Iowa's 2017 football recruiting class has gotten off to an excellent start and that early momentum continued yesterday with a verbal commitment from one of the top in-state prospects.
I am very excited to announce that I will be furthering my education and football career at the University of Iowa! pic.twitter.com/TUjcsC1Wy5— Mark Kallenberger (@m_kallenberger) March 31, 2016
Kallenberger, a 6-6, 250 lb offensive tackle prospect, is a 3* recruit per Rivals and Scout and a 4* recruit per 247 Sports (he's not yet been ranked by ESPN). He chose Iowa over several offers from Power 5 programs, including Nebraska, Kansas State, Missouri, and Iowa State. In an interview with Scout.com's Allen Trieu, Kallenberger cited several factors that have long been strengths for Iowa in his decision to become a Hawkeye:
"I chose Iowa for three reasons," Kallenberger said, "because of the stability there and knowing the coaching staff is there to stay. Second, coach Doyle is the best in the business and he will get me to where I need to be as an offensive lineman. Lastly, The university is less than an hour away from my house and knowing I can come home when I've had a bad day or we have an off day is very nice."
If there are two things that Iowa can absolutely sell to recruits, it's coaching stability (they've got the joint-longest tenured head coach in the nation) and an excellent strength program, especially for linemen. Throw in location for an in-state kid like Kellenberger and you've got the trifecta of strong recruiting pitches. Recruiting isn't always a particularly rational process, but sometimes logic can shine through.
At 250 lbs, Kellenberger is certainly on the light side for a Big Ten offensive tackle, but he has plenty of time to add weight and get well-acquainted with Chris Doyle and the lovely strength training facilities in Iowa's new football building. Like most offensive line prospects, he'll likely redshirt as a true freshman (in 2017) before trying to crack the two-deeps in 2018.
Kellenberger's commitment gives Iowa seven commits in the 2017 class, which is shaping up to be one of their best in several years.
Iowa currently has the #12 rated football recruiting class for 2017 on 24/7. #13 class on Rivals— PlannedSickDays (@PlannedSickDays) March 31, 2016
Obviously those numbers may (will) go down as other programs add prospects to their own classes, but Iowa is certainly off to a very, very good start with this class. They're also probably approaching the halfway point in class size, too -- this should be a somewhat smaller class than Iowa has taken in recent years, probably around 17-18 players. Iowa has a smaller senior class (14), so even factoring in some inevitable attrition there probably isn't enough room for a 20+ person recruiting class.
Finally, if you want to watch some red-hot blocking highlights, we've got you covered:
Nice to know he won't even have to get used to a different color scheme. Welcome board, Mr. Kallenberger.