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Pat Harty: A snapshot of Iowa recruiting right now

[ 0 ] April 30, 2013 |
Dowling Catholic starting quarterback Ryan Boyle looks for a receiver during an August 2012 practice at Dowling High School. David Purdy/The Des Moines Register

Dowling Catholic starting quarterback Ryan Boyle looks for a receiver during an August 2012 practice at Dowling High School.
David Purdy/The Des Moines Register

Recruiting is the one season that doesn’t end for a college coach.

It’s also probably what I’m asked about the most in relation to my job with the Press-Citizen. It seems like everybody wants to know about recruiting.

They want to know what Iowa football coach Kirk Ferentz is doing to upgrade his roster in the wake of last season’s 4-8 record.

They want to know what Iowa men’s basketball coach Fran McCaffery is doing to capitalize on the momentum that comes from winning 25 games and finishing runner-up in the NIT this past season.

What Ferentz and McCaffery are doing more than anything is building relationships with prospects from all over the country, but with an emphasis on those from the Midwest. They’re doing it with help from their assistant coaches, and they’re doing it on a continual basis because there is no letting up on the gas on the recruiting trail, especially in this age of social media and win at all costs.

The Iowa football program signed a 21-player recruiting class in February and currently has three verbal commitments from high school juniors, all of whom live in Iowa. They are offensive linemen Ross Pierschbacher and Lucas LeGrand, who are from Cedar Falls and Dubuque, respectively, and athlete Jay Scheel, who attends Union High School in LePorte City.

The information box that accompanies this column lists five high school juniors and one sophomore who are being recruited by Iowa for football and five juniors and one sophomore who are being recruited by Iowa for men’s basketball.

The recruits were picked at random. Just because they’re listed doesn’t mean that any are on the verge of committing to Iowa or that they are at the top of Iowa’s wish lists. They are just examples of who is being recruited by Iowa in the two largest revenue-producing sports.

Everybody on the list with exception to West Des Moines Dowling Catholic quarterback Ryan Boyle reportedly has a scholarship offer from Iowa. Boyle suffered a season-ending knee injury in the fifth game of his sophomore season last fall, but is now healthy and drawing interest from schools such as Iowa, Iowa State, Notre Dame, Nebraska and Michigan.

The 6-foot-2, 195-pound Boyle is described as a dual-threat quarterback and has played on the varsity team at Dowling since he was a freshman. He is also thought to be the first sophomore to start at quarterback for Dowling.

Boyle passed for 709 yards and six touchdowns in five games last season, while also rushing for 233 yards and one touchdown. He told HawkeyeInsider.com that he recently was clocked at 4.6 seconds in the 40-yard dash.

Boyle visited Iowa State last week and he attended Iowa’s public scrimmage Saturday at Kinnick Stadium.

“(Iowa’s coaches) all seemed interested and really glad that I was there and attending the spring game,” Boyle told HawkeyeInsider.com. “They said they were looking forward to watching me next season and they were going to come watch me play.”

Boyle said he plans to attend camps this summer at Iowa, Michigan, Notre Dame, Nebraska and Kansas State. He also plans to visit to Missouri and Georgia this summer.

Cedar Rapids Xavier defensive end Matt Nelson also attended Iowa’s scrimmage Saturday. Nelson previously thought he would play basketball in college, but changed his mind about a year ago when his stock started to rise in football.

Two of the recruits listed for football are high school teammates from Texas — defensive back Jayz Jones and defensive end Silvester Hayes. They attend South Oak Cliff High School in Dallas and have Iowa among their top schools.

Jones is the younger brother of high school senior receiver A.J. Jones, who signed a letter of intent with Iowa in February after previously being committed to Colorado State. The younger Jones is ranked by Rivals.com as the 96th best player in the 2014 senior class in Texas.

“These are the guys they have to get out of Texas,” said Rob Howe, who is publisher of HawkeyeInsider.com. “They have to beat the Texas Techs and Baylors and schools like that. They’re not going to beat Texas for the top players in Texas.”

McCaffery is trying to build a recruiting pipeline to Chicago, but that’s easier said than done because so is about every other Division I coach in the country. McCaffery hasn’t landed anybody in the junior class yet, but he has zeroed in on point guard Tyler Ulis, combo guard Miles Reynolds, small forward Malek Harris and power forward Josh Cunningham, of all whom live in or near Chicago.

