When I was a senior in high school, I too had a brief dalliance with Iowa State. About two months before graduation, I was seriously considering going to Ames, when my grandma called and said, simply, "We don't go there." I never again considered ISU, and that August I was in Iowa City.
I'm not saying Barkley Hill got a call from his grandma, but he had someone in his family nudging him toward Iowa City when he announced yesterday he was withdrawing his verbal commitment to Iowa State and committing to the Hawkeyes for next fall. Hill had appeared to be a rock solid Cyclone; he'd committed to Paul Rhodes before his junior season, and maintained that commitment when Iowa offered him a scholarship soon after that. When word of his Iowa City visit came last weekend, it was because his family wanted him to "see all his options", even those that come equipped with an enraged, position-hating deity. Those options were obviously pretty good, because the flip was complete by the end of the day.
Hill was the offensive star of Cedar Falls High's run to the Iowa Class 4A semifinals (2,491 yards, 20 TD), and is arguably the most productive Class 4A back of all time: His 89 career rushing touchdowns are a Class 4A record, and 6,163 career rushing yards puts him near the top for all-time yardage. Hill finished his senior season as Gatorade State Player of the Year and a Parade All-American. Rivals rates him a 3* recruit and the #2 player in the state; Scout and ESPN have him at 2*. He held offers from Iowa and ISU; Michigan State, Minnesota, and Nebraska took a look, but he committed to ISU before they could get to far. His high school coach praised his vision and work ethic, and that's nice, but we just jettisoned a Gentleman of the Year. AIRBHG eats good, wholesome, hardworking kids for breakfast.
Let's not kid ourselves: This decision is about opportunity to play, and with the running back depth chart again decimated, Hill will have every chance to contribute from the moment he steps on campus until the moment he steps off. We're just going to hope the day he steps off is, like, four years from now.