Sure, caring is creepy. That's why we generally leave it to the Rivals/Scout guys. But once their signature goes on the dotted line of an Iowa letter of intent, caring ceases to be creepy and becomes essential. So, without further ado, your objects of affection and/or scorn (sometimes both at the same time) for the next four or five years. Next up: The rest of the tight ends and linemen.
DAN HEIAR (6'5", 285)
Iowa Western C.C.
3* Rivals, 2* Scout, NR ESPN
Iowa doesn't really do junior college recruiting. Sure, there have been guys like Clinton Solomon and Amari Spievey who have been farmed out to area community colleges for grade resuscitation, but those guys have history with the staff predating their JUCO recruitment. No, Iowa doesn't really do junior college recruiting, but when they have (at least on the offensive line) they've scored big.
I bring it up because Dan Heiar's story mirrors that of Marshal Yanda: Heiar is an Eastern Iowa kid overlooked by everyone out of high school who found his way to community college, where he excelled at offensive tackle. Somewhere along the line, Iowa (and a host of others) noticed. He chose Iowa over comparable offers (Michigan State, Rutgers, Utah, Minnesota) because it's Iowa, and those long-held dreams of playing in black and gold might yet come true.
There is one slight difference here, though: While Yanda came to Iowa City with 310 pounds on his frame and an open tackle spot to win, Heiar is slightly undersized and will be in competition with about 20 other guys for a spot in the line. He's already on campus, and he will participate in spring football, so there's room for improvement. Iowa wouldn't take him if they didn't think he could contribute, especially given that his primary recruiter is his position coach. He's gotta fit somewhere; where, we're not quite certain.
2011 Outlook: Backing up Marcus Zusevics, I guess.
Fun Fact: While his last name sounds like the title of a shitty Creed monster ballad, he actually prefers "My Own Prison" over "Higher".
DARIAN COOPER (6'1", 275)
DeMatha Catholic H.S. (Hyattsville, MD)
3* Rivals, 4* Scout, 4* ESPN (79)
We didn't get the ready-made offensive tackle out of DeMatha, but we got the next best thing: A ready-made defensive tackle out of DeMatha. Cooper waited until Signing Day to decide between Michigan, Michigan State, Georgia Tech, and Iowa, and apparently chose the Hawkeyes for academic and personal reasons. It was Cooper's commitment that became the first Signing Day crown jewel for Ferentz in a couple of years.
While his linemates on the offensive side of the ball are in a 40-man steel cage battle royal for the coveted five open spots, the defensive line is relatively bereft of talent, particularly the kind of talent who can step in and play defensive lime almost immediately. Mike Daniels is back, but the options at the other DT spot are Steve Bigach and Tom Nardo, neither of which has played any significant minutes. Cooper is slightly undersized for a Big Ten defensive tackle, but so was Mitch King (and Matt Kroul, and Karl Klug), and so are the other potential starting tackles. If Cooper hits campus with a good head on his shouldlers and some nominal football knowledge, it's increasingly likely he's starting by the end of the season.
2011 Projection: Backup on day 1, but maybe not for long after it.
Fun Fact: Was once named 'Darian CCCPer' but had name legally changed after collapse of Soviet Uniton
RILEY McMINN (6'6", 220)
Rochester (IL) HS
3* Rivals, 3* Scout, 3* ESPN (77)
McMinn is your prototypical Iowa recruit: Tall, lean, productive in high school, and local. McMinn chose Iowa early, giving his verbal commitment in July despite holding offers from Boston College, Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Kansas. He then led his high school team to a state championship, recording 63 tackles and 12 sacks as a senior (including two sacks in the title game). Given that production (and relatively little offensive experience), a redshirt and a spot at defensive end seems likely. With that said, don't count out a move to offensive tackle; he's tall, he's got broad shoulders, and he's going to spend a year and a half in the weight room. Stranger things have happened to defensive ends named Riley at Iowa.
2011 Outlook: Redshirt.
Fun Fact: Known to his friends as "Riley McMaxx".
JOHN RAYMON (6'5", 245)
Council Rock North H.S. (Newtown, PA)
3" Rivals, 3* Scout, 3* ESPN (78)
Speaking of raw defensive ends, John Raymon comes in with a body ready-made for strongside defensive end duty. The question will be whether his technique can match it. Raymon was highly productive as a junior and held offers from Iowa, Illinois, West Virginia, Maryland, NC State, Temple, and Purdue. He committed to Iowa in late June, then suffered a foot injury that cut his senior year short. Iowa persisted, and Raymon never really looked to go anywhere else. Raymon's recruitnik interviews clearly show he doesn't want to redshirt, and he's been told he'll have a shot at playing next year. With that said, there is a lot of "great body, needs technique work" talk that might make a redshirt probable, if not certain, especially given that he's most likely to play the position held by Broderick Binns.
2011 Outlook: Redshirted, barring a couple of injuries on the defensive line.
Fun fact: Not only is Everybody Loves Raymond not his favorite television show, it's not even his favorite Ray Romano show. Dude's a big fan of Men of a Certain Age.