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Key recruits expected at Kinnick

[ 2 ] October 13, 2011 |

This is not only a big weekend for the Iowa football team in terms of the present, but also the future with as many as 20 high school recruits either making official or unofficial visits.

And with Iowa playing Northwestern under the lights Saturday at Kinnick Stadium , and before a color-coordinated crowd, there is a chance to make a lasting impression.

“If they go out there and it’s an electric environment and they win that game, they knock off Northwestern and they bring those kids into the locker room and there is a big celebration, that plays well, that always plays well” said Rob Howe, who runs a recruiting website called HawkeyeInsider.com. “But if Northwestern has its way with Iowa and it’s a dead crowd and the environment is not that good, making a good impression is less likely and there could be booing.”

The list of visitors for this weekend include West Des Moines Dowling four-star receiver Amara Darboh, who widely is regarded as the top instate prospect.

Darboh already has taken an official visit to Wisconsin and he plans to visit Notre Dame, Florida and Michigan before deciding.

Darboh has been sidelined since suffering a shoulder injury on the opening kickoff Sept. 24 against Southeast Polk, a game in which the Class 4A defending state champion Maroons lost 27-9. He is expected to return for the playoffs.

Five-star offensive lineman Jordan Diamond, who is from Chicago, also is expected to be in Iowa City this weekend in an unofficial capacity.

Three quarterbacks from three states in the Midwest are on the visit list, along with four-star linebacker Quanzell Lambert from Sickerville, N.J., and four-star running back Greg Garmon from Eric, Pa.

Recruits are given up to five stars on the evaluation scale, with five being the highest ranking.

None of the three quarterbacks has a scholarship offer from Iowa at this point.

This will be the first visit for Garmon and Lambert, who also has Northwestern on his visit list, along with Nebraska, Oklahoma and Alabama.

The chance of Garmon playing in the Big Ten looks good, even if he doesn’t pick Iowa because he also has Ohio State, Illinois and Michigan in his top five, along with Texas A&M.

“For a lot of these guys, this will set the bar and then they’ll compare the rest of their official visits to the Iowa visit and then so on and so on as they go on down the line,” Howe said.

SUCCESS BACKFIRES: Iowa’s reputation for producing NFL offensive linemen usually pays dividends in recruiting, but not with Jonah Pirsig.

Pirsig, who is from Blue Earth, Minn., told the Minneapolis Star-Tribune that one of the reasons he picked the Gophers over Iowa was because he didn’t want to be another product from a football factory.

“In a way, I kind of did for myself,” Pirsig said. “Going to Minnesota and working hard there rather than just going through the assembly line at Wisconsin or Iowa, it will mean a lot more to me.”

Iowa was the first school to offer the 6-foot-9, 300-pound Pirsig a scholarship last fall.

That was before Minnesota coach Jerry Kill was hired to replace Tim Brewster, who was fired as the Minnesota coach late last season.

Kill immediately started gaining ground with Pirsig after being hired and then got him to commit July 30.

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Category: Iowa Hawkeyes Football

About Pat Harty: Columnist Pat Harty has been covering the Iowa Hawkeyes for the Press-Citizen since 1991. Originally from Des Moines, he currently writes columns and covers Hawkeye men's basketball for Hawk Central. View author profile.

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