For a while on Monday, Iowa was picking up a new verbal commitment every time we turned around. Illinois DE Romeo McKnight was the first domino to fall and his pledge to Iowa was followed shortly by a nod from Michigan DB Cedric Boswell.
VERY EXCITED TO ANNOUNCE MY COMMITMENT TO THE UNIVERSITY OF IOWA HAWKEYES!! ◼️ ⚠️ #B1G #FutureHawkeye #IowaFootball— Cedric Boswell#⃣22 (@cjboswell98) June 29, 2015
It's clear he's excited because he used all caps!
Boswell picked up an offer from Iowa on Friday and needed only a weekend to decide that Iowa was the place for him. It probably didn't hurt that Iowa was his only Power-5 offer; he also had offers from about half of the MAC. Rivals lists Boswell as a 2* prospect, while 247 and Scout are a little more impressed and rate him as a 3* recruit. Boswell is listed at 5'11" and 172 lbs, which is fairly typical size for an Iowa cornerback recruit, and he seems to have some pretty impressive speed: per Morehouse, he was timed with a 4.34 40-yard dash at a Michigan State camp earlier this summer.
That speed is certainly the main takeaway from his highlight video -- it really pops. Boswell does an impressive job of just flat-out running away from guys again and again -- his acceleration when he hits the corner or gets into open field looks good. It's hard to draw many other conclusions from the footage, though. Iowa is apparently bringing him in as a cornerback, but the vast majority of plays on the highlight video feature him working as a running back (he ran for 1350 yards and 15 TD as a junior). There are a handful of plays with him at cornerback, but they mainly feature him chasing down a running back in run support. His coverage skills are a giant question mark.
The good news is that while Iowa needs to restock the depth chart in the secondary, cornerback isn't a position of immediate need -- both of last year's starters are slated to return in 2015 and, barring an outrageously good season from either Desmond King or Greg Mabin, both should also be back manning the outside of Iowa's defense in 2016. That gives Boswell plenty of time to work with Phil Parker on his coverage techniques.
The obvious comparison for Boswell -- and one that you'll probably hear Ferentz and Parker make ad nauseam once they're officially allowed to talk about him -- is King. Like King, Boswell chose Iowa over a bevy of MAC offers. Like King, Boswell hails from the Detroit area. Like King, Boswell produced some big numbers as a running back in high school. Hell, they're even about the same size as recruits -- King was listed at 5'11", 185 when he signed with Iowa in 2013. So the hope is obviously that Boswell is a King starter kit. Those are pretty lofty expectations, considering King is on pace to be a four-year starter at Iowa and was turning heads as a freshmen; it's certainly not fair to expect Boswell to hit those same heights. That said, there's definitely some raw talent here and he'll be playing at a position -- and for a position coach -- where Iowa has had tremendous success at turning raw talent into polished production. That certainly won't hurt his cause at all. Welcome aboard, Mr. Boswell.