1. Reports broke out today about Iowa's re-involvement with RB Justise Hairston. To borrow a popular phrase, The Shadow tells me…. "Not So Fast". The Hawks big three at the running back position right now are Darrell Blackman, Travis Thomas, and Terry Washington. Michael Turner, Albert Young, and Justise Hairston are all sitting on the backburner. The Hawks would like to sign two running backs in this class, with only one possibly earning time as a true freshman, and then add a versatile third back that could also play other positions.
2. Former WDM Valley star, Champ Davis, is being recruited as a running back/fullback/athlete right now. The Hawks love his versatility and potential at many positions, but do not have a set position for him at this time. If he were to commit to the Hawks, his position is likely one that would not be determined until he stepped foot on the practice field.
3. The Hawks also will be looking to sign one or two "big backs" in this recruiting class. It had been previously reported that Scooter McDougle and Derrek Blackwell were the main contenders, but you can now add AJ Johnson to that scenario. I hear that AJ is not so high on Illinois at this time due to some not so friendly comments made to him by a family member of an Illini player. Remember that Iowa was the first school to offer AJ. He was just a sophomore then so he has experienced big time recruiting longer than most prospects. Derrek Blackwell also may be recruited to play another position.
4. Iowa was not planning on recruiting any JUCO players this season. However, CB Corey Reddick jumped out at them on film. He was the best cover corner they viewed on tape in what is a weak year for CB prospects across the nation. He could help intensify this defense by adding a third starting option at cornerback this spring.
5. The Hawkeyes have Turk McBride, Preston Brown, and Elijah Robinson all set to visit on the weekend of December 13. There is a very strong connection between Woodrow Wilson High School and Iowa. Do not be alarmed to hear the Hawks eventually landing all three of these prospects. McBride has a scholarship set for him. But the other two may be impacted by other recruits on the Hawkeye radar screen. Iowa is committed to land two or three defensive tackles this season. Since Elijah Robinson is likely to end up there in college, his scholarship could be set for him by the time of his official visit.
6. Who is the top commitment for the Hawkeyes so far in 2002? I can't answer that question at this time, but as previously stated, I have no problem in stating the #1 in-state prospect. That honor belongs to FB/LB Mike Humpal. After viewing senior film on Humpal, the staff offered him on the spot. Taylor Schrage became expendable at that point as he plays the same position.
7. As we all learned, Coach Ron Aiken has spent time in South Carolina this week in evaluation of QB Eric McCollom. However, he is also in Arkansas spending time on a quarterback. Iowa has not given up on Lance Parker quite yet, and Coach Aiken did make a visit by Bryant High School. He also made stops to Mayflower (Herb Grigsby) and Fort Smith Northside (Khayyam Burns). Iowa is asking to request more tape on Burns, and do not be surprised if he gains a late offer as a defensive back.
8. The Hawks are still attempting to enter the picture for both Ryan Harris and Joe Thomas. Both still have open official visits for the month of January, and Iowa will be working their best to get one. Some key Hawk verbals during the month of December certainly could help their cause.
9. Another prospect the Hawks are still calling is Joe Cohen in Palm Bay, Florida. While he has not made any mention of Iowa at this time, a lot can happen during December and January. I will keep you informed of any new developments with big name recruits like Joe!
10. The Shadow loves bowl games. In fact, a good bowl game can always bring a surplus of
top-notch recruits. Although the exposure of the Rose Bowl would help this year, it would probably have more effect on next year as top prospects would have the Hawks on their master list next summer. That would make it much easier to get visits lined up to BIG TEN TITLETOWN.
11. Remember this Saturday to wear Maize and Blue and cheer for Michigan to beat the Buckeyes and make Iowa the undisputed "Champions of the West". The words to utter on Saturday are easy to remember: "Oh How I Hate Ohio State" and Hail To The Victors". GO BLUE!
12. Remember, that if Big Blue fails to help the Hawks on Saturday, USC will become your second team. Although the game is not until November 30th, think kind thoughts about the warrior on the white horse. A victory by Southern Cal against the over-rated Gold Domers would remove the last possible impediment in the way to a Black & Gold Rose Bowl. Tommy Trojan to the rescue?
My Dark Friend had a wonderful weekend in Minneapolis. He raved about the Napa Valley Grill in the Mall of America. The Bloomington Marriott proved to be a great place for him to hang out as he was able to schmooze with Bob Bowlsby, Kirk Ferentz, Ed Podolak and a multitude of delirious Hawk fans. The cries of joy in the hotel bar when the Texas score became a final, gave him a signal. He had to file his report with me before he traveled back to BIG TEN TITLETOWN.