Football recruits ranked No. 39


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In the wake of last year’s historic football season, Iowa’s new recruiting class is geared to fill in the gaps and add needed depth to a program positioned to expand upon 2009’s success.

Although the Hawkeyes’ 2010 recruiting class is ranked No. 39 by Rivals.com, Hawkeye Report publisher Tom Kakert said the caliber of these recruits are exactly what Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz has been searching for.

“It’s a powered class that fills a lot of [the Hawkeyes’] need areas,” he said. “They need to restock on the defensive line, on the offensive line, at linebacker, and I think they’ve achieved that.

“More importantly, I think they’ve gotten some kids that really fit with the focus of the program, with what Coach Ferentz wants. They’re good, hard-working kids that do the right things on and off the field.”

City High head coach Dan Sabers, whose son, Michael Sabers, is a former Hawkeye tight end, also noted the quality of this year’s recruiting class.

“It is about people first,” he said. “It’s not about talent as much as it is about people and the character of the people that [the Hawks] bring in. I think they look very carefully to make sure they bring in people who are going to do all the work, and who will be good listeners, and go out and execute.”

Sabers coached four-star recruit A.J. Derby, who orally committed to Iowa in October and was selected as an Army All-American. The Hawkeyes’ nabbing stellar athletes such as Derby, C.J. Fiedorowicz, Marcus Coker, and Andrew Donnal means significant increase in the program’s national recruit ranking.

Last year, Rivals.com ranked the 2009 recruiting class at 63rd in the nation behind such programs as Duke and Kent State. This year’s gain can be credited to an increased an out-of-state presence.

Along with tailback Coker, the Hawkeyes also received oral commitments from two other Maryland players in defensive tackle Anthony Ferguson and linebacker Jim Poggi.

Another crucial out-state grab was Fiedorowicz. Equipped with what appears to be a never-ending wingspan, the 6-7 tight end has the opportunity to compete immediately after the graduation of Iowa’s former go-to tight end Tony Moeaki.

The Johnsburg, Ill., native originally intended to stay in state and play at Illinois, but he changed his mind after complications arose in the Fighting Illini program.

“[Iowa] was always my No. 1 team up until I visited Illinois and ended up committing,” Fiedorowicz told Hawkeye Report. “Coach [Lester] Erb was still calling me and wanted me to visit, and it seemed like they cared a lot.”

Linebacker commitments Austin Gray of Warren, Mich., and James Morris of Solon have built a solid friendship through the recruiting process, which could fill the void left by powerful tandem A.J. Edds and Pat Angerer defensively.

Iowa had a few snags this recruiting season, though.

First, the Hawkeyes failed to stay in the hunt for top offensive lineman Seantrel Henderson of St. Paul, Minn. Henderson took an unofficial visit to Iowa to watch the Minnesota game in Kinnick Stadium, and he will announce his collegiate choice on signing day with Iowa eliminated from his list.

Another loss was when Matt Hoch of Harlan, Iowa, who decomitted from the Hawkeyes to join Missouri, where his brother, Dan, is an offensive tackle.

While the Hawkeyes are not in top 10 for the 2010 recruiting class, Kakert would like to remind the Iowa faithful about the team’s ability to exceed passed rankings.

“Because you’re No. 1 in recruiting for 2010 doesn’t mean that you’re going to be the No. 1 team in the nation,” he said. “That’s up to the coaches developing players.”

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