The Iowa Hawkeyes continue to build momentum on the recruiting trail following the big official visit weekend now just under two weeks ago. Since that time, the Hawkeyes have secured a trio of verbal commitments, including that from 5-star OT Kadyn Proctor, 4-star OT Trevor Lauck and 3-star TE Zach Ortwerth.
As we near the weekend, that momentum continues to build as another highly regarded recruit is added to the mix. This time it’s Detroit defensive end Kenneth Merrieweather, who announced his commitment to the Hawkeyes on Thursday.
COMMITTED!! ALL GLORY TO GOD pic.twitter.com/Rgwee9AfCm— Kenneth Merrieweather.. (@KMerrieweather) July 7, 2022
Merrieweather is a big time pick up for Phil Parker and the Hawkeye defense. The Detroit Martin Luther King product is a plus athlete that brings the kind of burst and explosion off the edge that can make a Parker-coached defense incredibly dangerous.
At 6’3” and 245 pounds as a high school junior, Merrieweather (no relation to fellow Michigan native and current Iowa safety Kaevon Merriweather, whose name is spelled without the “e” in the second syllable) comes in with an excellent frame for an edge rusher. He has long arms to get into opposing tackles and the type of quickness to needed to make them pay once off balance.
Detroit King 2023 DE Kenneth Merrieweather made one of the best plays you'll see from a DE this season.— The D Zone (@TheD_Zone) November 28, 2021
Merrieweather deflected the pass which he returned for a touchdown.@KMerrieweather @DetKingFootball pic.twitter.com/Z93LuaoTrN
At 245 pounds, Merrieweather will surely bulk up some before seeing the field in Iowa City, but it’s not unrealistic to expect him to put on 24-30 pounds between his final high school season and during a redshirt year in Iowa City. That would have him in excellent shape to reasonably make an impact during his redshirt freshman season.
So what about the Hawkeyes made Iowa feel like home for the Michigan native? Speaking with Hawkeye Report, Merrieweather said it was a combination of the relationships, especially with defensive line coach Kelvin Bell, and the town itself.
“Iowa City itself is what makes it really stand out... Coach Bell is a good coach and a great person to have a relationship with outside of sports.”
That’s a recurring theme over the years among Hawkeye recruits and something we’re likely to continue to hear in the coming days as Iowa looks to pick up several more commitments from this weekend’s visitors.
Merrieweather chose the Hawkeyes over offers from Cincinnati, Oregon, Kentucky, Pittsburgh, Illinois, Indiana, Purdue as well as most of the MAC. He becomes Iowa’s 16th commitment in the class of 2023 and now the fourth from the group of big weekend visitors.
He’s the first commit in this cycle from the state of Michigan, but becomes Phil Parker’s fourth defensive line recruit joining Colorado native Chase Brackney and Iowa natives David Caulker and Maddux Borcherding-Johnson. The addition of Merrieweather moves Iowa’s class up to 13th nationally per Rivals. That’s good for fourth in the Big Ten and second in the Big Ten West behind only Northwestern. As of this writing, 247 Sports has not updated their team rankings to reflect the commitment.
Welcome aboard, Kenneth Merrieweather!