Hawkeyes Announce 2006 Recruiting Class

Feb. 1, 2006

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Editor’s Note: Kirk Ferentz’s meeting with the media today a 4 p.m. Iowa time will be broadcast live inside Hawkeye All-Access for subscribers to the multi-media area of hawkeyesports.com. Approximately 30 minutes after the conclusion of briefing, the archive version of the press conference will be available free to all visitors to Hawkeye All-Access. To learn more about Hawkeye All-Access, click HERE

Kirk Ferentz had the appearance of a man who felt very good about a job well done when he met the media late Wednesday afternoon to talk about the talented young men who signed National Letter of Intents to join the nationally ranked University of Iowa football program for the 2006 college football season.

The Iowa Hawkeyes, who have made four consecutive January bowl appearances, announced earlier in the day the addition of 18 student-athletes to its roster. Sixteen of the newest Hawkeyes have all-state credentials.

Eleven of the new signees are slated to play defense, seven on offense and one on special teams. The Hawkeyes, who need to reload its defensive roster after losing all-America linebackers Chad Greenway and Abdul Hodge and all-conference defensive backs Jovon Johnson and Antwan Allen to graduation, inked four linebackers and defensive backs and two defensive ends.

On offense, Iowa penned four wide receivers, two quarterbacks and one tight end. The Hawkeyes also received a commitment from a kicking specialist.

“We always look for the very best football players available and those who we believe will fit well on our campus inside our program,” Ferentz said. “I think, thanks to the hard work and support of many rangnig from support staff here in the football program to professors on campus and friends in the community, we have another solid group.”

Ferentz said what he says each year about the ranking of college football recruiting classes.

“We’re more focused on how our players leave the program after four or five years than how they enter the program,” he said flatly. “I know we’re happy. As far as the rankings, I don’t know….I’ll let the experts answer that one.”

Speed, athleticism and leadership are also common themes that run through the roster of recruits. High school track experience is noted on at least six of the biographies of the newcomers and several others note basketball and baseball experience. Many of the newest Hawkeyes were either team captains and/or honor roll students as preps.

Ferentz said he thinks the group addresses his program’s needs. He’s pleased with the talent that is joining the team on both sides of the ball.

“Obviously, given who we’re losing at linebacker, that was a focus. Offensively, wide receiver was an area of emphasis as was quarterback.”

Ferentz also singled out specialist Ryan Donahue who he thinks has the potential to compete well at both positions in the Big Ten Conference.

Iowa’s head coach also noted that he expects to see some additions to the roster over the next few days and weeks and among those are the very best of the graduating class from the state of Iowa.

Seventeen of the 18 newcomers will be freshmen this fall, while one is a junior college transfer and will begin his Hawkeye career as a junior.

The 2006 recruiting class comes from 11 different states: three from Illinois and Ohio, two from Florida, Michigan and Missouri and one each from Connecticut, Indiana, Minnesota, Nebraska, Pennsylvania and Texas.

Speed, athleticism and leadership are also common themes that run through the roster of recruits. High school track experience is noted on at least six of the biographies of the newcomers and several others note basketball and baseball experience. Many of the newest Hawkeyes were either team captains and/or honor roll students as preps.

“We’re big on intangibles. That’s a big part of it for us. It’s not easy evaluating high school prospects. But we try to do our homework. We think this is an impressive group of guys from a lot of different perspectives,” said Iowa’s head coach.

Iowa will open the 2006 at home on Sept. 2 against Montana. The Hawkeyes will likely play before their 18th straight sellout that afternoon and will be seeking the 31st in in their last 34 games in Iowa City.

The Hawkeyes’ 2006 schedule also includes six other home games including four against Big Ten Conference opponents and five road games including a Sept. 9 date at Syracuse — an opportunity for the many friends of the University and fans of the Iowa Hawkeyes on the East Coast to watch in person one of only four college football programs in the country that have participated in four straight January bowl games.

Click HERE to review the Hawkeyes’ 2006 schedule and future schedules.

Fans attending the seven home games of the Iowa Hawkeyes will do so in state-of-the-art surroundings thanks to the completion of a two-year $89 million renovation to the UI’s historic Kinnick Stadium. The 70,000-seat-plus facility is currently the focus of virtually around the clock work by contractors responsible for the construction of a new press box and the renovation of the east and west concourses of the 76-year-old structure.

Click HERE to learn more about the renovation, view pictures of the progress and review schematics of what the press box, concourses and the area around the stadium will look like when completed in August of this year.

You probably didn’t know that…

Anthony Bowman of Detroit, MI, was named the 20th best player in the Midwest by the Detroit Free Press. The 5-11, 165-pound receiver rushed for 1,703 yards on 219 attempts and 23 touchdowns and also caught 26 passes for 1,008 yards and nine touchdowns in his career. A second-team all-state honoree as a senior, he also was a two-time 200-meter dash state champion.

