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Nevada O-lineman can’t interest Hawkeyes

[ 34 ] November 29, 2011 |

Offensive lineman Cedrick Poutasi is considered one of the top high school recruits in the state of Nevada and one of the top players nationally at his position.

The Las Vegas native has nearly two-dozen scholarship offers from BCS schools and is expected to choose between Oklahoma State, Utah, Washington and Arizona State.

Poutasi will take an official visit to Oklahoma State this weekend, but Utah is considered the favorite to sign the 6-foot-5, 322-pound senior from Desert Pines, High School in Las Vegas.

But who knows what would’ve happened if the Iowa Hawkeyes had shown interest in Poutasi because there is no doubt Poutasi was interested in them.

He said so in May.

Poutasi said he liked Iowa and wanted to take a closer look at the program, partly because of Iowa’s success with developing NFL offensive linemen under head coach Kirk Ferentz, and partly because one of the assistant principals at his high school is a life-long Hawkeye fan and a native Iowan.

However, the interest wasn’t mutual.

Desert Pines assistant principal Michael Rolands, who grew up in Iowa and still follows the Hawkeyes, said he tried on numerous occasions this past spring and summer to tell the Iowa coaches that he had a nationally-ranked recruit from his high school that was interested in Iowa.

Rolands said he left messages at the Iowa Football Office and sent e-mails, but heard nothing in response.

Poutasi is ranked as a four-star recruit by both Scout.com and Rivals.com. He is also ranked as the eighth best offensive guard in the 2012 senior class by Rivals.com and 222nd overall regardless of position.

“I can’t believe they wouldn’t even touch base to see,” Rolands said of the Iowa coaches. “He’s saying he’s interested in Iowa and they wouldn’t even look at him.

“It’s ridiculous.”

NCAA rules prohibit the Iowa coaches form commenting on a specific recruit until the recruit has signed a national letter of intent. The signing period for football will start on Feb. 1, 2012, which is a Wednesday.

Iowa has received verbal commitments from at least 12 high school seniors, including two offensive linemen.

However, only two of Iowa’s 12 recruits are ranked higher than Poutasi is by most recruiting services.

Offensive lineman Ryan Ward, who is from New Lenox, Ill., is ranked as the 84th best prospect by Rivals.com, and defensive tackle Jaleel Johnson, who is from Lombard, Ill., is ranked at 160.

Rolands said Poutasi waited throughout the summer to hear from an Iowa coach, but he eventually moved on when school started.

Rolands said Poutasi still needs to meet the academic requirements for an incoming freshman, but that his grades are OK.

“Absolutely, he has a chance,” Rolands said.


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Category: Iowa Hawkeyes Football

About Pat Harty: Columnist Pat Harty has been covering the Iowa Hawkeyes for the Press-Citizen since 1991. Originally from Des Moines, he currently writes columns and covers Hawkeye men's basketball for Hawk Central. View author profile.

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