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2015 IOWA FOOTBALL RECRUITING: DEFENSIVE LINE

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Sure, caring is creepy. That's why we generally leave it to the Rivals/Scout/247 guys. But once their signature goes on the dotted line of an Iowa letter of intent, caring ceases to be creepy and becomes essential. So, without further ado, your objects of affection and/or scorn (sometimes both at the same time) for the next four or five years.

BRADY REIFF

Defensive End, 6'4", 215
Parkston, SD (Parkston)

2★ Rivals, 3★ Scout, 3★ ESPN, 3★ 247Sports

You Might Remember Him From Such Posts As: Have a Seat, Brady Reiff | Brady Reiff Recruiting Capsule

As we've noted in several of these recaps, this recruiting class is positive dripping with family ties: sons of Hawkeye legends, brothers of current recruits, brothers of current players, and brothers of former players.  It's the last category where Reiff slots in, as the younger brother of former All-Big Ten lineman Riley Reiff.  Like his older brother, Brady arrives at Iowa projected for the defensive side of the ball.  That didn't stick with the elder Reiff -- Scout listed him at 6-6, 230 at the time, but it was clear that he had the frame to get much bigger.  Riley Reiff did get much bigger and quickly moved to the offensive side of the ball and groomed to be Iowa's left tackle of the future (a plan that worked out pretty well for all involved).  Brady Reiff might actually stick on defense.  He doesn't have quite the same gargantuan frame that his older brother had and he's smaller (and perhaps a bit quicker) than Riley was when he arrived at Iowa.  But Reiff is very much in need of some time in the incubator, whichever position he might ultimately wind up at -- 215 is far too small to play on either side of the line.  See you in a few years, Brady.

2015 Outlook: Redshirt, redshirt, redshirt. He's listed at 215 lbs, for God's sake.

FUN FACT: Unlike his older brother, Brady Reiff has a deep and abiding love of Pancheros when it comes to late-night dining options.

MICHAEL SLATER

Defensive Tackle, 6'3", 265
Chesterfield, MO (Parkway Central)

3★ Rivals, 3★ Scout, 3★ ESPN, 3★ 247Sports

You Might Remember Him From Such Posts As: Have a Seat, Michael Slater | Michael Slater Recruiting Capsule

The last time Iowa pulled a defensive lineman out of the St. Louis area they wound up with Adrian Clayborn.  That was, uh, a pretty good pick-up.  Clayborn made an immediate impact as a redshirt freshman at Iowa, but Slater will likely need some time to get up to speed.  He played middle linebacker in high school, which means he's going to need some time to get acclimated to playing with his hand on the ground learning the nuances of the defensive line. It's not entirely clear where along the line he might slot in, either -- the recruiting services initially listed him as a likely defensive end, but Iowa's official highlight video projects him as a defensive tackle.  Slater looks fairly quick in those highlights, but he doesn't possess a lightning-quick first step or blazing speed to get to a quarterback; then again, that hasn't always been a requirement of Iowa defensive ends, where containment and consistency can be every bit as important.  We'll have to wait and see where Slater lands.

2015 Outlook: See above. A redshirt seems like a necessity

FUN FACT: Thankfully, Slater is not related to former Hawkeye wrestling target A.C. Slater, who inexplicably spurned Iowa to attend unheralded Cal University instead.

ANTHONY NELSON

Defensive End, 6'7", 220
Waukee, IA (Waukee Senior)

3★ Rivals, 2★ Scout, 3★ ESPN, 3★ 247Sports

You Might Remember Him From Such Posts As: Have a Seat, Anthony Nelson | Anthony Nelson Recruiting Capsule

Nelson flipped his verbal commitment from Iowa State to Iowa in early January, just days after Iowa got poleaxed in the Tax Slayer Bowl; getting bludgeoned to bits by an SEC team in a warm weather bowl game still trumps winning 2-3 games a year and sitting at home during the holidays, I suppose.  Nelson is another native son recruit; moreover, he's another recruit out of the West Des Moines area.  Iowa has made a concerted effort to establish stronger ties in that part of the state in recent years; considering how many of the top teams and players in the state hail from that region, it's certainly not a bad idea.  That said, Nelson himself looks like a project and a fairly typical late-in-the-recruiting-class in-state addition.  Those have yielded a few gems in the past; it will be a few years before we know if Nelson is another one or not.

2015 Outlook: Redshirt, redshirt, redshirt.  220 is far too light to play defensive end in the Big Ten.

FUN FACT: Nelson shares his name with one former Minnesota national championship wrestler, but his love of steel chairs and 8-inch sub sandwiches comes from another former Minnesota national championship wrestler.

GARRET JANSEN

Defensive Tackle, 6'1", 250
Pella, IA (Pella)

2★ Rivals, 2★ Scout, 3★ ESPN, 3★ 247Sports

You Might Remember Him From Such Posts As: Garret Jansen Recruiting Capsule

When Iowa missed out on 4* defensive tackle Darrion Daniels last Friday (he chose Oklahoma State instead), they turned to Jansen, who had reopened his recruitment after learning that Cincinnati wanted him to greyshirt.  Jansen is a quintessential Reese Morgan recruit: a slightly undersized, lightly recruited prospect hailing from a small town in Iowa.  Morgan has a pretty good track record with guys like that, so we'll give Jansen the benefit of the doubt, but at 6-1, 250, he's definitely much more project than finished product at this point.   In highlights, Jansen tears through blockers like they're made of tissue paper, but it's one thing to do that to 3A Iowa high school kids and another thing to do it to Big Ten linemen.  Jansen certainly has a quick first step, though, and an impressive nose for the ball-carrier, which are nice attributes to have in a defensive tackle.  Iowa's defensive tackles tend to fit in one of two types: the "plugger," who occupies offensive linemen and frees up other defenders to make plays (think Carl Davis), and the "wreak havoc" guy, who takes advantage of that freedom to blow up quarterbacks, running backs, or just anyone he can get his hands on.  Jansen seems like he's in the mold of the second category; if his quickness can maintain itself with additional size at the D-I level, he could be a fun one to watch in a few years.

2015 Outlook: Redshirt.

FUN FACT: While he hails from Pella, Jansen readily acknowledges that Sterzing's potato chips are far superior to Old Dutch potato chips.