Feb. 2, 2005
The University of Iowa football program, Big Ten Conference champions in two of the last three years and winners of back-to-back New Year's Day bowl games, announced Wednesday the addition of 22 talented student-athletes to its 2005 roster.
The group - considered by many to be among the nation's most talented - includes six from the state of Illinois, five from Iowa, three from Texas and Ohio, two from Florida - ironically, one from each of the cities that the Hawkeyes have played their last two bowl games (Orlando and Tampa), and one from New Jersey and Pennsylvania.
"This has been by far the most effective and efficient year we've had recruiting," Head Coach Kirk Ferentz said at his press conference Wednesday. "We're pleased with the very favorable returns, but we still have a lot of football to play."
Thirteen are slated to begin their athletic career at the University on the offensive side of the football; nine are slated to line up on defense.
By position, the breakdown is as follows: six offensive linemen, four defensive linemen, two linebackers, two running backs, two defensive backs, two wide receivers, one quarterback, one tight end, one fullback, and one defensive end.
"Their performances during their high school career are impressive," Ferentz said. "But it goes beyond football and into their other activities as well.
"These guys are attracted to the right things. They're good guys with the necessary pride and desire to be a conference championship-caliber team," added Ferentz.
"Just like we're starting to earn some credibility on the field, I think we're doing the same thing in the recruiting world as well. We're not selling beaches, we're not selling exotic weather, but yeah, I think we have a great product here to sell - great school, great community and a pretty solid football team."
Kirk Ferentz told ESPN.com recently
Ferentz said the intangibles of the players continue to be the major selling point.
"Our prospects really did their homework and to me that is enjoyable when you get guys that are grounded," Ferentz said. "They've gone through the process in, I think, a very positive way. Again, it strikes me as a group that is going to be a lot of fun to coach because of those kind of characteristics."
Those characteristics may be chalked up to a solid Midwestern work ethic. Eleven of the 22 recruits are from Iowa or Illinois.
"That remains our first goal," Ferentz said, referring to recruiting in the state. "It all starts in Iowa and then spreads to the Midwest. I'm really happy. I think that's where Chicago kind of ties in a little bit. We kind of made the conscientious decision to really treat Chicago like part of our state."
Because of the top-ranked class, though, Ferentz does have to worry about whether the Iowa program's chip-on-the-shoulder mentality can still play out as successfully.
"We won't have any problem with that next fall," the coach said. "I think that gets back to what we talked about with intangibles. That's really what we're still looking for No. 1 and that's where the recruiting process works because when (recruits) do come in and visit our campus, we're not selling pipe dreams.
"We let them know just how demanding it is to be a top-caliber student-athlete because we have high expectations for the guys on our football team."
You probably didn't know that...
Pat Angerer of Bettendorf played on Bettendorf High School's state championship soccer team. The 6-1, 215-pound linebacker also competed in wrestling and track in addition to football and soccer as prep..
Kalvin Bailey of Tampa intends to major in psychology at the UI, and attended the same high school as current Hawkeyes Antwan Allen and Chris Brevi. The 6-0, 240-pound fullback also has tossed the shot put for Armwood High School's track squad..
Ryan Bain of Bolingbrook, Ill., is a two-time captain of Bolingbrook High School's wrestling team. The 6-2, 260-pound defensive lineman is one of seven UI recruits who participated in the recent Army All-American Bowl in San Antonio..
Tyler Blum of Walnut played football and baseball, and wrestled as a prep at Walnut Community High School. The 6-6, 251-pound defensive end is another of the seven UI recruits who participated in the recent Army All-American Bowl in San Antonio..
Dana Brown of Clairton, Pa., played basketball as a prep at Clairton High School in addition to lettering in football. The 5-10, 200-pound running back is also a member of the National Honor Society..
Kyle Calloway of Belleville, Ill., earned three letters and all-conference honors as a basketball player at East High School where he also ran track in addition to participating in football. The 6-7, 285-pound offensive lineman also played tight end and defensive tackle during his prep career..
Jake Christensen of Lockport, Ill., is another of the seven UI recruits who participated in the recent Army All-American Bowl in San Antonio. The 6-1, 205-pound quarterback is the son of Jeff Christensen, who played for Cincinnati, Philadelphia and Cleveland in the NFL..
Justin Collins of Ft. Worth, Texas, is an accomplished powerlifter who can squat 610 pounds. The 6-2, 250-pound defensive lineman can also bench press 395 pounds..
Dan Doering of Barrington, Ill., is a four-time letterwinner in football and track, and a two-time letterwinner in basketball at Barrington High School. A captain of his football team as a senior, the 6-7, 290-pound offensive lineman is another of the seven UI recruits who participated in the recent Army All-American Bowl in San Antonio..
Rafael Eubanks of St. Paul, Minn., was named Minnesota's Gatorade Player of the Year as a senior at Cretin-Derham Hall High School. The 6-3, 290-pound offensive lineman was credited with 120 "pancake blocks" during his prep career..
Vernon Jackson of Orlando plans to major in criminal justice at the UI. The 6-1, 255-pound defensive lineman finished 10th in the state weightlifting meet last year with a bench press of 375 and a clean-and-jerk of 275..
Alex Kanellis of Iowa City played on both sides of the ball for West High School, seeing time at fullback and linebacker. The 6-4, 255-pound defensive lineman also was a member of his high school wrestling squad and expects to major in education at the UI..
Andy Kuempel of Marion will participate in the 2005 Iowa Shrine Bowl after having earned first-team all-state honors from the Des Moines Register in 2004. The 6-7, 270-pound offensive lineman played on Linn-Mar's state high school basketball championship team in 2004 and is a captain of the current Linn-Mar boys basketball team..
Tony Moeaki of Wheaton, Ill., is another of the seven UI recruits who participated in the recent Army All-American Bowl in San Antonio. The 6-4, 235-pound tight end played basketball and tennis during his prep career at Warrenville South High School..
Dace Richardson of Wheaton, Ill., was team captain of his 2004 Warrenville South High School football squad. The 6-6, 300-pound offensive lineman is also another of the seven UI recruits who participated in the recent Army All-American Bowl in San Antonio..
Corey Robertson of Denison, Texas was a four-time Class 4A most valuable player and was twice named all-state by the Dallas Morning News. The 6-1, 195-pound running back also was a standout hurdler on the Denison High School track team..
Chris Rowell of Warrensville Heights, Ohio was a two-year captain of the Warrensville High School football team. The 6-1, 170-pound freshman also starred on his prep track squad, excelling in sprint events and the long jump..
Trey Stross of Avon Lake, Ohio is also another of the seven UI recruits who participated in the recent Army All-American Bowl in San Antonio. The 6-3, 190-pound wide receiver also was a punter as a prep, averaging 40.3 yards per kick..
B.J. Travers of Westlake, Ohio earned three letters in football and four in track at Westlake High School. The 6-1, 243-pound linebacker was also the state power lifting champion in 2004..
Marcus Wilson of Cherry Hill, N.J. played offense and defense as a prep. The 6-3, 198-pound wide receiver also competed in track at Camden Catholic High School, concentrating on springs and the long jump..
Marshall Yanda of Anamosa played the last two seasons at North Iowa Area Community College where he earned all-region honors both years and honorable mention all-America honors as sophomore. The 6-4, 310-pound offensive lineman earned letters in football, track and basketball at Anamosa High School.