Two other crucial Iowa targets publicly announced their commitments to Iowa Sunday, as twin brothers Landan and Levi Paulsen finally confirmed their long-rumored decision to join the Hawkeyes.
The Paulsens are junior offensive linemen from Woodbury Central High, near Sioux City. While the consensus seems to be that one of the brothers is a tacke and the other an interior lineman, the recruiting services are a bit confused as to which is which. 247 Sports lists Landan Paulsen as a 6'4, 270-lb. guard and Levi as a 6'5, 265-lb. tackle. Scout has that in reverse: Levi is the guard, while Landan is the tackle. Rivals lists them both at 6'6 and leaves any classification for later. Consensus is that at least one of them can play tackle, and given Iowa's disregard for the typical measurements of an offensive tackle, it is not inconceivable that the Paulsens could be bookending the Iowa offensive line by 2016.
Regardless, they are the consensus top two players in the state for 2015; Scout gives both four-star ratings, while 247 and Rivals aren't as bullish. Iowa offered in July, and there was little doubt where they were headed after it had been received. Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Iowa State showed some interest, and they took visits to Nebraska and Minnesota for kicks.
Landan and Levi are linemen, so there aren't too many highlight videWHY HELLO TRICK PLAYS
Iowa now has five commitments to the Class of 2015, including three linemen from inside the state. The top four players in the state have committed to the Hawkeyes, with the fifth -- another offensive tackle, Bryce Meeker out of Cedar Rapids Prairie -- considered a fairly good bet to join the program, as well. Iowa's biggest strikeout in 2014 was offensive tackle; the Hawkeyes might make up for that before spring football closes, without having to leave the state.
The early pickups also let the staff focus on efforts outside the state, where Iowa has a better-than-usual chance at some true blue-chip prospects. Let's face facts: Iowa wins out-of-state recruiting battles with tenacity. The program's reach is regional -- there aren't that many non-Iowa expat Hawkeye fans outside the Midwest -- and so the name has to be augmented with boots-on-the-ground effort from the coaching staff. Positions of need generally require Iowa to cast a wide net and hope to snag one or two of twenty targets. But if those positions are solidified from inside the state before the ground has thawed, it frees the coaches to pursue targets at other positions. Throw in the relatively small incoming class -- possibly fewer than 20 recruits -- joining the program, and the resources are available. Iowa has the recruiters. For once, it has the connections. If Iowa can get some of those other guys, the sky's the limit.
There are questions here, and there are almost certainly two redshirts on the way. But getting these two in the fold was as crucial as any commitment Iowa will receive this cycle. Welcome to Iowa City, guys.