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Harty: Pierschbacher drama may continue

[ 0 ] July 31, 2013 |

No matter what Ross Pierschbacher decides about his choice for college — assuming the heralded offensive lineman soon makes a decision — the drama is likely still far from over.

Whether he reaffirms his commitment to Iowa over switches to Alabama or Stanford, Pierschbacher’s decision won’t become official until he signs a national letter of intent in February.

College football, unlike men’s and women’s college basketball, doesn’t have an early signing period, meaning this could drag on for another six months. Pierschbacher already has been committed to Iowa for almost seven months, but the Cedar Falls native has been wavering for most of that time.

The combination of Iowa coming off a 4-8 season and Pierschbacher being pursued by two elite programs has made him uncertain about being a Hawkeye.

That might frustrate some Iowa fans, but Pierschbacher is doing only what’s best for him. He’s being thorough rather than selfish.

This decision will affect Pierschbacher for the rest of his life. That’s why he visited Alabama and Stanford last week. He wants to gather as much information as possible in order to make the best decision for him.

But any choice he makes between now and the February signing period really won’t settle anything.

Pierschbacher could reaffirm him commitment to Iowa, but then what would happen if the Hawkeyes have another losing season? The fear of that happening is the reason Pierschbacher started looking around in the first place after committing to Iowa on Jan. 12.

But on the other hand, what would happen if Pierschbacher switches his commitment to either Alabama or Stanford, but then Iowa rebounds with an eight- or nine-win season?

It would be hard to imagine Pierschbacher turning down a chance to play for Iowa, and for Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz, with the program on the upswing. Pierschbacher grew up cheering for the Hawkeyes and he grew to respect Ferentz and his son, Brian Ferentz, who coaches the Iowa offensive line.

Pierschbacher doesn’t have to say anything about his recruitment. He could focus on his senior year of football and just wait to see how things unfold this fall.

He already appears to have rushed his decision once. So why risk doing it again?

Pierschbacher was the first player to commit to Iowa’s 2014 recruiting class. The class has since grown to 12 players, all of whom are high school seniors-to-be.

Pierschbacher also is the most sought-after player in Iowa’s 2014 class, meaning he has opportunities that the other recruits don’t have. It’s easier to stay committed to Iowa when glamor programs like Alabama and Stanford aren’t recruiting you.

Many kids would cherish being in Pierschbacher’s position, but that still doesn’t make it easy. Things should quiet down for a while if he makes a decision in the next few days.

But until we see what happens this fall with the Iowa football team, consider Pierschbacher’s recruitment to be a fluid situation.

Reach Pat Harty at 339-7370 or pharty@press-citizen.com.

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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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