Officially a Hawkeye #iowa #GOHAWKS pic.twitter.com/7iAYnKdFZi— Emmanuel Ogwo (@TNDO_) July 30, 2014
Stop me if you've heard this before, but Iowa received a verbal commitment from a wide receiver who
* is a bit undersized (listed at 6-0, 175 by Rivals)
* is a burner (reported fake 40 time of 4.45)
* is from Texas (Mesquite)
I don't wanna say Greg Davis has a type, but...
To be fair, Emmanuel Ogwo is actually just the second wide receiver from Texas that Iowa has landed since the arrival of Greg Davis; let's hope he pans out better than Anjeus Jones did. But in terms of size and speed, Ogwo definitely fits the profile of what Iowa is looking for in a receiver these days. Greg Davis criticized the speed of Iowa's receivers almost from the minute he arrived in Iowa City, and it's not hard to see why -- Davis' short passing game depends on quick decisions and being able to make the first defender miss at the line of scrimmage. You need speed to do that.
Ogwo doesn't have the most impressive offer sheet, but Iowa did fend off another Big Ten school to land his services. Suck it, SUNJ. Aside from Rutgers, Ogwo also had offers from Louisiana-Monroe, New Mexico State, and UNLV -- basically a MAC offer list with some cajun seasoning and Western flair. Ogwo wasn't really on our radars (maybe we need to change the batteries in our creepdar), but he's garnered a somewhat wide range of assessments from the recruitniks. Neither Rivals nor ESPN has even graded him yet, while Scout has him as a 2* recruit and 247 is especially bullish on him, giving him a 3* grade and praising his speed.
Speed is definitely Ogwo's primary asset; 247 describes him as an "excellent sprinter" and says that he also wants to run track at Iowa. (Iowa's record with guys like that is pretty mixed; on the wild success side of the ledger is Tim Dwight, but on the less impressive side is Paul Chaney.) But as the cliche goes, you can't teach speed and Ogwo seems to have plenty of it. How quickly he can grasp the playbook and become a semi-functional blocker will likely determine how soon he sees the field at Iowa (well, that and actually, y'know, catching the ball... although he looks pretty good at that in his highlights; see below). 2*-ish recruits are typically developmental guys at Iowa, but Ogwo has a chance to buck that trend if he can take that track speed and put it to effective use on the football field.
That said, Ogwo is definitely another lottery ticket skill position recruit, something that's becoming a mildly disturbing trend in this year's class. We'll be rooting like hell for him to pan out... but we'd also sleep a little easier if this recruiting class involved a little less digging in the dirt for diamonds (especially in, uh, July rather than January) and a little more locking down guys who are slightly more sure things. In any event, welcome aboard, Mr. Ogwo.