Football Signing Day: 22 Join the Hawkeye Family
Feb. 7, 2007
IOWA CITY -- Twenty-two talented high school seniors who hail from places as near to Iowa City and the campus of the University of Iowa as Marion and Des Moines and as far as Florida, New Jersey, Michigan, Texas and Pennsylvania are the latest additions to the UI football family.
The list of 2007 National Letter of Intent signees includes nine student-athletes who played offensive positions in high school and 13 others who played on the defensive side of the football as prep standouts.
Geographically, Iowa, as usual, dominated the state of Iowa by securing commitments to attend the UI and play football for the Hawkeyes from six native Iowans including Jordan Bernstine, a much-heralded defensive back from Des Moines, Tyler Nielsen, an outside linebacker from Humboldt, and Colin Sandeman, a wide receiver from Bettendorf."As a group, all six of the home state guys were perfect fits for our profile," said Ferentz.
Iowa also received commitments from three high school seniors who played their prep football in Illinois including highly-touted offensive linemen Bryan Bulaga of Crystal Lake and Markus Zusevics of Arlington Heights, and one each from the bordering states of Minnesota and Missouri. The UI also received one commitment from student-athletes in the Heartland states of Kansas and Indiana.
Ferentz and his staff continued to mine the states of Ohio (four student-athletes), New Jersey (two), Pennsylvania (one), Texas (one), Michigan (one), and Florida (one) for future Hawkeyes.
"We feel very, very good about this class," said Ferentz. "You guys know me. I normally don't get too enthusiastic, too excited, but I can tell you quite honestly that this group excites me. We feel very, very good as a staff about this one from top to bottom.
It's impossible to predict the future, but based on the information we have collected, the visits, their families, the areas they come from...we're confident and excited," he added.
Ferentz said he thinks some of the newest Hawkeyes could see significant playing time as early as next year. But, as is in the past, no promises of guaranteed playing time were made.
"If we sell anything, we sell a great experience, a great college town and a great opportuunity to earn a spot of the depth chart," said Ferentz.
Rankings? Ferentz said he has a stack of data on his desk and he might spend some time tonight thumbing through it.
"You guys know where I stand on that one, too. Talk to me about rankings two, three years from now when we can evaluate who has done what. Recruiting rankings are like pre-season rankings. On those, talk to me in early November," said Ferentz.
Ferentz said 20 of the student-athletes in this year's class were captains of their high school team for at least one season. He also noted that many were also multi-sport student-athletes and many more excelled academically. And he mentioned that 19 also were involved in post-season play.
"We like the intagibles, the character this group brings to our program and many are coming out of programs that have experienced success and that's invaluable," said Ferentz.
Ferentz applauded the effort of his staff. "They've worked hard, as they always do," he said, noting that Lester Erb, Iowa's receivers coach, and his wife Ellen were celebrating yesterday's birth of their second daughter.
Here's a little about each of the newest members of the football program at the University of Iowa that fans of the Hawkeyes may not be aware of.
Christian Ballard, a 2006 pre-season Prep Star All-American tight end from Lawrence, Kan., also played basketball and track as a prep at Lawrence Free State. Jordan Bernstine, a defensive back from Des Moines, is a 2007 Parade All-American who accumulated more than 1,500 yards and three touchdowns as a kick returner.
Broderick Binns, a defensive end from St. Paul, Minn., was a member of Cretin-Derham Hall High School's honor roll every trimester during his prep career. Bryan Bulaga, an offensive lineman from Crystal Lake, Ill., is a 2007 Parade magazine, PrepStar magazine and East-West All-American who also played tight end as a prep.
Jacody Coleman, a linebacker from Beaumont, Texas, also earned letters at Beaumont West Brook High School in powerlifting, track and basketball. Lebron Daniel, a defensive end from Cleveland, Ohio's Glenville High School, is a second-team all-American who was a prep teammate of three current Hawkeyes.
Mike Daniels, a defensive tackle from Blackwood, N.J., collected 27 sacks at Highland Regional High School where he also lettered in wrestling and track. Bruce Davis, a linebacker from Cleveland, was the state of Ohio's Co-Defensive Player of the Year in 2006.
Cedric Everson, a defensive back from Detroit, is a two-time SuperPrep, Rivals.com, Scout.com and Rise magazine all-American. He was also a three-time letterwinner in track at Samuel Mumford High School where he won indoor and outdoor state championships in the 400-meter dash and earned Nike All-American honors.
Zach Furlong, a tight end from Xenia, Ohio, is a three-year member of Xenia High School's honor roll. Adam Gettis, an offensive lineman from Frankfort, Ill., earned first-team all-state honors at Lincoln Way East High School where he also lettered in basketball and track.
Cody Hundertmark, a defensive tackle from Humboldt, played in the East Meets West All-American Game. Marvin McNutt, a quarterback from St. Louis, also excelled in the sport of basketball and was once nominated to play in the McDonald's All-American Game.
Diauntae Morrow, a defensive back from Cleveland, was an honorable mention all-American by Prep Star magazine. He also plans to major in finance at the UI. Dezman Moses, a linebacker from Willingboro, N.J., also played wide receiver as a prep at Willingboro High School, collecting 35 receptions for 596 yards and 10 touchdowns his senior season.
Tyler Nielsen, a linebacker from Humboldt, was Iowa's 2006 Gatorade Football Player of the Year and was named to the U.S. Army All-American team. Jevon Pugh, a running back from Naples, Fla., was named Southwest Florida's Offensive Player of the year in 2006 after leading Naples High School to a district championship. Allen Reisner, a tight end from Marion, also played linebacker as a prep.
Colin Sandeman, a wide receiver from Bettendorf, played on three state championship teams at Bettendorf High School: soccer in 2003, football in 2004 and basketball in 2005. Tyler Sash, a defensive back from Oskaloosa, was twice named first-team all-state as a prep.
Abe Satterfield, a defensive back from Erie, Pa., averaged more than 15 yards per catch as a senior and more than 17 yards per catch as a junior at Cathedral Prep High School. Markus Zusevics, an offensive lineman from Arlington Heights, Ill., was a four-year letterwinner in volleyball where he played outside hitter.
NCAA National Letter of Intent signing day activities mark the unofficial start of the 2007 season for the Hawkeyes, who concluded their 2006 season with their sixth straight post-season bowl game under Ferentz. Iowa will begin its spring practice in late March and that session will conclude with an open-to-the-public session inside historic Kinnick Stadium on Saturday, April 14.
Iowa, which advanced to its sixth straight post-season bowl game under Ferentz last year, opens its 2007 season against Northern Illinois at Soldier Field in Chicago. The Hawkeyes' 2007 home schedule includes six games inside Kinnick Stadium where Iowa has played before 24 straight sellout crowds.
THE LIST: THE UNIVERSITY OF IOWA'S 2007 FOOTBALL NATIONAL LETTER OF INTENT SIGNEES