So maybe Eric Johnson doesn't mean that much.
Despite the fact that Iowa's longtime recruiting coordinator had just left the program to sell cheeseburgers to country music fans, the Hawkeyes landed the commitment of three-star defensive end Brady Reiff on Thursday. Reiff, who currently measures in at 6'4 and 215 pounds, is the eighth commitment in the 2015 class, and just the second who looks destined to play on the defensive side of the ball. The Parkston, S.D. product held offers from Iowa and South Dakota State, though Nebraska thought enough of him to hand out an unofficial visit back in September.
Let's get the obvious out of the way: Yes, he is Riley Reiff's brother. But where the elder Reiff came to Iowa with 250 pounds on his frame and enough room for more, Brady is unlikely to make a move to offensive line. Tight end or linebacker is a possibility, according to the 247 Sports guys, but rush end has become such a need for the Hawkeyes that he looks destined to stay put. His background as a wrestler only further solidifies his position on the line. There aren't any football highlight videos readily available on Youtube, but here he is pwning a n00b at the South Dakota State Wrestling Tournament:
The bigger trend is Iowa's reliance on legacy commits this cycle. The Hawkeyes have already landed Marv Cook's son and Riley Reiff's brother (and a pair of twin brothers, as well, technically). Given Kirk Ferentz's fondness for comparing recruits to past players, the built-in comparison likely allows Iowa to extend offers it might withhold sight unseen (as it looks like it did here). It also gives the staff a foot in the door where it otherwise might have trouble. And that is where Iowa's coaches are going to have to make their money this cycle, because the legacy train has not yet arrived: Five-star linebacker Justin Hilliard is in play because his brother is on the team.
As for what Reiff's commitment means for the rest of this cycle, the verdict is: Not a whole lot. He's likely a project, mostly due to size, and it's not as if Iowa is going to stop recruiting Hilliard or Jashon Cornell (who is coached by former Iowa defensive end Broderick Binns, because connections matter) simply because it already has a defensive end in the fold. The Hawkeyes have filled the pressing needs without leaving the immediate area -- all eight commitments are from iowa or bordering states -- and the Hawkeyes could focus more heavily on skill positions from outside the immediate area now. But the relative lack of attrition in the program in recent years has this looking like a small, supplemental class that could be finalized early, and quick pickups like this don't hurt.