Best One Day Recruiting Haul?
I have been giving the 6/30 recruiting trifecta some thought over the past 24 hours or so, trying to recall other commitment days like the one we just experienced. Was it the best ‘one day’ haul in the Ferentz era, which has encompassed the ‘modern era’ of recruiting services and all the attention recruiting gets?
The following lists are not exact, or rather, I cannot be certain if the commitment days are 100% accurate. I am using Scout.com’s recruiting database, because I was a part of that process between the fall of 2003 through the fall of 2009. Also, the current databases at Rivals and Scout go back to the Class of 2002.
Let’s stack Wednesday’s one day haul against some other ‘Landmark’ recruiting days from years gone by. Let’s try and look at this in the context of how those players were viewed at the time they committed, and not how their careers played out. Let’s call them ‘Recruiting Clusters’
2002: On 1/23 of that year, the Scout database showed that Jason Manson, Edmund Miles and Richey Williams committed to Iowa. Miles was a four-star prospect, and while you should know I am not fond of the star rankings, I know some of you are. I like to look at what other schools have offered scholarships to players, and in the case of Miles, the database reports that he held and offer from USC. That was just as Pete Carroll’s USC run was getting going, as the following fall would see the Trojans meet the Hawkeyes in the Orange Bowl. Manson had three stars, but not a great number of offers. Williams was a lightly regarded prospect out of South Carolina. One 12/16 that year, Eric Zilisch, Kyle Schlicher and Cy Phillips committed to Iowa. Zilisch was one of the better prospects out of the state of Wisconsin that year, and had offers from Minnesota and Purdue. Phillips came out of nowhere…literally (Hoxie, Arkansas). Schlicher was a four-star prospect, but didn’t have a lot of offers.
2004: On 12/14 Iowa received commitments from Shonn Greene and Walner Belleus. Greene was a three-star prospect with offers from Rutgers, Wisconsin and Clemson while Belleus was a four-star out of the Juco ranks with offers from ASU and Illinois.
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2005: January 15th is going to be tough to knock off the pedestal as the biggest one day recruiting cluster of the Ferentz era and arguably in Iowa football history, at least back 30 years or so. That was the day of the 2005 US Army All American game, where Tony Moeaki, Dan Doering, Ryan Bain and Dace Richardson committed to Iowa on national television. Bain was a four-star prospect with the other three being five-stars. Given the amount of attention that garnered for Iowa, this will probably remain as the ‘Holy Grail’ for Hawkeye recruitniks. Moeaki was rated the #1 TE, Doering the #6 OL and Richardson the #4 OL in the nation. Over two days between June 13th and 15th, which was during and just after an Iowa football camp, the Hawkeyes received commitments from Marcus Wilson, Jake Christensen, Trey Stross and Kyle Calloway…people were pretty stoked then, too.
2009: On 1/25, Micah Hyde, Dakota Getz, Connor Boffeli and Matt Murphy committed to the Hawkeyes. Boffeli had decommitted from Iowa State, which always causes a stir. Getz and Hyde were unheralded players, but kids that Iowa has a history of turning into playas. But not a lot on ‘star power’ if you will, and there was some of the usual grumblings from some folks tossing out terms like ‘fallback’ and the like.
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2011: That brings us to Wednesday’s haul of John Raymon, Jake Rudock and Ray Hamilton. Hamilton is a tight end with offers from the likes of Michigan, Notre Dame, Oklahoma and many more. Raymon claims offers from Illinois, Purdue, Maryland, West Virginia and others. Rudock, a quarterback from one of the top high schools in the nation, chose Iowa over Wisconsin, among others. When I look at the sheer number of quality offers from other solid to great programs these three had, and I factor in the buzz aspects of that day, it was truly one of the ‘stand alone’ recruiting events in the ten-plus years I have been paying close attention to this sort of thing.
It was a great day, but it falls short of January 15th, 2005 with regards to the pomp and circumstance that associated the commitments of Moeaki, Richardson, Doering and Bain. I wasn’t as taken in by the events of that day, and that is because I was in San Antonio for that event and had a chance to be around those kids and some of their parents for the week leading up to the game. For most of those players, their commitments had been ‘let out of the bag’ to the Scout.com staff as the network was one of the presenting sponsors that day, but we were sworn to secrecy due to the live television aspects of the event. But the furor it created on the message boards was pretty spectacular.
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As far as the biggest splash ever made on Iowa message boards by the commitment of just one player? Easy.
That goes to the December day when Blake Larsen committed to the Hawkeyes. There was really just one ‘huge’ Iowa message board community at that time, Superhawkeye.com, part of the original Rivals network. We had over 1,000,000 page views on that day alone, and I since then, the closest I have seen to that has been the days when Steve Alford and Todd Lickliter left Iowa.