(While I am on hiatus for the next month, I am leaving behind six articles--(July 1) an analysis of Illinois' 2007 recruiting class, (July 2) Illinois' recruiting class for 2011, (July 3) Notre Dame's recruiting class for 2011, (July 4) Iowa's recruiting class for 2011, (July 5) Wisconsin's recruiting class for 2011 and (July 6) Northwestern's recruiting class for 2011. Please archive past articles. And enjoy the summer)
To give you an indication how lean the crop of talent is throughout the Midwest this season, Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz only offered three scholarships to in-state players. And the Hawkeyes didn't spend as much time in Illinois as they usually do. But Iowa's staff is one of the most thorough in the country. They have become a national recruiter, especially east of the Mississippi River.
Iowa has four commitments to date. The Hawkeyes landed one of the two best players in Iowa, 6-3, 280-pound two-way lineman Austin Blythe of Williamsburg. They also got 6-4, 220-pound tight end Henry Krieger-Coble of Mount Pleasant, Iowa, 5-11, 170-pound wide receiver JaCorey Shepherd of Mesquite, Texas, and 6-2, 190-pound wide receiver Marcus Grant of Groton, Mass.
The Hawkeyes are seeking as many skill position players as they can sign in the class of 2011 and they have offered more than 60 players nationally.
They have offered the No. 1 player in Illinois, running back/linebacker Rodney Coe of Edwardsville, and they are in the mix for wide receiver DaVaris Daniels of Vernon Hills and two west suburban lineman, Jordan Walsh of Glenbard West and Jack Allen of Hinsdale Central.
They are bidding for the fastest player in New Jersey, 5-9, 160-pound wide receiver/cornerback Damiere Byrd of Sicklerville, who has 4.3 speed; one of the top three prospects in Maryland, 6-0, 180-pound quarterback Darius Jennings of Baltimore, who is being recruited as a wide receiver or defensive back; and the top two players in Michigan, 6-0, 170-pound wide receiver De'Anthony Arnett of Saginaw and 5-10, 180-pound running back Justice Hayes of Grand Blanc.
Iowa has offered the best offensive lineman in the nation, 6-7, 290-pound Cyrus Kouandijo of Hyattsville, Md., and one of the premier defensive ends in the nation, 6-6, 240-pound Aaron Lynch of Cape Coral, Fla.
They also are in the hunt for the No. 1 player in Iowa, linebacker Christian French, and 6-3, 190-pound Dondi Kirby, a very athletic cornerback from Monroeville, Pa.