Another week, another Texas-area football commit? Yep. Eno Benjamin has been the Pied Piper of Iowa's football recruiting efforts for the Class of 2017 and he isn't slowing down -- and the recruits he's helping Iowa land are getting better and better. On Monday Iowa added a verbal commitment from another Dallas-area football player, Chevin Calloway, who announced his commitment via Periscope.
Thank God ⚫️ pic.twitter.com/6Kn6ako7dg— Chevin Calloway (@_chev1_) July 11, 2016
Landing Calloway is a big deal for Iowa -- like, a really, really, really big deal. He's a consensus 4* recruit and very highly regarded by all of the recruiting services: Scout ranks him #109 overall, 247 tabs him #103 overall, and Rivals grades him as the #89 overall prospect in 2017. ESPN is highest on him, slotting him at #69 overall. (Nice.) But more than the recruiting rankings, what impresses about Calloway is his offer sheet, which is approximately a mile long and loaded with glittering names. Rivals reports offers from Alabama, Arkansas, Auburn, Baylor, LSU, Miami, Michigan, Ole Miss, Mississippi State, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, TCU, Texas, Texas A&M, UCLA, and Wiscosnin. And that's not even including offers from irrelevant programs like UT-San Antonio, Illinois, and Nebraska. That is an absolutely outstanding offer list -- Iowa beat out some big, big names to land his commitment.
Calloway is not just one of the best gets in this recruiting class -- he's one of the best gets of the entire Kirk Ferentz Era. Among this year's class, A.J. Epenesa is higher-ranked than Calloway and is a hugely exciting prospect in his own right, but Iowa had a few ins with him that they didn't have with Calloway -- Epenesa was from a neighboring state (Illinois) where Iowa has had plenty of recruiting success over the last 20 years and, more importantly, he's a Hawkeye legacy as the son of former Iowa player Eppy Epenesa. By comparison, Calloway is from Texas (several hundred miles away from Iowa) and he has no family or program ties to the Hawkeyes. Calloway choosing Iowa is a huge credit to the job that Kirk Ferentz, Phil Parker, LeVar Woods, Eno Benjamin and the rest of Iowa's 2017 recruits (especially the Dallas-area ones) did on selling the Iowa program to him.
So what is it that makes Calloway so exciting -- and so highly sought-after? He's listed at 5-10, 180 lbs and has a listed 40 time of 4.45 (per 247). On the field, he shows good instincts on the ball, plays smothering coverage, and hits like a damn dump truck:
Seriously, the hitting:
Aggressive pic.twitter.com/P2Q5OKlvdL— Chevin Calloway (@_chev1_) July 7, 2016
Iowa needs its corners to be able to tackle reliably in space and contribute in stopping the run -- those are two areas where Desmond King has excelled, even if they get overshadowed by his interceptions and pass deflections -- and Calloway looks very comfortable in those areas already. Give him a bit of time under Parker and unleash him on Big Ten offenses and the sky could be the limit.
Parker is a factor of note here, too. In explaining why he chose Iowa, Calloway cited the fact that Parker has put at least one defensive back into the NFL 11 of the last 17 years. That's an impressive stat and it's one that manages to look even better when you've got the reigning Thorpe Award winner (and a guy who will make that stat 12 of the last 18 years next spring) on campus, too. Recruits are noticing what Phil Parker is doing in the Iowa secondary and that's a very exciting development. Parker has been making five-star dishes out of hamburger for years; now he's getting some filet mignon to work with and we can't wait to see what we whips up for the Iowa defense next.
Welcome to Iowa, Chevin.