Iowa needed a quarterback and a running back. It got both early this week.
Iowa football received a double dose of good news this week as the Hawkeyes landed a pair of commitments in Cody Sokol, a JUCO quarterback out of Scottsdale Community College, and Greg Garmon from Erie, Pa. What makes this a really big deal? Iowa needed commitments at both positions in a big way.
Garmon is a very good running back. He's a consensus four-star player claiming offers from Arizona State, Arkansas, Florida State, Miami, Michigan, Penn State, Ohio State and Texas A&M. It's impossible to know if all of those are legitimate, but the smart money says the majority are legit.
The 6'2", 200 pound Garmon had this to say about why he chose the Hawkeyes:
"I could tell right away that I would fit in good," he said earlier this year. "They also showed me some film of when Shonn Greene was there, how they just pounded the ball against Purdue. They just pounded at the end of the game, the whole series. They didn't pass it.
"They run the ball a lot. As a running back, that's what you like to see."
A big, fast (relative to his size) running back. Just what the doctor ordered for the Hawkeyes, says Black Heart Gold Pants.
Quarterback was also a position of need for Iowa, and Sokol fits the bill. Iowa actually beat out the local Arizona Wildcats for his services. He's rated three by the services that have gotten around to evaluating him.
Here's BHGP's take:
The other big question is: when will Sokol play? James Vandenberg's unimpressive play down the stretch in the 2011 Iowa season (particularly the final two games of the season) might have opened the door a crack for someone else to get a crack at the starting quarterback spot. (Considering Wienke has more interceptions than completions at Iowa, it's probably not going to be him.) Conversely, Sokol could also redshirt in 2012, compete with Rudock for the starting job in 2013, and still have two years of eligibility to play for Iowa. Sokol himself says both options are on the table:
"I know the coaching staff wants competition so I’m just going to go in and compete and do my best," Sokol said. "I might redshirt so I can learn the offense and just develop with the system, but you never know what’s going to happen."
My guess is that unless he proves to be absolutely sensational at the spring or summer practices, he'll be using that redshirt in 2012. Whether he plays or not, though, he's definitely a welcome addition to this recruiting class and a means of addressing the lingering issue of quarterback depth. And if he can legitimately challenge Vandenberg and either win the job or push JVB to improve to another level, so much the better.
List of other Iowa commitments:
Thanks again to Ross Binder and the folks at Black Heart Gold Pants for the excellent scoop on Iowa football recruiting.