The 5-8 Ulis has seen his stock soar this spring with Florida, Florida State and Butler reportedly recently having offered offering him scholarships.

“He’s one of the best ball handlers that I’ve ever seen and he has great court vision,” Marian Catholic coach Mike Taylor said. “Iowa has done a very good job of recruiting him.”

McCaffery also has offered a scholarship to 6-7 small forward Reid Travis, who attends De La Salle High School in Minneapolis. Travis has the rare of distinction of being offered by Iowa in both basketball and football, where he plays quarterback. He has more scholarship offers in basketball, but would like to play both sports in college.

My guess is that Ferentz and McCaffery would be willing to share in this case.

Football recruiting profiles

2014 class

MATT NELSON

defensive end, 6-8, 249, Cedar Rapids, Xavier High School

Rivals.com ranking: Not rated.

Scout.com rating: Not rated.

Scholarship offers: Arkansas, Iowa, Iowa State, Arkansas, Nebraska, Notre Dame, Rice, San Diego State, Stanford, Yale

C.J. HILLIARD

running back, 5-10, 185, Cincinnati, Xavier High School

Rivals.com ranking: 3-star

Scout.com rating: 3-star

Scholarship offers: Akron, Bowling Green, Indiana, Iowa, Ohio, Western Michigan

BRANDON LEE

outside linebacker, 6-3, 210,

Indianapolis, Lawrence Central High School

Rivals.com ranking: 3-star

Scout.com ranking: 4-st

ar

Scholarship offers: Ball State, California, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisville, Michigan State, Missouri, North Carolina State, Northwestern, Purdue

SILVESTER HAYES

defensive end, 6-2, 213, Dallas, South Oak Cliff High School

Rivals.com ranking: 3-star

Scout.com rating: 3-star

Scholarship offers: Colorado State, Iowa, Nevada, SMU, Texas Tech

JYAZ JONES

defensive back, 6-0, 180, Dallas, South Oak Cliff High School

Rivals.com ranking: 3-star

Scout.com rating: 3-star

Scholarship offers: Baylor, Colorado State, Iowa, Nebraska, New Mexico State

2015 player to watch

RYAN BOYLE

quarterback, 6-2, 195, West Des Moines Dowling Catholic High School

No offers to report: Will attend summer camps at Iowa, Iowa State, Notre Dame and Michigan among others.

Basketball recruiting profiles

2014 class

TYLER ULIS

point guard, 5-8, 150, Chicago Heights, Ill., Marian Catholic High School

Rivals.com ranking: 4-star

Scout.com ranking: 2-star

Scholarship offers: Butler, Colorado State, Dayton, DePaul, Florida, Florida State, Illinois-Chicago, Iowa, Oregon State, Purdue, USC, Vanderbilt

MALEK HARRIS

small forward, 6-7, 170, Orland Park, Ill., Carl Sandburg High School

Rivals.com ranking: 3-star

Scout.com rating: 3-star

Scholarship offers: Creighton, DePaul, Iowa, Kansas State, Marquette, Miami (Ohio), Oregon State

REID TRAVIS

small forward, 6-7, 215, Minneapolis, Minn., De La Salle High School

Also offered by Iowa in football.

Rivals.com ranking: 4-star

Scout.com rating: 4-star

Scholarship offers: Arizona, Baylor, Boston College, Butler, Colorado, Colorado State, Creighton, Harvard, Iowa, Iowa State, Lehigh, Michigan State, Minnesota, Nebraska, New Mexico State, Northern Iowa, Northwestern, Notre Dame, Penn State, Purdue, San Francisco, USC, Washington State, Wyoming

MILES REYNOLDS

shooting guard/point guard, 6-2, 170, Chicago, Whitney Young High School

Rivals.com ranking: 3-star

Scout.com ranking: 3-star

Scholarship offers: Iowa, LSU

JOSH CUNNINGHAM

power forward, 6-7, 195, Chicago, Morgan Park High School

Rivals.com ranking: 4-star

Scout.com ranking: 3-star

Scholarship offers: Bradley, DePaul, Iowa, Nebraska, Oklahoma, South Carolina

2015 player to watch

Tyler Lydon

forward, 6-8<AF>1/2<XA>, 180, Albany, N.Y., New Hampton School

Scholarship offers: Boston College, Buffalo, Iowa, Iowa State, James Madison, Minnesota, Providence, Siena

Category: Iowa Hawkeyes Football, Iowa Hawkeyes men's basketball

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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