The Iowa Hawkeyes have been built into the program they are via a combination of home grown talent and infusions from outside the state. Those supplements have largely come via burgeoning pipelines the coaching staff has built over the years to various parts of the country.
One such pipeline has been laid from Michigan, and the Detroit area specifically, to Iowa City. That’s thanks in large part to the history of defensive coordinator Phil Parker in the state. Parker kept the pipeline open and the tradition building in the class of 2023 with the addition of Detroit King defensive end Kenneth Merrieweather.
Today, Merrieweather made it official as he signed his national letter of intent to play football at the University of Iowa.
At 6’3” and 245 pounds, Merrieweather has a great frame to fill out in the coming year+ to be a dynamic edge rusher for Phil Parker’s defense. A former TE and OLB, Merrieweather spent his senior season at both defensive end and defensive tackle, using his versatility and athleticism to wreak absolute havoc on opposing offenses.
The Detroit Martin Luther King product amassed 47 tackles, including an absurd 20 tackles for loss and an incredible 13 sacks in his senior campaign while leading King to the Class 3 Michigan state championship.
We have been waiting forever for this interview:— The D Zone (@TheD_Zone) September 17, 2022
Detroit King 2023 DE Kenneth Merrieweather (Iowa commit) spoke with The D Zone after another amazing game!
He spoke about what this win means vs. Cass, scoring a TD, just how physical this game was, and why he committed to Iowa! pic.twitter.com/ces5nlLPKA
Merrieweather is one of four defensive linemen expected to sign with the Hawkeyes in the early signing period, including a pair of defensive ends, where he joins Colorado native Chase Brackney. Iowa has habitually rotated 8-10 players along the defensive line, looking for versatility and the ability to slide inside to DT from their ends in passing situations. The Hawkeyes have seven defensive ends already on campus with Chris Reames the lone senior in next year’s class.
Given his size, expect Merrieweather to take a redshirt season in 2023 to continue to add some bulk. That puts him firmly in the discussion to contribute as a redshirt freshman in 2024 as one of the top-7 ends on the roster.
Welcome aboard, officially, Kenneth Merrieweather!