This weekend is not only big for the Iowa football program in terms of the present but also for the future.
In addition to the team facing Penn State on Saturday night at Kinnick Stadium, the Iowa coaches also will welcome at least six recruits on official visits this weekend, including running back Darrian Miller from Blue Springs, Mo.
Iowa was the first school to offer Miller a scholarship shortly after his junior season, and he has grown fonder of the program since then.
“Iowa is basically the leader right now,” Miller said Tuesday night.
Miller also has Kansas, Kansas State, Wisconsin and Minnesota on his short list of schools.
He previously was committed to Kansas but has since decided to explore his options. Iowa will be the first school that Miller visits on an official basis.
He also is scheduled to visit Kansas on Oct. 22.
Miller figures to make a decision shortly after his senior season, but it could happen sooner if he likes what he sees and hears at a particular school.
Miller plans to graduate from high school at mid-semester to enroll early in college.
“It’s really not on a timeline,” Miller said. “If I felt comfortable with a school, then I might commit if I feel certain about it.”
Miller, who is ranked as a four-star prospect by Rivals.com, said the fact that Iowa was the first school to offer him a scholarship means a lot to him.
He also likes how Iowa uses its running backs, the success of the program, which has a 23-7 record since the start of the 2008 season, and how the Iowa coaches handle recruiting.
“They gave me an offer my junior year after state (playoffs), and they just made it known that they wanted me but not really in a pressuring way,” Miller said of the Iowa coaches. “They just let you start liking it more on your own.
“And that’s kind of just what happened.”
Iowa offered Miller a scholarship after he rushed for 2,798 yards and 37 touchdowns as a junior.
The 5-foot-10, 181-pounder also has been piling up huge numbers this season, including rushing for at least 200 yards in each of the past three games.
Miller attends the same high school that produced former Iowa star running back Ladell Betts.
Betts played at Iowa from 1998-01 and is ranked second on the school’s all-time rushing list with 3,686 yards.
“I like Iowa for my own reasons, but I guess that’s kind of a plus,” Miller said of Betts’ success as a Hawkeye.
Miller will play in a game Friday night and then travel to Iowa City early Saturday morning.
The other players who have scheduled official visits for this weekend are tight end/defensive end Jack Tabb, defensive end Randy Gregory, receiver Damiere Byrd, linebacker Melvin Spears and cornerback Torrey Campbell.
Campbell is from Sarasota, Fla., and already has made a verbal commitment to Iowa, whereas Gregory is committed to Purdue but still is exploring his options.
Iowa is thought to have at least 14 verbal commitments from high school seniors, including running back Melvin Gordon from Kenosha, Wis.
It’s not unusual for the Iowa coaches to sign more than one running back each year.
Category: Iowa Hawkeyes Football