More verbal commitments? MOAR VERBAL COMMITS. Iowa's creeptacular weekend continued Sunday with the addition of Ike Boettger, a tight end recruit out of Cedar Falls. Boettger's story should be a familiar one to anyone who's followed Iowa football for any appreciable length of time: in-state kid, lightly recruited, undersized, played quarterback in high school but projects elsewhere in college, grew up dreaming of being a Hawkeye.
In-state kid? Check -- he's from Cedar Falls. It's the second straight year Iowa has added a recruit out of Cedar Falls; last year, RB Barkley Hill was a late addition to Iowa's 2012 class. Notably, Boettger is also the first in-state commitment in Iowa's 2013 recruiting class -- despite being the 13th overall commit in said class. It's not a banner year for in-state talent and the best prospects happen to be in Des Moines (where the Iowa pull isn't always as strong as it is on the eastern side of the state) and also didn't grow up as dyed-in-the-wool Iowa fans. (Some of them even allegedly grew up as -- gasp! -- Iowa State fans.)
Lightly recruited? Check -- Boettger hasn't been ranked by any of the recruiting services yet, nor did he have any other offers before accepting Iowa's offer this weekend. He didn't even have an Iowa offer until he went to their camp last weekend and impressed coaches there. Undersized? Check -- Boettger is listed at 6-5, 220, which is a little on the slight side if you want to play tight end (Boettger's most likely position at Iowa) in the Big Ten.
Played quarterback in high school? Check -- just look at that highlight clip above. It's not exactly that useful for trying to project Boettger as a college tight end, since he doesn't block that much, doesn't catch any passes, and doesn't run any routes. But Boettger joins the long, long list of Iowa players who were HS quarterbacks before becoming something very different at Iowa -- there was a famous stat about the 2002 or 2003 team that noted that 8-9 players on that team were former HS quarterbacks. The move doesn't always pay off, but Iowa's had enough success with it in the past that it's probably a gamble worth taking.
Grew up dreaming of being a Hawkeye? Check -- he'll be a third-generation Iowa student and it took him less than a week after being offered to accept. Boettger is not a guy you need to worry about swaying from his commitment before signing day. Frankly, he's also probably not a guy you have to worry about becoming an attrition victim. Iowa's tended to do a good job of hanging onto in-state commits once they're in the fold, which is important for a guy who will need a few years of development, in terms of physique and skill development.
Honestly, the strangest thing about Boettger's commitment is that Iowa offered now. Given that he didn't have other offers and that there's a decent chance he would have switched anyway if Iowa ever offered, he seems like the classic example of the sort of recruit Iowa offers in late January. The glass half-full view there would be that he really impressed the Iowa coaches at their camp last week and they didn't want to risk losing him. The glass half-empty view there would be that they've struck out on several other recruits and he's a fallback recruit. Time will tell which category best fits Boettger, although I'm inclined to believe the former a bit more than the latter. It just doesn't make sense to offer a true fallback recruit this early in the process. But anyway: welcome aboard, Mr. Boettger. Congrats on getting a chance to live your dream.