Iowa's Junior Day began paying dividends this morning with the verbal commitment of attendee (and longtime Iowa target) Keegan Render, but it turns out the verbal commitments this weekend aren't limited to Junior Day attendees -- New Jersey OLB/DE Jameer Outsey gave his pledge to Iowa last night.
Outsey is listed at 6-3 and in the 210-225 lb. range (depending on which scouting service you check). Outsey is a somewhat low-profile recruit at the moment -- none of the scouting services have any sort of ranking for him yet and his offer sheet is decidedly low-key. He chose Iowa over offers from Pitt, Temple, Akron, and Buffalo, as well as "pursuit" from Virginia, Rutgers,and Michigan State.
He's being recruited for the defensive side of the ball, but where exactly he lines up is still TBD. Rivals, Scout, and ESPN all list him as a LB, but 247Sports lists him as a DE. Even the schools pursuing him weren't quite sure where his best fit might be -- Temple offered him as a tight end, while Michigan State reportedly saw him as a defensive end. It's not clear which position Iowa sees him at, although help is needed at both LB and DE. LB figures to be a heavy focus for this year's recruiting class, with three senior starters (Morris, Hitchens, Kirksey) and a key back-up (Alston) that's a junior. So if Outsey does stick at LB, he could help fill an obvious need there.
On the other hand, Outsey's athleticism and frame makes defensive end very intriguing, too. We've lamented the lack of top-end athleticism -- and pass-rushing ability -- among Iowa's defensive ends since Adrian Clayborn headed to the NFL and it's not impossible to see Outsey following in Matt Roth's footsteps after spending some time in the weight room with Chris Doyle. Iowa could certainly use some more speed in its pass rush.
Outsey's commitment is yet another feather in the cap of new coach Chris White, who's been attacking the mid-Atlantic region with a vengeance since arriving at Iowa. As Pat noted earlier, we had some concerns about Iowa's ability to effectively recruit in Maryland and New Jersey after Darrell Wilson left for redder pastures, but so far White is doing a very impressive job of allaying those concerns and maintaining a strong Iowa presence in those states.
You can check out Outsey's highlights here. Welcome aboard, Mr. Outsey.