Seriously, slow your roll, recruiting. Four commits in one week? We've spent so much time talking about teenagers this week that we're thisclose to having Chris Hansen schedule a sting operation on us. But I digress. Iowa added their fifth commitment of the 2012 recruiting class yesterday in the form of Connor Kornbrath, a punter/kicker prospect from West Virginia. (First Iowa goes to Australia to secure the services of Jonny Mullings, now they head to West Virginia to secure the services of another punter; clearly, there is no stone Ferentz will not overturn in his quest for the next great Iowa punter.) Kornbrath possesses uncommon size for a punter (6'6", 208 lbs.) and a leg that could double as a howitzer if tensions between Iowa and Minnesota ever erupt into full-blown hostilities.
He attended an Iowa camp earlier this month where he evidently wowed the coaches, but he first began turning heads at the Eastern Showcase kicking camp. Per ESPN:
Connor Kornbrath, from Bridgeport, W.Va., had the best afternoon by winning both the kickoff and punting competitions at camp. His winning kickoff went 69 yards and had 4.1 seconds of hang time. His short, two-step approach allowed him to find his rhythm and get into a groove during the drill work phase of camp and it continued on in the punting competition. The 6-foot-6 punter has an FBS frame and should be a punter and kickoff specialist at the next level.
Adding Kornbrath means that Iowa could have three (or possibly even four, if Trent Mossbrucker hangs around for a fifth year in 2012) kickers on scholarship when Kornbrath arrives in 2012: Kornbrath, Mike Meyer, and Aussie heartthrob Jonny Mullings. There's no indication that Kornbrath is being brought in for placekicking duties, so Meyer's probably safe, but Mullings might notice a hulking West Virginian looking over his shoulder soon-ish. Kornbrath's recruitment doesn't necessarily mean that the coaches have lost faith in Mullings' ability to win the starting punter gig (though his reported inability to shorten his kicking motion is concerning)... but it's not exactly a ringing endorsement, either. Still, the one area of the team where Ferentz has been bluntly critical in recent years is special teams and the kicking game in particular; if Kornbrath can provide a boost to our long-struggling kickoff game, welcome aboard. And if he can be a quality punter -- something Iowa obviously needs, given Ferentz's reliance on defense and strong field position to win games -- well, even better.
Finally, as fans of ridiculous regional stereotypes, we will be bitterly disappointed if Kornbrath doesn't come to campus with a robust hobo beard, a penchant for wearing coonskin outfits, and at least one moonshine-related citation on his record. Don't let us down, Connor.