big body gets going and flashes deceptively good overall range and chase speed from the backside for a player with his bulk. Closes hard with some burst and makes solid contact running through his tackles.

However, he tends to let blockers get into is body and struggles when not given the green light to attack vertically and pressure. Susceptible to getting reached and sealed off despite his long arms which is a concern as a projected end.

Did not see great short-area power striking back blockers at the point of attack; often catches blocks. Shows wasted motion and stiffness opening to turn and run and may have difficulty making plays flat down the line of scrimmage as a weakside end and anchoring the run if employed on the strong side.

His ability to anticipate the snap get off the ball quickly as an end is the biggest question mark. Flashes better-than-adequate athleticism at tight end, has a motor at times and definitely a good combination of size and acceleration that a program could mold into solid player if they give Trinca-Pasat time to develop and polish his fundamentals at one position.

Has some tools coveted in a 3-4 outside 'backer and looks more natural at times on offense making tight end a possibility as well."

Good prospect, not that athletic but he still has high expectations.  A little undersized, but not too much.

10. Austin Vier (ATH—6'7'', 220 lbs, 4.65 forty second dash)—Huxley, Iowa

Rivals.com—Two star recruit; 5.4 Rivals rating (which means Mid-Major prospect); benches 225 nine times and has a 31 inch vertical.

Scout.com—Two star recruit.

Espn.com—Two star recruit; grade of 74 (which means good prospect); "Vier is a tall and physically impressive football player. He is a solid and steady athlete that makes good decisions at the quarterback position.

He has good accuracy on the short and intermediate routes and is especially impressive on the fade by showing the ability to drop the football over the top of defenders.

Quarterback mechanics are a little inconsistent in terms of release but his height helps him see the field. Arm strength and the velocity on the football is questionable; tends to put a lot of air on some of the deeper passes. Doesn't appear to go deep very often.

A strictly drop back passer due to limited foot speed but shows the ability to put a good touch on the ball when flushed out of the pocket. could end up as a possession tight end at the next level where his height and ball skills can be utilized.

Limited speed would keep him from being a split receiver but could put on weight and strength and be an intimidating tight end. Vier has good football instincts and is a very good decision maker at quarterback but may well end up at a different position at the next level."

Vier sounds like a good prospect.  He played QB in high school, but he's most likely going to play another position in college, likely tight end or something along those lines.  Very good athlete.

Iowa doesn't have a lot of great prospects, but they have plenty of solid ones, mostly along the offensive and defensive lines, which (in my opinion) are the two most important team units.  Even though this class doesn't rank that high on most lists (it still has a decent spot), it looks like a very good class so far, and Iowa has much more time to add on to it.   


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