Success for the Iowa Hawkeyes has always been built around the offensive and defensive lines. Kirk Ferentz is a firm believer in controlling the line of scrimmage and has been successful in finding and developing talent on both sides of the line.
But perhaps no position group has been better over the last 22 seasons at Iowa than the defensive backs coached by Phil Parker. Parker has built a reputation as the nation’s best at identifying and developing DBs into NFL-caliber players. So much so that five of the last ten Big Ten defensive backs of the year have been Hawkeyes, many of whom held no other high major offer than that from Iowa.
So when Phil extends an offer to a defensive back, Hawkeye fans know to take note. That’s exactly what happened a few weeks back when Parker offered Central Michigan commit Olando Trader. The Michigan native took note too and opted for an official visit this past weekend.
That was all he needed to see as today, Trader is officially a Hawkeye.
Trader is in line with what we’re beginning to know as the Phil Parker special. He’s a talented athlete with a great frame. At 6’ tall, he’s nearly ideal height for a corner in Iowa’s defense. He’s a talented player who played on both sides of the ball at Jackson High School in Michigan.
On offense, he shows tremendous playmaking ability that should translate well to what Iowa has come to expect from it’s secondary: an ability to make a play on the ball and then make a play with the ball in their hands. He shows nice speed, consistently outrunning defenders on deep routes. That should translate well to defense at the next level.
He’s also a talented returner, something we’ve seen the Hawkeyes seek out in their defensive backs of late. Between the offensive highlights and his returning abilities, it’s hard not to see a resemblance between Trader’s film and that of current Hawkeye defensive back Terry Roberts.
On defense, Trader uses that speed to run with receivers and his playmaking ability to go get 50/50 balls. But he also shows no fear in stepping up in run support. At minimum, that should translate to an early role on special teams, similar to the aforementioned Roberts.
While Trader has been committed to Central Michigan since June, his senior film has paved the way for a few power five offers. That has included the likes of Nebraska and Vanderbilt. But ultimately, it was the Hawkeyes who impressed Trader with their prowess for developing defensive backs.
Talking with HawkeyeReport, Trader said he can see himself fitting into that line of development under Phil Parker:
“I feel like I could really fit in their defense as I was watching their practice. They are a high energy team and very disciplined. I sat down and had many conversations with Coach Parker and I’ve got to tell you once that man gets talking he doesn’t stop, but that’s not a bad thing because while I was talking to him I could easily understand him and where he was coming from. By far one of the smartest and most interesting men I have ever met.”
Welcome to the Iowa Hawkeyes Olando Trader!