Last week Iowa added commitments from a handful of players and it seems that the positive recruiting mojo isn't done just yet, either. Today Iowa landed a verbal commitment from Illinois RB/LB Barrington Wade.
Happy to finally be apart of the family pic.twitter.com/cNOrqprvSp— Barrington Wade Jr (@bearwade22) June 15, 2015
Now that's a pretty stylish way to announce your commitment on social media. Wade actually announced his commitment at a press conference at a restaurant near his high school, Skokie (IL) Niles North. There were hats involved!
Niles North RB Barrington Wade says the decision came down to Iowa and UConn. Went with the Hawkeyes. pic.twitter.com/KIupHjoGYw— Nate Atkins (@NateAtkinsCF) June 15, 2015
Wade, a consensus 3* prospect and the #29 RB recruit in the country (per 247 Sports), is listed at 6-1, 207 lbs and has a (fake) 40 time of 4.5. He chose Iowa over offers from UConn, Wyoming, and a bevy of MAC schools (Ball State, Central Michigan, Western Michigan, Bowling Green), though some of the recruiting sites list interest from some other Power 5 schools (Cal, Illinois, Michigan State, Purduge, Rutgers, UCLA). Per Rivals, Wade ran for 894 yards and 19 touchdowns as a junior last season, despite missing a handful of games due to injury.
Watching his highlights (see below), it's clear that Wade isn't a burner, but his speed looks decent, he moves well in the open field, and he reads blocks well and makes good cuts, which suggests that he has the skills to be a good fit in Iowa's running offense. He also shows some toughness in his ability to take a hit and keep moving forward.
Wade becomes the 8th verbal commitment in the 2016 class for Iowa and the second running back in this class, after Madison RB Toren Young, who committed back in January. That said, it's also not a lock that the Iowa coaches see Wade as a running back for the Hawkeyes. He told Voice of the Hawkeyes that the Iowa coaches see him as a possible running back, safety, or linebacker. My guess is that the Iowa coaches will push him towards offense or defense depending on which is the greater need when he arrives on campus; all things being equal, though, he looks a bit more like a running back now than anything else and one that could potentially be effective for Iowa as well. Welcome aboard, Mr. Wade.