One of the first things Ross Pierschbacher did after making a verbal commitment to the Iowa football program last week was make a sales pitch to dual-threat quarterback Jay Scheel.
Piershbacher, a high school junior offensive lineman from Cedar Falls, called Scheel shortly after committing to the Hawkeyes and tried to encourage Scheel to do the same thing. Pierschbacher’s persuasion apparently worked, with Scheel confirming his commitment to Iowa on Twitter Sunday afternoon.
Scheel was in Iowa City Sunday to attend the Iowa football team’s annual junior day event.
“Thanks to everyone for the support. It feels good to be part of the family! #Go Hawks.” Scheel said on Twitter.
Scheel is a junior at Union High School in LaPorte City and one of the state’s most productive and explosive dual-threat quarterbacks.
It’s not certain what position the 6-foot-1, 170-pound Scheel will play at Iowa, although quarterback will be an option. Scheel is also being recruited as a receiver by some colleges.
Veteran recruiting analyst Tom Lemming was in Iowa City Sunday to interview the juniors who attended the junior day event. Lemming spoke highly of Scheel as an athlete. Lemming said he also was present when Scheel committed to Ferentz Sunday morning.
“I think he’s one of the better athletes around,” Lemming said of Scheel. “He’s very elusive and he’s got a decent arm. He’s a very good all-around athlete.
“He’s the kind of quarterback that they’re looking for these days. But he’s not real big.”
Scheel made first-team all-state as junior this past season. He finished with 1,593 passing yards and 1,291 rushing yards while accounting for 42 touchdowns.
He picked Iowa over scholarship offers from Nebraska, Iowa State and Minnesota.
Scheel and Pierschbacher are believed to be the first two prospects from the 2014 class to commit to Iowa.
Pierschbacher is considered one of the top offensive linemen in the 2014 class, while Scheel ranks high as an athlete.
“I think this coming year is going to be outstanding,” Lemming said of Iowa’s 2014 class. “They’re in on a lot of kids nationally. So I think Iowa is on the way to having a great 2014 year.”
Heralded junior linebacker Clifton Garrett, who is from Plainfield, Ill., confirmed on Twitter Sunday that he had been offered a scholarship by Iowa while attending junior day. The junior day event helps high school juniors get better acquainted with the Iowa program and with the Iowa coaches.
Garrett already has a long list of scholarship offers from schools that include Notre Dame and Ohio State.
“He’s a national recruit,” Lemming said of Garrett.
Lemming said getting Scheel and Pierschbacher to commit this early and after an 4-8 season is a credit to Ferentz and the Iowa assistant coaches.
“The kids believe in this program,” Lemming said. “The program has been great almost throughout his whole tenure there. They know that Kirk can get the job done and kids are jumping on the boat and figuring maybe it’s easier for them to play now with a 4-8 record.”
Junior offensive lineman Keegan Render, who is from Indianola, also has a scholarship offer from Iowa, but as of Sunday afternoon, hadn’t made a decision about college. Render attended the Iowa men’s basketball team’s 70-66 victory over Wisconsin Saturday night at Carver-Hawkeye Arena. He also attended junior day on Sunday.
Category: Iowa Hawkeyes Football