If you're like me, you live by a few simple rules: Never set foot in Scandinavia unless receiving a Nobel Prize, never drink Sanka, and never trust a man with two first names. Looks like I'm going to have to violate one of those rules, because Iowa received the verbal commitment of Carmel, Indiana-based linebacker John Kenny. The junior pass rusher received three stars and a place in the top 40 nationally at his position from all the recruiting services (Scout and 24/7 have him listed at OLB; Rivals oddly puts him at ILB). He held offers from Illinois, Indiana, Arizona, Boise State, OMHR, Northwestern, and some MAC schools; his decision reportedly came down to Iowa and Arizona, and "Easy E" Eric Johnson was able to seal the deal. We totally own Rich Rodriguez.
Kenny's an interesting prospect for Iowa. Obviously, the video above highlights his ability as a pass rusher, but Iowa's outside linebackers spend so little time rushing the passer (at least in the Norm Parker days) that his talent would be largely unused. Scout cites his ability in shedding blocks and tackling as major positives, and Kenny told Rivals that Iowa plans on potentially playing him at all three linebacker positions, but don't count out the possibility of Kenny redshirting and emerging from the Doyle program as a weakside defensive end.
John Kenny is Iowa's seventh commitment for the 2013 class, by far the Hawkeyes' biggest spring haul ever (the previous pre-May 1 record was the Class of 2011, when Iowa had three commits at the end of April). It's due in large part to a shift in protocol by recruits in general; players are committing earlier, citing a desire to end the process prior to their senior seasons. It's also due to proactive recruiting by Iowa's staff, which had previously been content to wait until camp season in the summer to formally open recruiting, and now hits the road immediately following Signing Day and continues during spring practice. It's paying off in spades: Not only does Iowa have more commits than ever before, but they've got a top 20 recruiting class according to the one site that's already ranking 2013 classes. The sea change is here, and it may affect recruiting more than anything else.