Rewind: Iowa Class of 2006

November 23, 2010

Written by Jon Miller

Hawkeye Nation

I have accumulated quite a few files through the years, thousands of items I have written under the banner of HawkeyeNation.com and some of them might be worth pulling out an evaluating.  I think this can be a fun little series over the course of the next month or so.

I think one of the most ‘enjoyable’ aspects to this could be taking a look at recruiting capsules I wrote on each Iowa player for our signing day and recruiting month specials.  Since the Iowa Class of 2006 is nearing the end of their personal line in Iowa City, some having already crossed that rubicon, this seems the natural place to begin.  Here are some thoughts I had on several players weeks after they signed letters of intent with Iowa and before they played a down of college football.  There were some hits along with some misses.

Adrian Clayborn

Defensive End
St. Louis, Missouri
(Webster Groves)
6-3/250/4.70
Position Rank:  18
Star Rating:  ****

Commitment Date: December 13th, 2005

The Skinny:  One could make an argument that Clayborn is the headliner in Iowa’s Class of 2006.  He was the unanimous Player of the Year in the state of Missouri for the 2005 season by nearly every recruiting service.  He is an exceptional athlete without even taking into account that he carries 250-pounds on his 6-foot-3 frame.  He was a solid basketball player and several position coaches at Iowa could easily fight for his services.   Clayborn’s recruitment was close to the vest and last summer it didn’t appear that Iowa would be a serious player.  But Clayborn took his time, kept his cards close to his vest and wound up selecting the Hawkeyes.

Projected Position:  One can envision Clayborn as a good linebacker at the college level, but where he really gets the coaches excited is when he puts that hand down on the ground.  He should give Iowa a rush end presence and he has the tools to be a disruptive force; should he maintain his speed and quickness after a few tours of duty with Iowa Strength and Conditioning Coach Chris Doyle, Clayborn is going to be a lot for offensive tackles to handle.  There is a chance that he could outgrow the end position, or play both slots during his career at Iowa, somewhat out of the mold of former Hawkeye and current Atlanta Falcon Jonathon Babineaux.

The Competition:  Clayborn had known offers from Iowa, Nebraska, Tennessee, Missouri and Texas Tech.

—–

A.J. Edds

Tight End
Greenwood, Indiana
(Greenwood Community HS)
6-4/220/4.60
Position Rank:  16
Star Rating:  ****

Commitment Date: October 10th, 2005

The Skinny:  After sending Dallas Clark onto the NFL after its sensational 2002 season, the Iowa Hawkeyes lost out on several of the nation’s top tight end targets they were involved with.  Though that was a bit of a head scratcher when considering Clark’s importance to Iowa and how often the ball made its way into his hands, Iowa has now landed two sensational tight end prospects in each of its last two recruiting classes.  Last year they nabbed the top prospect in the country at tight end in Tony Moeaki and this year Iowa landed four-star prep A.J. Edds.  Edds is a very good athlete who some schools were recruiting as a linebacker.  Iowa was straight with Edds from the get-go about where they wanted him and Purdue and Notre Dame would later come in and tell Edds that he could play tight end for them, too.  By then, it was too late; Iowa never changed its tune and the Hawkeyes FINALLY landed a player who announced his decision at a press conference, a trend that had not gone Iowa’s way in recent years.  Edds is considered by many as the top player from the state of Indianapolis and one of the top four or five players in the state of Indiana.

Projected Position:  Edds will start out at tight end for Iowa, but linebacker is a position he could play at the college level as well.  It stands to reason that Edds will redshirt in 2006 as Scott Chandler, Ryan Majerus, Tony Moeaki and Brandon Meyers all saw time there last year and all of them return; Chandler led all Big Ten tight ends in receptions last year and Moeaki is a superstar in waiting.  Getting two years between Moeaki and Edds seems a likely course of action.

The Competition:   Edds has scholarship offers from Iowa, Georgia Tech and Purdue along with strong interest late from Notre Dame.

—-

Jeremiha Hunter
Linebacker
York, Pennsylvania
(Harrisburg Science & Technology)
6-2/217/4.50
Position Rank:  19
Star Rating:  ****

Commitment Date: January 28th, 2006

The Skinny:  Hunter might be the best prospect on paper that Iowa has landed so late in the recruiting process; signing day was February 1st and Hunter verbally committed on ESPNU four days prior to that.  Rated as one of the best linebackers in the nation, he had a veritable who’s who of suitors.  In December, not many people were even counting Hunter as anything more than a remote possibility for Iowa, but as signing day grew closer and closer and Hunter still not having made a decision, schools were becoming pressed to fill their needs at the position.  Iowa’s patience and no-pressure approach to recruiting paid off in landing Hunter.  His younger brother Xzavier might be one of the more highly regarded linebackers in the nation next year.

