Bobby La Gesse/Land of 10
Wide receiver Brandon Smith is one of six Hawkeyes to be playing games this season a few months after high school graduation.

Iowa recruiting mailbag: Is early playing time for freshmen a recruiting tool?

Have Iowa football recruiting questions? We’ve got answers. Join us every Wednesday for the Land of 10 Iowa recruiting mailbag to discuss Hawkeyes recruiting. This week, we’ll discuss early playing time as a recruiting tool and the recruitment of Logan Klemp.

Let’s get straight to the questions this week.

Do you think Kirk playing so many true freshmen is any type of recruiting tool ?

— @D3rrick Sch3ckl3r

In recent years, Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz started playing more and more players a few months following their high school graduation. This year, the Hawkeyes already have played six. That number will increase with offensive tackle Tristan Wirfs and wide receiver Max Cooper in the mix for playing time.

This is a recruiting bonus, not so much a tool. The coaching staff is going to play the players who put Iowa in the best position to win the game each Saturday. It’s that simple. The driving factor is the ability to pile up victories.

Now, playing so many newcomers does have its advantages in recruiting. On the recruiting trail, the Hawkeyes can point to the depth chart and say their actions follow their words. Anyone who earns playing time will see the field. High school players like hearing this. A large portion of the Class of 2017 cited the potential to play right away as a reason for picking the Hawkeyes. It was never the top factor, but it was something they considered.

What are you hearing about linebacker recruit Logan Klemp out of South Hamilton?

— Nate Stuck

There is some interest on both sides. The Hawkeyes are in contact with Klemp, an outside linebacker from South Hamilton High School in Jewell, Iowa. Right now, he doesn’t hold an offer. A strong senior season would go a long way toward helping Klemp’s chances of signing with the Hawkeyes.

Klemp plays a position of need. Iowa has one Class of 2018 linebacker commitment in Iowa City West High School’s Dillon Doyle. They will add at least one more. There is a chance it will be Klemp.

How important is it that the QB be an aggressive runner himself?

— @DsmIowa

It’s really a secondary concern, especially for a pro-style offense such as Iowa’s. It would matter more if the Hawkeyes were predominantly a zone-read team. The traits teams tend to look for at the quarterback position include accuracy, arm strength, decision making, football IQ and leadership.

I know the fan base made a big deal about quarterback Peyton Mansell rushing for 1,134 yards and 15 touchdowns at Belton High School (Texas) last season.

But here is the thing: Mansell doesn’t consider himself a runner. He jokes with his family that he is a dual-threatish quarterback. It’s a term they made up for a signal caller whose best 40-yard dash time was probably 4.7 seconds.

Mansell knows he makes his best plays with his arm. It’s why Iowa recruited him in the first place.

Have a question about Iowa recruiting? Tweet us @Landof10Iowa and we’ll try to answer it in a future mailbag. Check to see if your issue already was addressed by reading previous Iowa recruiting mailbags here.