Recruiting: Who is Next?

August 3, 2011

Written by Jon Miller

Hawkeye Nation

The 2012 Iowa football class has had quite a transformation this summer, going from something fans were fretting about due to low numbers to a place where people are getting pretty pumped up.

Now, it’s not hard to get excited about a recruiting class. So many fans are always forward looking, to the point where I have wondered if some people don’t appreciate the now as much due to always having their noses on the recruiting trail.

There is something for both sides in this year’s class so far…and possible good news on the horizon.

As I wrote in an article a few weeks back, Iowa has commitments from two of the top four players in the state of Illinois. In fact, four of Iowa’s eight known verbal commits hail from the Land of Lincoln, and things look promising to pull in a few more.

Rivals 6th ranked Illinois prospect is offensive lineman Jordan Diamond (Chicago Simeon) visited Iowa City this week. The 6-6/290 pounder is one of the Top 25 offensive tackles in the nation and holds offers from Iowa, Wisconsin, Ohio State, Michigan, Notre Dame, Miami of Florida and several other top programs.

According to a tweet by Reese Fleming, Iowa offered Diamond’s teammate this week, quarterback Robert Gregory. If true, that is an interesting developement.

Why?

Here is what Ferentz had to say last Friday about recruiting the quarterback position in this year’s class: “There were a few guys we had high interest in that wasn’t mutual. We might do something in season, but my sense is end of the year type thing before we really decide who we like.”

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Two days later, (according to Fleming) they offer Gregory…so they decided they liked him…Iowa does not have many offers out to quarterbacks right now. According to Rivals.com, Iowa has offered five quarterbacks in the Class of 2012. Four of them have committed to other schools and they are a who’s who list; #1 overall QB Gunner Kiel (Indiana), #3 Dual-Threat QB Matt Davis (A&M), #3 Pro-Style Zeke Pike (Auburn), #11 Pro Style Bart Houston (Wisconsin).

That leaves Gregory (maybe) as the only quarterback Iowa has offered who is uncommitted at this time, or at least the only one Rivals knows about.

Gregory is listed at 6-3/180 and considered the top Dual Threat QB in Illinois and Rivals ranks him as the #12th best dual threat QB in the nation.

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Pat Harty of the Iowa City Press-Citizen wrote a story on Gregory back in January that you can read here.

Tom Lemming said this of Gregory: “He’s a premier player. He’s going to be one of the best players in the country. He’s got a great future ahead of him. As a passer, he just needs to be more polished. But he’s got the tools. He’s got the arm and speed and the smarts and everything. Iowa does, in my opinion, the best job in the country of developing players. And a kid like Gregory, if he gets developed, could be a Heisman Trophy candidate.””

In the item, Gregory’s uncle and legal guardian LeAlan Jones said his nephew ran a 4.40 forty at the US Army Combine in January.

His uncle also spent a great deal of time in that article praising Iowa, their pro-style offense and how they have a reputation for strong offensive lines.

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Gregory is rated as the #18 best prospect in Illinois, with Iowa commit Reese Fleming checking in at #19.

A few days back, Fleming tweeted that he hoped ‘his bro’ Gregory would pick up an Iowa offer. If Fleming’s subsequent tweet saying Gregory has an offer is indeed accurate, it seems a lot of positive synergies are blowing in Iowa’s favor right now.

Another player to keep an eye on is Detroit Cass Tech linebacker Laron Taylor, who will be announcing his college choice on Friday. He is said to be down to Iowa and Cincinnati. His teammate, defensive back Ruben Lile, may also be a name to stow away in the back of your mind.

Lile has offers from Iowa, Wisconsin and Vanderbilt, plus several non-BCS conference programs.

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