Hey! We're on the board! After a few quiet months on the caring is creepy front, Iowa football finally landed their first verbal commitment of the 2013 class, Indianapolis, IN defensive end, David Kenney III. (Get your DK3 abbreviations ready!) Kenney is a 4* recruit and member of the Rivals 250, as well as a 3* recruit from Scout, ESPN, and 247 Sports. His offer list -- Iowa State, Indiana, Cincinnati, Minnesota, OMHR -- is more befitting a 3* recruit, although ESPN said he had "interest" from Michigan and Penn State of late. He's listed at 6'2" on all the sites with a listed weight that ranges from 240-255 lbs. He certainly doesn't appear to be on the big side in his highlight video, although he's also not the string bean that some of Iowa's recent defensive end recruits have been coming out of high school. And let's not forget: Kenney won't suit up for Iowa for another 17 months -- that's a long time to add a bit more weight.
While his highlight video doesn't show off great size, it does show off something else: very strong pass-rushing instincts. Granted, it's just a highlight video and the usual caveats apply, but Kenney spends most of that video living in the opponent's backfield and he gets to the quarterback in a hurry, which is exciting to see -- and something Iowa definitely needs. Iowa signed four defensive linemen in last year's recruiting class (and they'll probably take another 3-4 this year), but Faith Ekakitie and Jaleel Johnson may be better-suited to defensive tackle (particularly Johnson), while Drew Ott and Daumantas Venckus need some time in Chris Doyle's incubator before they're B1G-ready. (And we're still waiting to see if Johnson actually qualifies, too.) So yeah: Iowa needs more defensive linemen, particularly defensive ends who can rush the passer. That seems to describe Kenney perfectly.
Kenney's verbal commitment moves Iowa off the 2013 recruiting schneid and leaves Indiana, just Northwestern, and Purdue as the only Big Ten teams without any '13 verbals. Michigan is still lapping the B1G field (16 verbals, 75% of them 4* prospects) and Ohio State (7 recruits, all 4* or better) and Penn State (6 recruits, five of them 4* or better) are putting together strong classes, but even with just one recruit, Iowa isn't too far behind the rest of the league. They're also not behind their recent pace: they scored their first verbal commitment (OL Mitch Keppy) on April 6 last year. In any event, welcome aboard, Mr. Kenney. We're already looking forward to seeing you terrorize B1G quarterbacks in a few years..