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Ferentz: Oversigning ‘indicates a little different set of priorities’

[ 3 ] February 2, 2011 |

Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz said the fact that some schools sign more recruits than they have scholarships for can make it harder for Big Ten schools, which follow the rules.

“That being said, I’m glad we’re a Big Ten member institution,” Ferentz said. “That’s one thing we encourage a lot of parents to do, go back and look at the numbers that schools sign if they are considering a school. I do think its telling.”

Signing more players has become a common strategy, particularly among SEC schools. Under NCAA rules, football programs are allowed to enroll 25 players on scholarship each August and each team has an 85-scholarship limit.

Iowa signed 24 recruits in its 2011 class Wednesday.

Oversigning.com is a fan-run Website that tracks which schools are signing more recruits than they have scholarships for. According to the site, South Carolina unofficially has 30 verbal commitments, Ole Miss has 29 and Arkansas has 28. Alabama signed 23 players despite losing just 12 to graduation, the NFL, or transfer.

“The math is fairly obvious,” Ferentz said. “To me it indicates a little different set of priorities. I better stop at that.”

Iowa doesn’t recruit head-to-head too often with SEC schools. Most recruits come from the Big Ten footprint or a bit further east. The 2011 exceptions included two players from Florida and two from Texas.

“My first year here we tried to go everywhere, and you just can’t do that. It’s not realistic,” Ferentz said. “We’ve pretty much pinpointed through the Big Ten areas with Nebraska, a little bit of Missouri and taking it over to the East coast.

“And we’ve had some success with guys out of Florida and Texas.”

DEMATHA CONNECTION: Last spring Iowa signed one player out of the DeMatha Catholic High School, a powerhouse prep school in Hyattsville, Md. Freshman running back Marcus Coker ended up being the MVP of the Insight Bowl.

This season two of his teammates decided to follow him to Iowa. Defensive lineman Darian Cooper and defensive back Jordan Lomax gave their verbal commitments over the past three days, and signed their letters Wednesday.

“Really it’s a new area for us, relatively, and certainly last year getting Marcus out of there, we were just ecstatic about that,” Ferentz said.

DeMatha had 14 players sign national letter of intent Wednesday to schools such as Auburn, Maryland, Virginia, Bowling Green, Pittsburgh and Michigan State.

“I think when a player has experience and good experience, a positive experience, not only in football in all areas, I think he believes in our program and believes in the university and likes living here,” Ferentz said of Coker. “So when prospects come out from your neighborhood or area or school, it’s a good thing and certainly that helped us, I think, with both Jordan and Darian.”

CANZERI FUTURE PATRIOT?: Iowa added a third running back to its 2011 class in the final days. Ferentz compared 5-foot-9, 172-pound Jordan Canzeri to current NFL running back Danny Woodhead.

Ferentz said the Hawkeyes passed up on Woodhead when he was coming out of high school in North Platte, Neb.

“He was worried about his size,” Ferentz said of Canzeri. “We blew that one on Danny Woodhead, 177 pounds when he went to Chadron State and did not want to blow it again.”

Woodhead ran for 7,871 yards at Chadron State and played in 14 games with the Patriots this season with 97 carries for 547 yards (5.6 average) and five rushing touchdowns.

Ferentz said a tape of Canzeri ended up on his desk about two weeks ago.

“The obvious question is, who is recruiting this guy?” Ferentz said. “And I looked at it and thought who is recruiting this guy and why is it only the list that was on my desk at that point.”

Canzeri ran for 2,048 yards and 36 touchdowns for Troy (N.Y.) High School this past fall, but his only other major offers were from Villanova and Connecticut. Many schools shied away because of his size (5-9, 172).

“You have to go by what you see on tape and the passion he plays with, the toughness he plays with, and the determination that really … told his dad we are not going to ask him to rebound. We just want him to run the football. So we are really excited about him.”

Iowa also signed two other running backs — Rodney Coe (6-3, 238) and Mika’il McCall (6-0, 215). Coe might be pushing 250 pounds, and was also recruited as a linebacker, but Ferentz wants to keep him at running back.

“If he can hold at that area, 250, 255, maybe — but if he outgrows it that won’t be a bad thing,” Ferentz said. “Our intentions are to play him at running back and we have shared that with him and we are excited about that. We think he’s a good running back.”

NO WORD ON A-ROB: Adam Robinson was dismissed from the team Jan. 3, and then Jan. 16 said he wanted the chance to earn his way back onto the Hawkeyes.

Robinson, Iowa’s leading rusher last season, was charged Dec. 27 with possession of marijuana in Des Moines. The sophomore was already suspended at the time, and it happened the day before the Insight Bowl.

Ferentz was asked Wednesday if Robinson might be given that chance to return.

“I don’t know if I can answer it,” Ferentz said. “I have not given it much thought. I made an announcement a while back, and I have been really focused on recruiting so we will go from there.”

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Category: Iowa Hawkeyes Football

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