The best way to start your day is right here at Landof10.com as we prepare you for everything you need to know about Iowa sports. We’ll share our Hawkeyes Wake-Up Call here with you at 8:30 a.m. (ET) Monday through Friday.
So let’s get to it. Here is your Wake-Up Call for Wednesday, Jan. 11.
What Iowa can learn from the Najee Harris recruitment
As a result one of the weirder recruiting stories of the year may have slipped under the radar in these parts. The top 247Sports recruit in 2017, running back Najee Harris, wouldn’t reveal if he would attend Alabama or Michigan until he arrived on campus this week.
Stick with The Wake-Up Call here because there is a lesson in here for Iowa.
Najee Harris, a five-star prospect, committed to the Crimson Tide nearly two years ago. Michigan came after Harris with nearly everything in the Jim Harbaugh recruiting playbook. Harris wavered late. He went from a solid Alabama commit to a player uncertain of his future and declined to reveal where he would go as so many others had at the U.S. Army All-American Bowl last weekend.
Harris visited Michigan twice, the latest trip in December, and in the end, he stuck with Alabama. The Crimson Tide is getting a bona fide playmaker capable of being the next Mark Ingram, Derrick Henry or Bo Scarbrough.
Alabama showed confidence in its ability to retain a commit, which paid off. There is a lesson for Iowa. It’s not always a bad thing when a recruit shows interest elsewhere. A recruit visiting another school doesn’t necessarily mean he’ll end up as decommit.
It can be worth it for a program to fight for a recruit. Opponents will only come after better players. No one is taking to a committed player it believes will only contribute on special teams in college.
A Power 5 conference coach, and multiple assistants, have told The Wake-Up Call over the years that they’d rather be the team the player is committed to than the one trying to pry him away. The player already knows why he liked the program he initially selected. It’s up to the staff to remind the player why he made his choice.
Iowa’s no visitation policy for commits is in place to protect the program, but fighting to keep commits that may look elsewhere could be better for the Hawkeyes.
Just ask the Crimson Tide.
Circle your calendar
The final pieces of the recruitment of Spanish Fort High School (Ala.) linebacker Thomas Johnston started to trickle out on Monday. The entire picture came into focus on Tuesday. Johnston told Ben Thomas, of AL.com, that he will likely be making his college decision on Jan. 25.
Thomas also reported that Mississippi will get Johnston’s final visit on Jan. 20. He is set to take an official to Auburn this weekend. Arkansas, Auburn and Iowa are considered the favorites to land the three-star prospect.
Mississippi is making a late push for Johnston. Thomas reports the Rebels’ staff will meet with him on Friday before he heads to Auburn.
The Iowa City recruiting pipeline
Iowa City West High School wide receiver Oliver Martin isn’t the only local prospect the Hawkeyes are looking at it. Blair Sanderson, of Rivals.com, is reporting that Iowa City High linebacker Nate Wieland will visit Iowa on Jan. 20.
City High ATH/LB Nate Wieland (6-3, 220) has a 1/20 official visit scheduled to Iowa. Currently committed to NIU https://t.co/aRD3OFdFT9
— Blair Sanderson (@BlairRIVALS) January 10, 2017
Wieland is committed to Northern Illinois, but the Hawkeyes have been keeping an eye on Wieland for a while. He is yet to receive an Iowa offer. That could change before the month is out.