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The Week in Creepiness: Iowa Picks Up Three Commitments

Yeah, we got that guy.

Iowa picked up three (potentially four) commits in the first official week of the offseason.  On Tuesday night, in the wake of the "Apocalypse Later" press conference, JUCO offensive lineman Dan Heiar signed his letter of intent (as a junior college transfer, Heiar could -- and did -- put his name on the dotted line).  Heiar, a 6'6", 280 lb. tackle at Iowa Western C.C., originally hails from Charlotte, IA and projects as a guard at the Division I level.  He had a long offer sheet, including Michigan State, Minnesota, and Utah.  Rivals rated Heiar, um, higher than Scout, giving him three stars to Scout's two (ESPN did not issue a rating).  

This is as good a time as any to praise the work of Reese Morgan, Iowa's offensive line coach and primary in-state recruiter.  Yes, he was unable to fend off Oregon on Christian French, but Morgan's successfully landed Heiar, four-star offensive lineman Austin Blythe, Nebraska target Cole Fisher, and tight end Henry Krieger-Coble.  In previous years, he's built a wall around Iowa in-state targets.  He's got some built-in advantages over other Iowa assistants by virtue of recruiting in-state, but is nevertheless the most successful recruiter Iowa has, and is a Jedi master for getting a letter of intent on the day his boss was fending off reporters asking if he was running a cartel.

The Heiar commit was supplemented over the weekend by the addition of two skill position players.  First, big fish running back/athlete Rodney Coe (4* Rivals/Scout, 3* ESPN) chose the Hawkeyes over offers from essentially every team with a pulse; Coe had offers from Florida, Alabama, USC, Oregon, Auburn, Oklahoma, Nebraska, and half the Big Ten.  He's a 6'3" 230 lb. behemoth of a halfback, so big that he likely projected as a linebacker for most of the schools recruiting him.  Iowa's love of the run and fondness for big halfbacks payed dividends here, but proximity might have been the biggest factor.  Coe, a soon-to-be graduate of Edwardsville (IL) High, narrowed his choices to Illinois and Iowa before his decision was made.

The Hawkeyes also landed Jacob Hillyer, a relatively unknown wideout from Somerset, TX.  By all accounts, Hillyer had been off the radars of most D-I teams prior to his senior season, but exploded for 1,648 yards (!) and 18 touchdowns (!!) on 87 receptions (!!!).  Hillyer comes in at 6'4", 190 lb., but with a mid-major offer sheet and no rating from any of the three scout services.  On frame and production, you can't ask for much more.

Early Sunday, it appeared Iowa had a fourth commit from Mika'il McCall, an exquisitely-named halfback from Dolton, Illinois' Thornridge High whose father is former heavyweight champ Oliver McCall.  McCall initially committed to play at Michigan State, but allegedly had his scholarship offer rescinded when he voiced concern over the number of halfback commits in the 2011 Sparty class and notified Dantonio of his intention to visit Iowa City.  Tom Lemming said he'd committed to Iowa during his weekend visit -- if your concern is too many backs, then Iowa is a pretty sweet place to play -- but the story was shot down by the recruitniks soon after.  It's unclear whether McCall still has an offer from MSU, but Iowa is certainly in the mix.