Iowa steals a late commitment from an Illinois linebacker, from right under the Illini's collective nose.
Reggie Spearman, a linebacker from Chicago's Simeon High School, committed to Iowa tonight in a ceremony where he did the following:
(1) Put on a Syracuse hat
(2) Took off the Syracuse hat and threw it across the room before grabbing an Iowa hat
(3) Told reporters he picked Iowa "because we are going to win a national championship"
So, yeah, we pretty much love the guy already.
Spearman committed to Illinois in August, but took an impromptu visit to Iowa City for the Purdue game in November. Iowa offered a scholarship on the day before he arrived, and by Sunday that Illinois commitment was orange sherbet. That's when the fun started, because Spearman realized there are a boatload of creeps on Twitter for each program and started playing them against each other. Iowa fans, Illinois fans, Minnesota fans, even Syracuse fans late in the process, bickered with each other for his amusement. All of this was for a three-star linebacker ranked as the #15 player in Illinois.
Or at least he's a linebacker to the creep set. Spearman could play outside linebacker or defensive end at Iowa. At 6'2 and 219 pounds, he's a redshirt away from contributing in either position, but he played with a hand on the ground at times in high school and showed decent coverage skills. Spearman gets three stars from Rivals, Scout, and 24/7. His other offers included Indiana, Purdue, Houston, and a handful of MAC programs.
I have a difficult time conceptualizing how someone as in love with social media and attention as Spearman decides to go to a program where Twitter and individuality are basically verboten, but I thought the same with Nico Law and was proven wrong. So welcome to the fold, Mr. Spearman. We're happy to have you.
As for the other side of the equation, the commitment is probably a good sign for Lester Erb, who has been widely rumored to be on the way out but who is also responsible for recruiting Illinois and landed Spearman under odd circumstances. Erb might not be gone just yet.