Ohio State got his first visit and Iowa got his second. <B>Jeff Byers</B>, the nation's No. 1…
Hawkeyes Rolling Out Red Carpet
The #14 Iowa Hawkeyes host a very important home game this weekend against #16 Arizona State. The atmosphere will be fired up for this non-conference thriller, which is also slated to be under the lights, nationally television on ESPN2. The future of Iowa Hawkeye football may also very well have its hinges around this weekend's game. Undoubtedly, Coach Kirk Ferentz has helped build the Hawkeye program into one of the nation's most uprising programs, but this weekend could go a lot further in helping the Hawks take the next step. The Hawks have seven confirmed official visitors for this weekend. The impressive list contains two TheInsiders.com All-Americans, making them five star prospects in our rankings, and two more are also ranked in the National Top 100. The best part, yet, is the other three visitors are by far no slouches. Kyle Mitchum was also scheduled to visit this weekend up until today when his game was re-scheduled to Saturday due to Hurricane Isabala. Still expect the talented lineman from Erie to make the hault to Iowa City at some point this fall. Jeff Byers is the headliner of this weekend. The #1 recruit in the nation, Byers has already taken an official visit to the other 2002 Co-Big Ten Champions and National Champion Ohio State Buckeyes. This will be his second visit, and do not count out the Hawks in this race. Byers, an original native of Iowa, lived in Dubuque, only an hour away from Iowa City, for six years. His sister and father attended Drake University in Des Moines, and his grandparents still reside in Newton. Cortney Grixby also finalized his plans late this week to make his official visit this weekend. One of the most exciting playmakers in the country, Cortney is known for his ability to make a big play at any time. While Nebraska will of course be tough to beat, UCLA and Kansas State are two other programs to worry about. The Hawks will be able to offer early playing time, but virtually so will every other program considering Grixby's talents. His size is the only issue he will have to overcome. The Hawks are very excited about the arrival of two dynamic offensive performers in quarterback Nick Patton and tight end Tom Santi. Patton has Iowa as one of his top choices alongside Kansas State. While the Wildcats have long been considered the favorite, do not rule out Iowa in this race. Nick has been very impressed with Iowa's straight approach in his recruitment, and is anxious to compare Iowa City and Manhattan. At the same time, Manhattan is a very similar setting to his town of Winfield, Kansas. What will it will basically come down to is whether he will receive as good, if not better, treatment from the community than anywhere else that he has visited. The Hawks are desperately looking to sign an athletic tight end option this year. After the loss of Dallas Clark, they need someone who is able to stretch the defense, and Santi is that type of player. Iowa sits well in this race, and will likely receive the most competition from Stanford and Virginia. The least heard, but perhaps the prospect with the largest upside, Jerrill Humphrey will also make his presence felt in Iowa City this weekend. A virtual sleeper nationally, there are not many who hold Jerrill's ability at 6'5 210. He is one of the best kept secrets in the country, in my opinion. Missouri is still considered the favorite in this race, and in the end I believe it will be hard for anyone to beat the Tigers. Switching to the defensive side of the ball, the last paragraph could also be shared in talking about Clayton Sievers. A great athlete with a great frame, 6'4 220, Clayton is viewed by many in the business as a player to watch out for. His tenacity and nose for the ball already jumps out, and with some added size and strength, Sievers could eventually become all conference performer. However, will the Hawks be able to sway Sievers over from the home state Huskers who have his brother, Chad, currently on roster? This weekend will likely not be the last for the Hawks this fall. Later this fall, they are slated to host the Florida trio of Octavious Darby, John Dunlap, and Stevie Williams. Tony Temple has also remarked that he is in attempt to set a visit. The Hawks are slated to host notable prospect such as, Kyle Williams, Adrian Arrington, Dwyane Hendricks, Phil Trautwein, Chris Zellner, and others after the season. All signs point to this being a successful recruiting class for the Iowa Hawkeyes, but regardless the signs of improvement on the field and in the recruiting trails has been shown by the Hawkeye staff. Can the Hawks take the quantum leap into a top ten class nationally?
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