Iowa scored a major recruiting coup on Sunday when running back/linebacker Rodney Coe of Edwardsville, the top-rated player in Illinois, and running back Mikail McCall of Thornridge committed to Hawkeye coach Kirk Ferentz.
Coe, a 6-3, 230-pounder, chose Iowa over Illinois. He could be an All-America at running back or linebacker but he prefers to play running back. He was slowed by injuries as a senior but, when healthy, he has 4.5 speed and is one of the best big backs in the country, a perfect fit for Iowa's offense. Coe and McCall could form a pony express backfield that could remind old-timers of SMU's Eric Dickerson and Craig James.
McCall, who originally had committed to Michigan State, had his scholarship offer pulled by Michigan State coach Mark Dantonio after McCall made his official visit to the East Lansing campus on Dec. 3 and voiced some concerns over the number of running backs in Michigan State's recruiting class.
McCall, who had chosen Michigan State over Iowa, Illinois and Minnesota, informed Dantonio that he wanted to take a recruiting trip to Iowa. Soon afterward, Dantonio pulled his scholarship offer, claiming McCall had broken their non-binding agreement.
Iowa had continued to recruit McCall, a 205-pounder, after he had committed to Michigan State. Thornridge coach Mike Morrissey has close ties to the Iowa program. McCall committed to Iowa on Sunday, during his official visit to the Iowa City campus.
I've never heard of this happening before in major college recruiting, not in all of my 30 years of evaluating high school talent, but Notre Dame has already lost three top 100 commitments from the class of 2011 and the Irish may be on the brink of losing a fourth, defensive lineman Stephon Tuitt of Monroe, Ga.
Tuitt, a 6-6, 255-pounder who is rated as the No. 77 player in the nation, is visiting Auburn. Originally, he chose Notre Dame over Auburn, Georgia, Georgia Tech, South Carolina, Florida and North Carolina. In the wake of Notre Dame's on-campus and on-the-field issues during the past season, and the losses of running back Justice Hayes of Grand Blanc, Mich., to Michigan and offensive lineman Jordan Prestwood of Plant City, Fla., and defensive end Aaron Lynch of Cape Coral, Fla., to Florida State, Tuitt apparently has been persuaded to look elsewhere. Notre Dame also lost defensive back Clay Burton of Venice, Fla., to Florida.
I must admit I really like Tuitt. I had arranged to interview him and several other top prospects in the Atlanta area. But he had a basketball game that day and was going to meet me the night before, despite a driving ice and snow storm that caused hundreds of automobile accidents in the metropolitan area. Even so, Tuitt, his mother and two siblings took four hours to drive the normally 30-minute trip to meet me in Marietta.