Kirk Ferentz and his staff have been hitting the recruiting trail hard this summer as the Hawkeyes added four more verbal commitments to the class of 2014. Neither of these recruits are highly ranked on rivals.com’s website, but that’s not an issue. Iowa does more with less better than anyone else in the country. The Hawkeye coaching staff has a knack for developing underrated prospects into Big Ten standouts, and even NFL prospects. These are the four newest additions to the Black and Gold program.
Jones is a safety prospect from Dallas, Texas. He is the younger brother of 2013 commit, WR Anjeus Jones. Jyaz Jones originally committed to Colorado State, but he switched to Iowa when he visited his brother on campus. Jones isn’t highly ranked on Rivals.com or ESPN, but that’s most likely due to his injury history. He tore his ACL this spring, jeopardizing his ability to play this upcoming season. He has the physical attributes to be a starting caliber safety at the collegiate level; he’s 6-foot-1, 180-pounds and runs a 4.6 40-yard dash. Jyaz Jones also had offers from Nebraska and Baylor along with a couple FBS schools.
Outsey is another under the radar type of recruit. He’s a defensive prospect from the New Jersey area that could play either outside linebacker or defensive end. He’ll likely start out at linebacker since Iowa will graduate three seniors at that position after the 2013 season. He’s listed at 6-ffot-3, 210-225 pounds depending on which site you look at, and he runs a 4.8 40 yard dash. Outsey recorded 39 tackles, 5 sacks, and on fumble recovery that he returned for a touchdown during his junior season.
Render is an offensive guard from Indianola , Iowa. The Hawkeyes already have a commitment from the top guard prospect, Ross Pierschbacher, in high school football. Iowa is the only Big Ten school to offer Render a scholarship; he had other offers from Iowa State, Illinois State, and Northern Illinois. Iowa is pretty much set along the offensive front so Render will most likely redshirt during his first year on campus.
Nelson is a tight end/defensive end prospect from Cedar Rapids, Iowa. The Xaxier High School product is a three star recruit with a lot of potential. He had offers from prestigious schools such as Arkansas, Nebraska, Notre Dame, and Wisconsin. Landing Nelson was a big victory for Ferentz and his staff since he was one of the prized recruits in the state of Iowa. It’ll be interesting to see which side of the ball he ends up on. The Cedar Rapids native has a big frame being 6-foot-7, 255 pounds. He runs a 4.9 40-yard dash, so his speed might be better suited for defensive line. Plus, the Hawkeyes have plenty of depth at the tight end position. Expect Nelson to be redshirted in the 2014 season.