Brian Lemelle appears to be just what the Iowa football team needs to help jumpstart its sputtering passing attack.
The record-breaking receiver from Harrisburg, Pa., is expected to take an official recruiting visit to the University of Iowa this weekend, along with a couple other high school prospects, including two other receivers from Texas.
“I like him a lot,” veteran recruiting analyst Tom Lemming said Friday of Lemelle, who is Pennsylvania’s all-time leader in receptions (269) and receiving yards (4,529) for a high school player. “I think he’s a big-time guy.”
The 5-foot-11, 175-pound Lemelle attends perennial power Bishop McDevitt High School in Harrisburg. He led his team to the semifinals of the state high school playoffs as a senior, catching 99 passes for 1,590 yards and 11 touchdowns. His 38 career touchdowns also ranks second all-time in Pennsylvania.
Lemelle has narrowed his list of schools to Iowa, Connecticut and Temple.
He is expected to be joined in Iowa City this weekend by Texas high school receivers Cameron Smith from Coppell and Dre Fuller from Mansfield. Smith reportedly has a scholarship offer from Iowa and has the Hawkeyes in his top two with Arizona State.
Finding help at receiver has been a priority for the Iowa coaches, who are trying to rebound from a 4-8 season in which the passing game struggled under new offensive coordinator Greg Davis. Iowa is thought to have at least 15 verbally committed players in its 2013 recruiting class, including four who could play receiver in college.
“They’re looking for smallish, slot-type receivers it seems like,” said Rob Howe, who runs the recruiting website Hawkeye Insider.com. “If I was a receiver already on Iowa’s roster, I would worry because they already have four (receiver) commitments before these kids that are visiting this weekend.”
Despite his record-breaking statistics, Lemelle is only ranked as a three-star recruit by Scout.com and Rivals.com.
Lemming compared Lemelle’s playing style to that of New England Patriots receiver Wes Welker, who excels at gaining yards after the catch despite being undersized.
“He’s not real big and he’s not real fast,” Lemming said of Lemelle. “He’s sort of a Wes Welker type. He has great hands, knows how to get open and knows what to do with the ball after the catch.”
The Iowa coaches also will host defensive back Jacquille Veii over the weekend. Veii, who is from Gaithersburg, Md., committed to Maryland over the summer, but now is expected to choose between the Terrapins and Iowa.
Linebacker Reggie Spearman said on Twitter that he will be in Iowa City this weekend for an unofficial visit. Spearman, who attends Simeon High School in Chicago, is committed to Illinois, but is still looking at Iowa, Minnesota and Indiana. Spearman took an official visit to Iowa in November.
West Branch senior Bo Bower, who already has committed to Northern Iowa, also will visit Iowa this weekend. Bower is being recruited as a linebacker, but doesn’t have a scholarship offer from Iowa at this point.
The national signing period for football will start Feb. 6.
Category: Iowa Hawkeyes Football