Paul Chaney, Jr. of St. Louis, MO, played three positions during his prep career: defensive back, running back and quarterback. He also lettered in track and basketball at University HS. The 5-9, 160-pound receiver captured the state title in 100 and 200-meter dash. Chaney plans on running track at Iowa as well.

Adrian Clayborn of St. Louis, MO, played on both sides of the ball for Webster Groves High School and was named the 2005 Missouri Player of the Year. A two-time first team all-state selection, he recorded 240 tackles, five sacks, four forced fumbles and three interceptions in his career. The 6-3, 250-pound defensive end was also a four-year letterwinner in basketball playing power forward.

James Cleveland of Baytown, TX, was a high school teammate of current Hawkeyes Drew Tate and Charles Godfrey. The 6-1, 185-pound receiver, was named the 2005 state tournament MVP. His career totals include 135 receptions, 1,928 yards and 16 touchdowns.

Ryan Donahue of Evergreen Park, IL, is Iowa’s only special teams’ recruit this year. The 6-3, 180-pound punter/placekicker was a first team USA Today all-American and participated in the US Army All-American Game. He holds the Illinois state record for longest punt in a playoff game (90 yards) and most career PATs (147).

Dominique Douglas of Detroit, MI, played receiver and safety for Murray-Wright HS. The 6-1, 186-pound receiver made 155 career receptions for 1,740 yards and 26 touchdowns and also collected 22 career interceptions and 168 tackles.

A.J. Edds of Greenwood, IN, was a four-year letterwinner in football, basketball and track for Greenwood Community HS. The 6-4, 224-pound tight end, was a finalist for Indiana’s Mr. Football playing linebacker and tight end. He is a three-time Associated Press first team all-state honoree.

Bryon Gattas of Mt, Prospect, IL, is Iowa’s only junior college transfer it signed this year. The 6-1, 232-pound linebacker led Prospect High School to two state championships. He earned academic all-America laurels during his two years at Harper Junior College.

Jeremiha Hunter of York, PA, played linebacker and running back for Harrisburg Science and Technology HS. The 6-2, 217-pound linebacker, was a USA Today second team all-American and a three-time all-state honoree. He totaled 3,284 rushing yards on 460 attempts and 58 touchdowns during his prep career.

Troy Johnson of Lakeland, FL, is a first team all-state and helped lead Lakeland HS to an unblemished 30-0 record, his last two years. The 6-2, 215-pound linebacker, recorded three blocked kicks and three blocked punts during his senior campaign.

Karl Klug of Caledonia, MN, was a finalist for Minnesota’s Mr. Football. The 6-4, 220-pound defensive end, also lettered in football, wrestling and track. He was named the LaCrosse Tribune Player of the Year and earned first team all-state accolades as a senior.

Brett Morse of Willowbrook, IL, was born on leap-year in 1988. The 6-3, 220-pound linebacker, played quarterback and safety at Hinsdale Central. He holds school records for total offense (3,063 yards) and longest kickoff return for a touchdown (96 yards).

Arvell Nelson of Cleveland, OH, intends to major in sports management at the UI. The 6-4, 175-pound quarterback was a second team all-state selection his senior year. He threw for 4,203 yards and 47 touchdowns in his career under Head Coach Ted Ginn, Sr. at Glenville HS.

Derrick Smith of Cleveland, OH, is one three Hawkeye signees from Ohio. The 6-0, 195-pound defensive back, led his high school team to a regional championship as a junior. He was a three-time letterwinner in football and track.

Amari Spievey of Middleton, CT, led Xavier HS to the 2005 state championship. The 6-0, 175-pound defensive back, played defensive back and running back and was named the Connecticut Player of the Year. He finished his career as Xavier’s all-time leading rusher.

Richard Stanzi of Mentor, OH, was named the Ohio Division III Offensive Player of the Year and was named first team all-state. The 6-4, 200-pound quarterback, was a three-year letterwinner in football and a four-year letterwinner in basketball. He hails from the same town as Iowa women’s basketball freshmen star Megan Skouby.

Jeff Tarpinian of Omaha, NE, was teammates of current Hawkeyes Adam Shada and Seth Olsen at Millard North HS. The 6-3, 205-pound defensive back was named the 2005 Nebraska Gatorade Player of the Year, playing as an option quarterback. He led his team to the 2003 and 2005 state championship.

Lance Tillison of Seffner, FL, enrolled at Armwood HS midseason after his house was destroyed by Hurricane Katrina. The 6-2, 205-pound defensive back, played receiver and defensive back at the same high school that current Hawkeyes Chris Brevi and Lavin Bailey attended.