It's been quiet on the recruiting front for Hawkeye football for a while, though that hasn't been too surprising -- or a bad thing. The Iowa coaches have been rather busy this fall putting together an 8-0 season, after all -- and they also got the vast majority of their recruiting out of the way early this year. Iowa may not have added a verbal commitment since Noah Fant on August 28, but he was also their 23rd commitment for the 2016 class -- there weren't many spots left to fill at that point (and there haven't been any defectors from Iowa's 2016 class, either).
Well, say hello to commitment #24: Florida defensive back K.J. Sails made it official (well, officially unofficial -- he can't sign a written commitment until February, of course) on Monday:
ESPN, Rivals, and Scout rank Sails as a 3* prospect, while 247 is more bullish on him and gives him that elusive fourth star in their rankings. Sails also had a pretty hefty offer list, including offers from Wisconsin, West Virginia, Utah, Rutgers, Pittsburgh, Illinois, Indiana, Cincinnati, and a host of southern mid-majors.
There's some dispute on what position he projects at -- 247 has him at cornerback, while everyone else slots him at safety. His size (around 5-11, 170, depending on the service) would seem to suggest cornerback more than safety, but some time with Chris Doyle could change that. Per The Gazette, Sails told Hawkeye Report that the Iowa coaches really like him as a cornerback:
"Coach (Kirk) Ferentz said that I could have a chance to come in and play right away," Sails told HawkeyeReport. "They could see me playing corner or safety, but really like me as true lockdown corner."
Frank LaRosa, Sails' coach at East Bay High School in Florida, told Hawkeye Report ($) that he thinks he could be either a safety or a corner in college, depending on how things go in the weight room:
"As far as a position, he is very versatile. I think his development in the weight room with Coach Doyle will be huge for him and that was a factor in his commitment," LaRosa said. "I've been asked quite a bit in the past year by coaches about a position and I think it really depends on how he develops and matures in college. I think he has the ability to be on an island and play corner and he also have the ability to be a ball hawking type guy and play more of a centerfield."
On video, Sails looks every bit the athletic playmaker that he's advertised as. The recruiting sites list his 40 time at 4.5 and he looks plenty fast in the clips available. He also shows off some nice agility and ability to change direction. He looks very comfortable with the ball in his hands (he spent time at running back and receiver in high school) and appears to track the ball well in the air, too. Catching ability can be difficult to gauge in highlights sometimes, but he makes a bevy of catches, ranging from pretty easy to really difficult, which is promising. His highlights are also short on tackling highlights and his proficiency there is likely to determine how soon he sees the field on defense. At the very least it looks like he could contribute on special teams right away, though -- he has some nice instincts as a return man and he blocked four field goals this season. Sails looks like he could be a very exciting addition to an Iowa secondary that's been loading up on intriguing athletes of late. Welcome aboard, Mr. Sails.
EDIT: Welp, not so fast.