We entered Wednesday knowing that National
Caring Is Creepy Signing Day could bring new signings to Iowa's 2012 recruiting class: Texas defensive end Aaron Curry and New Jersey wide receiver Ian Thomas were scheduled to announce their decisions Wednesday morning, with Iowa a finalist for both men. Well, neither Curry nor Thomas opted for Iowa, but Iowa added two new commitments anyway. Enter: lineman Reid Sealby out of Illinois and wide receiver George Kittle out of Oklahoma, two lightly-recruited prospects who emerged out of the blue to earn scholarship offers at the last minute.
Kittle has some definite Hawkeye bona fides: his father, Bruce Kittle, was an offensive lineman on Iowa's 1981 Rose Bowl team, and his cousin, Henry Krieger-Coble, is a current tight end at Iowa. The elder Kittle has since gotten into coaching and been an assistant under Bob Stoops at Oklahoma since 2010 (he's currently the tight ends/offensive tackles coach). The younger Kittle played wide receiver, tight end, and free safety at Norman High (His quarterback there? Zach Long, Chuck Long's son.) and his position at Iowa is also in flux. He certainly has the frame to add more mass (he's listed at 6-4, 200 lbs. and he looks almost comically skinny in several photos), which is probably why he's currently projected as a tight end or linebacker at Iowa. Rivals pegs Kittle as a 3* recruit, while Scout, ESPN, and 24/7 Sports all list him as a 2* prospect; depending on the service he also had offers from Air Force, Navy, and Weber State.
Sealby also has an Iowa connection of sorts; he doesn't have any blood ties to the Iowa program, but he goes to Byron High School in Byron, IL -- which just so happens to also be the alma mater of former Iowa standout Sean Considine. Like many Iowa linemen before him, Sealby caught the attention of the Iowa coaches with his wrestling prowess -- he's a standout prep wrestler in Illinois (in fact, he has a bit of an on-mat rivalry with fellow Iowa recruit Mitch Keppy). Sealby is a consensus 2* prospect who was heading to Air Force until Iowa's last minute offer. Like Kittle, Sealby doesn't have a set position at Iowa; he's 6-4, 250 lbs. and could play on either the offensive or defensive line (or as a long-snapper).
It's fairly clear that Kittle and Sealby are both fallback recruits taking spots held open for Curry and Thomas. In a Rivals interview, Sealby acknowledges that Iowa's interest came out of the blue a few weeks ago, while Kittle puts it even more bluntly:
"I’m a little excited to say the least," Kittle told HawkeyeReport.com. "Coach Ferentz called today and said they had a couple of offers out if they didn’t get accepted that I would get an offer. The last two guys didn’t accept and they called and extended an offer about 15 minutes ago."
Curry and Thomas said "no," so Iowa moved down the list to Kittle and Sealby. And that can be okay; this is the sort of thing that happens in recruiting, especially at the end of the process. Iowa's had good fortune with late signings in the past -- Mike Elgin and Brandon Myers were the last man taken in their respective classes and both had fine careers -- and they could certainly luck out here. Making an entire class out of fallback recruits is ill-advised, but that doesn't seem to be the case here. Welcome aboard, Messrs. Sealby and Kittle -- we'll see you after a bit of development.