While the state of Iowa produces a handful of high major prospects each year on the gridiron, the number of ‘four star’ prospects to come out of the state is a small one, perhaps one every other year.
This year, the Hawkeye State has at least three players that are receiving regional and national exposure; receiver Keenan Davis from Cedar Rapids, athlete Brandon Wegher from Sioux City and David Barrent from West Des Moines.
All three of those prospects have received four star ratings from Scout.com and other outlets that rate and grade football prospects.
Iowa has offers out to all three players, and late in the week, they received a commitment from one of them.
”I committed to Iowa,” said David Barrent. “I called Kirk Ferentz on Friday morning. I talked with him for a little bit and I told him I was committing. I was excited, and so was he. So it was a good phone call.”
Barrent plays for one of the top two football programs in the state of Iowa, Valley High of West Des Moines. Football fans from every corner of the state are familiar with the success of that program and what they like to do.
“We run more of a pro-I. We do go a little shotgun, but we run the ball a lot. We run the ball about 80% of the time. I am comfortable run-blocking and pass-blocking. Both are fine with me.” Barrent recently told Scout.com
Barrent made a junior day visit to Iowa in late January and the offers began to pour in. Nebraska and Michigan State were his most recent, having already had standing offers from Iowa, Iowa State, Minnesota, Northwestern and Illinois. Thus, he and his family have been racking up the road miles over the past three months.
”Since February, when I got my first offer, we had been going out and visiting the different schools showing me interest. I have seen a lot of places and programs, academically and athletically,” said the 6-foot-7, 285-pound Barrent.
”After looking at everything, Iowa is the best fit for me. We decided that and went ahead with the decision because we were not going to change our minds.”
”Plus, I wanted to make a decision before the (high school) season. And it just happened this week, and that was how it happened. It did sneak up on me, but I have made this decision consciously and we talked it through and talked about it a lot.”
More offers would have been on the way for Barrent had he decided to string out his decision, but that was not important to him.
” I thought about that, but I have evaluated a lot of teams that were interested in me. I picked Iowa because it’s the best fit for me and that is the way it will be forever.”
Barrent said that Michigan State and Illinois finished as runners up to Iowa for his services.
The Iowa coaching staff places a great deal of importance on line technique, footwork and balance. Barrent said that approach is his strength.
”Being bigger than most people I play against, I can just power people over if I need to, and sometimes what we are doing calls for that. But I would say I am a footwork guy. I am more into the technique side of things. I just try to make sure to create a hole for the back any way possible.”
Such things are good to hear on the high school level, where power plays can sometimes help a prospect to stand out on tape, but come up short once they arrive on campus where the opponents are the same size.
”The Iowa coaching staff has told me they like to see a mix of both power and technique; I can do that.”
With his decision out of the way, Barrent becomes the first in state prospect to commit to Iowa, and traditionally that has come with a role of ‘responsibility’ as the rallying point for other top prospects in the state.
”I haven’t had a chance to talk with anyone else yet since I made my decision, but I will speak with them about why I chose Iowa. I would be lucky to have them come to Iowa and play with me.”
Jerry Tarkanian once said that he preferred to begin recruiting players once they had committed to a school, because then he knew exactly who his competition was. Barrent’s phone likely won’t stop ringing, but would be suitors will have arrived too late to the party.
”I am done and I am 100 percent committed to Iowa.”
Barrent plans to attend Iowa’s football camp in mid June.