While the Iowa coaches will be focused on final preparations for the Michigan State game Friday night, a small part of them might be keeping an eye on high school battle in Pennsylvania.
McKeesport Area High will travel to Gateway High in Monroeville with a conference title on the line. The Hawkeyes are recruiting a pair of athletes from both schools in the Class of 2011.
McKeesport features Branden Jackson and Delvon Simmons, who officially visited Iowa last weekend. The Gators boast Armstead Williams and Dondi Kirby, who unofficially visited Iowa earlier this month and likely will officially visit down the road.
"It's huge game," Gateway Coach Terry Smith said. "(Jackson and Simmons) are great players and they're a tough team."
Smith said he will sit down with Williams and Kirby sometime this week or after the big game to set up their official visits.
"We haven't really done a lot with that as we're focused on the season," Smith said. "But it's time we got down to it."
Smith said each of his players will set up officials to their Top Three schools. They'll save the remaining two trips allowed by NCAA rules for places they might want to see if they don't find what they want from the first trio of visits. They have common schools of interest, which could lead to traveling together to at least a few destinations.
"I don't think we're looking for them to go together in particular," Smith said. "But I imagine they might go to Iowa together and maybe Maryland."
While no trips or schools are locked in yet for his duo, Smith said the players liked their unofficial visit to Iowa and the Hawkeyes are in good position to receive an official.
"They really liked it," Smith said. " They were both pleasantly surprised. Coming from the East and never having been to Iowa, they're thinking cornfields. They found out that there's a lot more to it than that."
Scout.com rates Williams as a three-star prospect on its five-star scale. The 6-foot-3, 200-pound standout is ranked as the 65th best OLB in the country, although Iowa is recruiting him as a wide receiver.
The 6-foot-3, 190-pound Kirby is Scout.com's 28th ranked safety nationally. The service has him as a three-star recruit.
Williams holds offers from Iowa, Maryland, Purdue, Michigan, Wisconsin, among others. Iowa, Florida, Maryland, Michigan, Ohio State, USC and others have extended offers to Kirby.
Kirby is sitting out this season after tearing his ACL.
It's apparent that Iowa is trying to double up in recruiting the state of Pennsylvania for 2011. The Hawkeyes sit well with three sets of teammates in the talent-rich state. One of the duos is Gateway High talents Dondi Kirby and Armstead Williams. Hawkeye Insider caught up with their coach,Terry Smith, to get the latest on his athletes.