It wasn't that long ago that Iowa really didn't recruit safeties. Offensive linemen and linebackers were targeted; safety was a spot for washed-out cornerbacks, linebackers who couldn't add weight, and walk-ons. In fact, if you look at the spring depth chart, there is exactly one player who was recruited as a safety and had significant interest from a BCS-level program: Nico Law, who not coincidentally is starting as a sophomore in front of a number of upperclassmen. Last year's starters were a two-star in-stater who held three I-AA offers before getting a Signing Day call from Ferentz and a walk-on named Sleeper who was eventually replaced by an injury-plagued former cornerback. If safeties have to work on an island, this was the Island of Misfit Toys.
Those days appear to be over. With more than seven months left before Signing Day, Iowa now has three commitments from projected safeties, the latest coming Sunday from Ohio safety Solomon Warfield. A product of Cleveland's St. Edward High School, Warfield held a massive offer sheet that included Penn State, Michigan State, West Virginia, Cincinnati, Arizona, the entire lower tier of the Big Ten, and pretty much all of the MAC. He received three stars from all the recruiting sites.
At 6'0", 190 lbs., Warfield doesn't have ideal strong safety size. However, there's no doubt he knows how to hit (see above) and any Iowa fan knows that toughness is worth far more than size over the middle (see Bob Sanders). I wouldn't be surprised if he eventually enters the mix at strong safety, but if he can play center field and cover receivers, Warfield could have a long and successful career playing either safety position as needed. As it stands, he improves Iowa's Name of the Year resume the moment he steps on campus, and that alone is worth the scholarship to us.