IOWA CITY, Ia. – There’s a little less sunshine reflected in Iowa’s 2013 football recruiting class.
For the first time in more than a decade, the Hawkeyes did not sign a player from Florida, according to the Rivals.com database.
“We pretty much recruit Big Ten areas,” coach Kirk Ferentz said. “And then, we hit Texas.”
The Sunshine State has never been a primary pipeline for Iowa – with only one or two Florida prospects joining the program most years – but it’s important to stay connected.
In 2011, Rivals.com rated Florida as the No. 2 state for high school talent.
Texas was No. 1, and the Hawkeyes found two prospects within driving distance of the Dallas Metroplex.
A.J. Jones is 6-foot-3, 190-pound receiver from South Oak Cliff High School. Nic Shimonek is a 6-4, 196-pound quarterback from Mildred High School, who was a finalist for Texas player of the year honors.
“First thing that comes to mind when I think of (Shimonek), he’s a thrower,” Ferentz said. “So, we’re excited about him.
“We had seen his film, but watching him throw live… Everything we’ve learned since then has really impressed us.”
Ohio was the source of Iowa’s biggest signing day haul — five players, including two who could eventually bolster the defense.
Solomon Warfield, a 6-foot, 185-pound defensive back, was named all-state after making 81 tackles and breaking up five passes as a senior.
Brant Gressel, a 6-2, 280-pound tackle, recorded 38 ½ tackles and 3 ½ sacks.
Ferentz expressed few regrets after signing 21 players, but did talk about the need for another defensive end.
“If there’s one thing I wish maybe we could have done, I would have loved to have signed another guy we felt could play outside,” he said. “That didn’t work out. And one thing we didn’t want to do was try to fabricate players or create players based on needs.”
Josey Jewell, a linebacker from Decorah, was a late edition to the class.
Jewell is one of three Iowans to join the Hawkeyes. Offensive lineman Ike Boettger of Cedar Falls and tight end Jon Wisnieski of West Des Moines Dowling Catholic are the others.
“Josey is a guy we’ve been watching closely, especially as the season went on and he led his team to a state championship,” Ferentz said. “ I’m not saying he was the most valuable player on the team, but you could probably argue that. Just the way he competed in all regards, it really impressed us.”
Category: Iowa Hawkeyes Football