We're almost there, people. The end is truly in sight now: in four weeks, football will be back. (In fact, if you want to be super-pedantic about it, four weeks from right this second we'll be dealing with the aftermath of Iowa's game against Tennessee Tech. But don't be like that: no one likes a pedant.) As we wait for real football to return to us in all its glory, we continue to take solace in the bits of football-related news that dribble out. Like, for instance, recruiting, where Iowa has landed their ninth verbal commitment of the 2012 class, Detroit LB Laron Taylor.
Taylor isn't as flashy as some other recent recruits -- he doesn't have the stars or heaps of offers that Ryan Ward or Jaleel Johnson had or the impressive highlights that Michael Malloy had (those his aren't bad by any means) -- but he's still an intriguing pick-up. He's a 2* prospect on Rivals, but Scout, ESPN, and 247 Sports all listed him as a 3*. He chose Iowa over offers from Cincinnati, Indiana, and Western Michigan.
He seems to fit the bill of Iowa favoring smaller, more athletic options (he's listed a 6'0", 200 lbs with a fake-40 time of 4.6) at linebacker lately, on the heels of Anthony Hitchens and Christian Kirksey two years ago and Cole Fisher, Marcus Collins, and Johnny Lowdermilk last year. Taylor has played WILL linebacker in high school (where he racked up big numbers last year: 100 tackles, 5 sacks, 1 interception) so far and, according to a Rivals interview, that's where he projects at Iowa, too. Linebacker wasn't a huge need for Iowa in this class -- they have nine linebackers who will be freshmen or sophomores this fall -- but it's also a position where you can use another body or two (and they can always contribute on special teams, as well). Taylor might be part of a package deal, too: his teammate, DB prospect Ruben Lile, has an Iowa offer and is planning to announce his decision soon.