Music is a little NSFW-ish. More highlights here.
A few days after landing another blue-chip offensive lineman prospect, Iowa football secured a verbal commitment from a player who might directly benefit from that incoming big ugly, RB/WR Michael Malloy. Like Ward, Malloy represents a return to the scene of
the crime past recruiting success; Ward hails from the talent-rich Chicago suburbs, while Malloy is the latest prospect from Sioux City Heelan to land at Iowa*. As Patrick noted yesterday, a decade-plus of cultivating relationships with coaches and schools (particularly around the midwest) appears to be paying serious dividends with this recruiting class.
* We sincerely hope he makes it to his sophomore year at Iowa, something none of the recent Heelan products have managed to do, with Brandon Wegher getting sucked into baby mama drama and Brennan Cougill getting sent to fat camp after their respective freshmen seasons. To be fair, the most recent Heelan alum, Zach McCabe, is slated to suit up for Iowa for his sophomore season this winter; hopefully he doesn't get crushed under a butter statue at the Iowa State Fair this off-season.
Unlike some of Iowa's recent commits, Malloy doesn't come with an armful of high-major offers. His only other offer was from South Dakota, although he allegedly had "interest" from Wisconsin (also known as "he was being recruited by Iowa"). In fact, Malloy didn't even like Iowa until he went to their camp last month:
"Actually, I hated the Hawkeyes before I went to their camp," Malloy said. "Everybody likes them. It was annoying how much they talk about them."
"I went to the camp and right away everything impressed me," Malloy said. "They turned my whole view around completely."
Of course, there's nothing like a scholarship offer from a D-I school in a prominent BCS conference to make you change your tune. Malloy is a late-emerging recruit, as evidenced by his star rankings: Rivals gives him three snowflakes, but Scout, ESPN, and 247 Sports haven't even gotten around to rating him yet. Physically, he seems capable: he's 6', 175 lbs, with a fake 40 time of 4.41, and he was quite productive for Heelan last fall (1668 yards, 28 touchdowns). Size-wise, he might be a little slight to be a primary running back (although it also wouldn't be a shock if he added another twenty pounds of muscle after spending a little time with Doyle), but if his speed is anywhere close to being legit and his hands are decent, he could carve out a niche for himself as a slot receiver and as Iowa's designated end around option. Regardless, it's certainly nice to see Iowa embracing alternative sorts of running backs in recruiting; as fun as it is to see maulers like Shonn Greene or Marcus Coker punish defenders (and, lordy, it is fun), there's also a place for smaller, quicker change of pace backs.
Or maybe this entire discussion is moot and he'll play defense (he's also played linebacker at Heelan and, size-wise, he certainly looks like he could be a defensive back at the college level). /shrug Oh, and he's another recruit who looks like he could be a dynamic addition to the kick return game (even if the tackling in the Big Ten won't be quite as, um, hapless as the "tackling" on display in some of those highlights).