The first domino at Iowa's Junior Day fell Saturday morning, and it is a big one: Keegan Render, the 310-lb. guard from Indianola announced his commitment to the Hawkeyes via his eponymous Twitter account.
Officially going be a Hawkeye!— Keegan Render (@KeeganRender) June 22, 2013
Render, a consensus three-star recruit, held offers from Iowa State, Northern Illinois, and a handful of FCS programs with reported interest from Nebraska, Wisconsin, and Minnesota. Iowa coached had openly sought him as the third in-state offensive line recruit of the 2014 class (along with earlier commits Ross Pierschbacher and Lucas LeGrand). His commitment leaves just one of Iowa's top five in-state targets -- Cedar Rapids DE/TE Matt Nelson -- still on the board with eight months left until Signing Day.
A quick look at Iowa's recruiting board shows that their new three-pronged recruiting strategy -- Reese Morgan locking down the state of Iowa, LeVar Woods and Bobby Kennedy mining linebacker and skill position talent out of Texas, and Chris White and Brian Ferentz working Ohio and the mid-Atlantic for everything available -- is paying off early. There has been no sign of a downturn in the D.C. area and New Jersey despite the departure of Darrell Wilson (we'll get to that next). Woods is clearly making inroads with coaches in the Lone Star State. And Morgan's magic touch, particularly with in-state linemen, continues despite two straight losses to Iowa State; Iowa has four of the Rivals top six in-state recruits in the fold -- Nelson is widely expected to make it five soon -- with the only miss an Iowa State legacy whose brother is already playing in Ames.
Render's likely to redshirt -- linemen in general, and guards in particular, usually need a complete Chris Doyle rebuild before they see the field -- and become part of another Iowa-centric Hawkeye offensive line around 2016.