Long-time college football recruiting analyst Tom Lemming has a message for Iowa fans that are distressed about recruiting after the top in-state prospect turned down the Hawkeyes for the third consecutive year:
“It’s nothing to worry about,” Lemming said shortly after the news broke that West Des Moines Valley junior offensive tackle Jake Campos had committed to Missouri. “Iowa always does what Iowa does since (Kirk) Ferentz got there and really since Hayden Fry got there.
“It’s been consistent where they lose a top player, but they’ll get another guy who they develop into being an even better player than the one they lost. There is no staff in the country that develops players better than Iowa.”
The 6-foot-7, 250-pound Campos is widely regarded as the top in-state recruit in the 2013 senior class and he has at least nine BCS scholarship offers.
Lemming figured Iowa stood a good chance to land Campos largely because of Kirk Ferentz’s success in developing offensive linemen for the NFL. Campos is expected to play left tackle in college, and Iowa’s last two starting left tackles – Riley Reiff and Bryan Bulaga – were both selected in the first round of the NFL draft.
“It’s kind of mind-boggling because Iowa has done the best job in the country at developing offensive linemen for the NFL,” Lemming said. “Iowa has been consistent since Kirk Ferentz got there. They need their kind of guys to fit their program and they develop them for the NFL.”
Campos’ decision came slightly more than three months after West Des Moines Dowling Catholic receiver Amara Darboh signed a letter of intent with Michigan in early February. Darboh picked Michigan over Iowa, Wisconsin, Notre Dame and Florida.
Darboh was ranked as a four-star recruit by both Scout.com and Rivals.com and as the top in-state prospect in the 2012 senior class.
Campos is also a four-star recruit and the top in-state prospect according to Scout.com and Rivals.com.
Former Cedar Rapids Kennedy standout Christian French earned similar accolades as a senior linebacker/receiver before signing with Oregon in February 2011.
“They think the grass is always greener, a lot of kids want to go out and see the world,” Lemming said. “And the others schools sell them on that point.”
Iowa currently has seven commitments from high school juniors, but none are from kids that currently live in the state. Receiver Derrick Willies is committed to Iowa, but he transferred in January from Burlington High to Rock Island High School in Illinois.
Campos and his Valley teammate Sam Raridon, a defensive tackle, along with Dowling Catholic tight end Jon Wisnieski are now believed to be the only high school juniors from in-state to have scholarship offers from Iowa.
Category: Iowa Hawkeyes Football