Projected Position:  As of now, Hunter will get a shot at Iowa’s weakside linebacker position, played by Chad Greenway as of late.  Iowa refers to this position as the ‘WILL’ linebacker.

The Competition:   At one point during the recruiting process, Michigan, Penn State, Tennessee, Florida, Connecticut, Georgia and Iowa had offers out to Hunter.

—-

Karl Klug
Defensive End
Caledonia, Minnesota
6-4/220/4.65
Position Rank:  Not Ranked
Star Rating:  **

Commitment Date: November 1st, 2005

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The Skinny:  If there is a Chad Greenway in this class, Karl Klug may be it.  You know the one, the kid that lives in the middle of nowhere, a place that you can’t to from here only to evolve into a beast on the gridiron.  It was in the month of July that Hawkeye Nation Publisher Jon Miller received an email from his cousin regarding Klug.  The note said that Klug was a man among boys at a recent team camp the cousin had attended, and that he was a sure fire D-1 football player that was tucked away at a small school.  Fortunately for Iowa fans, those are just the kind of players that the Hawkeyes have not only found, but have turned into major contributors.  Klug has that ‘motor that won’t quit’ that you love to hear about, and he will arrive at Iowa with a chip on his shoulder and something to prove.  The same could have certainly been said about Chad Greenway.

Projected Position:  Klug will start out his career with defensive end, but linebacker is also a possibility.

The Competition:   Minnesota and Iowa State were also interested in Klug, but Iowa’s was his lone offer.

—-

Brett Morse
Linebacker
Willowbrook, Illinois
(Hinsdale Central)
6-3/220/4.65
Position Rank:  Not Ranked
Star Rating:  **

Commitment Date: January 29th, 2006

The Skinny:  The NFL has a name for the last player selected in its April Draft; Mr. Irrelevant, as in, don’t bother looking out for his rookie card.  Brett Morse was the last player to commit in Iowa’s class of 2006, but he is hardly irrelevant.  In a year where Iowa has a bushel basket full of 6-3/6-4 220-pounders, Morse is another talented athlete who fits right into this recruiting class.  His best position in high school was quarterback and he was receiving some interest from most of the Big Ten schools last May.  But an early season injury to his elbow caused a lot of would be suitors to back off and go in a different direction, as Morse could not play defense until late in the year.  Though Iowa waited until the 11th hour to offer Morse, the Hawkeyes remained in close contact.  Morse had committed to Central Michigan in December.

Projected Position:  Linebacker appears to be the home for Morse.

The Competition:   Iowa, Western Michigan and Central Michigan offered Morse a scholarship.

—-

Amari Spievey
Defensive Back
Middleton, CT
Xavier High School
6-0/175/4.60
Position Rank:  Not Ranked
Star Rating:  **

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Commitment Date: January 9th, 2006

The Skinny:  Some fans may speculate that Spievey’s landing at Iowa is partly due to one time Iowa commit Jay Valai’s decommitment from the Hawkeye program that ultimately saw Valai landing at Wisconsin.  But make no mistake about it; Spievey comes to Iowa with a pretty solid pedigree.  He was considered the top player in the state of Connecticut for his work during his senior year.

Projected Position:  Cornerback is the position that has come up the most when experts have evaluated Spievey’s future position.

The Competition:  Iowa and Rutgers were Spievey’s known offers.

—-

Rick Stanzi
Quarterback
Mentor, OH
Lake Catholic High School
6-4/200/4.65
Position Rank:  Not Ranked
Star Rating:  **

Commitment Date: January 6th, 2006

The Skinny:  Iowa’s two quarterbacks in the class, Arvell Nelson and Stanzi, live a short car ride away from one another.  Stanzi is mobile for his size and has good arm strength.  He threw for 2,400 yards and ran for nearly 700 as a senior en route to being named the Division III Player of the Year in Ohio as well as the Cleveland Plain Dealer’s Offensive Player of the year.  Both and Nelson are expected to redshirt, giving Iowa three scholarship quarterbacks for the 2007 season, along with Jake Christensen.

Projected Position:  Stanzi will play quarterback at Iowa.

The Competition:  Stanzi chose Iowa over Purdue and also had offers from Miami (OH) and Toledo.

