Could Coker Sway Top OL Recruit?

December 31, 2010

Written by Jon Miller

Hawkeye Nation

Marcus Coker’s 219 yard rushing performance in the Insight Bowl opened a lot of eyes around the nation. He gets a lot of credit, but the Iowa offensive line deserves just as much he was untouched through the gap en route to a 62-yard score and was barely touched on Iowa’s first touchdown of the game. In fact, many of Coker’s rushes on Tuesday night didn’t see him getting legitimately hit until he had made a cut into the second level of defenders.

It was an impressive performance all around.

Perhaps one interested spectator was one of Coker’s former High School teammates who happens to be one of the nation’s most sought after left tackles, Cyrus Kouandjio. Click here to view his player profile.

He is 6-7, 320 pounds and has Alabama, USC, New Mexico and Auburn among his finalists…oh yeah, and the Hawkeyes.  Those are his top five, with Auburn making that cut two weeks ago after he eliminated Miami due to a coaching change.  Cyrus’ brother Arie plays for Alabama and is a freshman offensive lineman there.  Cyrus has maintained that this decision will be his and the school he chooses is going to have to impress him, not necessarily one that includes his brother.

Rivals.com rates Kouandjio as the #2 offensive tackle in the entire country and their 10th best prospect nationally regardless of position.

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You can check out his junior highlight reel above.

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Iowa has a strong reputation of producing NFL offensive linemen, and Robert Gallery went #2 overall in the 2004 draft.  Recruiting guru Tom Lemming told the Iowa City Press-Citizen that Kouandjio projects out as a 1st round draft pick.  Kouandjio’s high school coach is also a friend of Iowa Offensive Coordinator Ken O’Keefe, as both attended the same college.

I highly doubt he’s going to wind up at New Mexico, as they are probably going to be in the market for a new coach in the very near future as Mike Locksley just isn’t getting it done.

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The Hawkeyes have a puncher’s chance here, and having a DeMatha teammate set school bowl rushing records in the final stages of this recruiting battle can only help Iowa’s chances.

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