IT'S RAINING LINEMEN! (hallelujah) Hot on the heels of adding a pair of linemen recruit over the weekend, Iowa added yet another lineman on Monday in the form of defensive tackle recruit Brant Gressel out of Centerville, Ohio. Gressel is a consensus 3* recruit (from Rivals and Scout; ESPN and 247 haven't weighed in yet) with a decent set of offers: Cincinnati, West Virginia, Louisville, NC State, Indiana, Minnesota, Pittsburgh, and a host of MAC teams. Like fellow defensive tackle recruit Nathan Bazata, Gressel brings something to the table that hasn't always been the case with Iowa's defensive tackle recruits: size right out of the box. Bazata is listed at 6-2, 270 and Gressel is listed at 6-2, 280. That's a far cry from the 235-lb. linebackers that Iowa's signed in the past and transformed into defensive tackles. While Iowa's certainly had success with that approach (yes, I see you, Karl Klug and Mitch King), there's something to be said for starting out with size, too.
Gressel is the second defensive tackle in this class, as well as the fourth lineman and the sixth overall recruit. Needless to say, this is almost certainly the earliest that Iowa has ever had six verbal commitments in a recruiting class. (Trivia: Gressel is also the first Iowa commit where Rivals lists Brian Ferentz as being the primary recruiter.) This run on defensive tackles is no surprise; Gressel indicated in a recent recruiting visit that Iowa was looking to take three defensive tackles in this class. Outside of running back, defensive line has been the position hit hardest by the recent attrition (eight defensive line prospects gone from the 2008-2011 recruiting classes), so it makes sense to emphasize those spots. Iowa has added four defensive line prospects in each of the past two classes and I'd expect them to add that many at a minimum this year. Last year's recruits skewed towards the defensive end position (and the lone for-sure defensive tackle signing, Jaleel Johnson, has had some eligibility concerns), so it's not surprising that the pendulum is swinging more towards defensive tackles this year.
In any event, welcome aboard, Mr. Gressel. Based on your highlight clips, you won't even have to change your wardrobe much.