Quotable: “My comfort level with Iowa is very strong and the fact that I know Coach Ferentz and Coach O’Keefe wanted me there very much was a part of that. They pay a lot of attention to their players, don’t sugarcoat anything and they recruit you very hard.  Practices at Iowa are awesome. They are very intense, and everybody is trying to make everybody better; there is no slacking.  I learned a lot about Iowa’s strength and conditioning program while on my visit. I really liked what I heard about the success of the program. Coach Doyle told me the quarterbacks really concentrate on building the rotator cuff, using a lot of medicine balls, and working on balance all together.” – Rick Stanzi

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“Iowa really seems to adjust to the quarterback they are playing, and they will put you in a system that allows you to succeed to your best ability. It’s all about the reads and picking up the secondary receivers when it comes to playing quarterback for them. One of the reasons I believe Iowa likes Rick as much as they do is the fact they see the type of upside in him that could make him an NFL quarterback.” – Joe Stanzi, Rick’s father

—-

Jeff Tarpinian
Defensive Back
Omaha, NE
Millard North High School
6-3/205/4.55
Position Rank:  Not Ranked
Star Rating:  **

Commitment Date: June 27th, 2005

The Skinny:  ‘Tarp’, as he is called by his friends, was the first commitment in Iowa’s Class of 2006.  He comes to Iowa from one of the best, if not THE best, football program in Nebraska, Millard North.  He also joins former high school teammates Seth Olsen and Adam Shada on Iowa’s roster.  Like Shada, Tarpinian was an option quarterback for Millard North, leading them to two state championships.  He is one of those players that knows how to win, a common thread you should have noted from Iowa’s last two or three recruiting classes.

Projected Position:  He’s probably too big for a cornerback, certainly big enough for a safety and perhaps could grow into a linebacker.  He will likely redshirt during his first year.

The Competition:  Tarpinian committed to Iowa very early on the process, so Iowa was his lone offer.  He was receiving strong interest from Iowa State and Colorado State.
—-

Lance Tillison
Defensive Back
Seffner, FL
Armwood High School
6-2/205/4.50
Position Rank:  Not Ranked
Star Rating:  **

Commitment Date: January 23rd, 2006

The Skinny:  This capsule will be the smallest of our 18, but Tillison’s story might be the most heart warming of this entire recruiting class.  Hawkeye Nation Editor Rob Howe has a feature story on Tillison and his flight from Hurricane Katrina, being lost to college recruiters after winding up at Armwood High School in Seffner, Florida, breaking his foot early on and barely playing during the year.  Through all of that, Iowa’s relationship with Armwood and its head coach Sean Callahan helped give Tillison a second chance at playing college football when Iowa offered a scholarship and Tillison accepted.  Look for Howe’s feature story on the next page of this issue….Armwood has sent Antwan Allen, Chris Brevi and Kalvin Baily to Iowa in recent years.

Projected Position:  Tillison believes he could play safety or corner at the next level, but there is so little information on him, one could also see him as a receiver.

The Competition:  Ole Miss and LSU were in contact with Tillison pre-Katrina, when Tillison lived in Slidell, LA.  But after the storm, colleges lost touch with Tillison and after his injury, he was out of sight.  Iowa was his lone offer.

—-

Paul Chaney, Jr.
Wide Receiver
St. Louis, Missouri
(University High)
5-9/160/4.40
Position Rank:  Not Rated
Star Rating:  **

Commitment Date: November 20th, 2005

The Skinny:  It’s fitting the Anthony Bowman and Paul Chaney, Jr. are listed side by side in this magazine; they are both smallish players with speed to burn.  Chaney may be faster than Bowman, as Chaney is the reigning 100 & 200 meter dash champion in the state of Missouri.  He was the St. Louis Post-Dispatch’s 2005 boys track athlete of the year. He set a new state record in the 200-meter dash with a time of 21.1 and was also clocked, albeit wind-aided, at 10.1 in the 100-meter dash. He did run an accepted time of 10.4 at his conference meet, setting a new league record.  He won the 100-meter state title with a time of 10.52 and the 200 with a time of 21.25. He also placed third in the 400, filling in as his team needed him, with a time under 49 seconds.  It’s hard not to think about Jovon Johnson when considering Chaney.  Though Johnson did not possess Chaney’s straight line speed, both players did everything but sell the popcorn for their high schools.  Chaney played defensive back, quarterback and running back for his high school team and Johnson performed many of those same tasks.

Projected Position:  Chaney might be slotted as a future cornerback for Iowa and he will also challenge for time in the return game.

The Competition:  Chaney had known offers from Iowa and Wisconsin.

Players in this recruiting class that did not see Senior Day due to some form of attrition: Dominique Douglas, Anthony Bowman, Arvell Nelson, James Cleveland, Bryon Gattas, Derrick Smith.

Also, Derrell Johnson-Koulianos was a late addition to the class committing on April 30th, thus I did not write any capsule on him for my recruiting preview at that time. The rankings and star values come from Scout.com at the time of the writing, which was the spring of 2006. Julian Vandervelde was a gray shirt prospect on signing day, but earned a scholarship for the fall of 2006 and was also not featured in our spring of 2006 rundown.

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