By Travis Morgan
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Kirk Ferentz and the University of Iowa football program have a lot to sell, and 20 future student-athletes agree, signing National Letters of Intent on Wednesday to become Hawkeyes. The group joins outside linebacker John Kenny (Carmel, Ind.), who began classes in January.
"We felt very confident about selling a lot of positive things about this program and the university," Ferentz said Wednesday at a news conference in the Hayden Fry Football Complex.
The Class of 2013 hails from 10 states, and as of now, consists of 13 offensive and eight defensive players.
"For the most part we fit most of our needs that we felt were important," Ferentz said. "We found players that we feel are going to fit our program."
Ferentz said the Hawkeyes were looking for more help on the outside defensively, but that did not work out.
"One thing we didn't want to do was try to fabricate players or create players based on needs," he said.
Nineteen of the 21 recruits were team captains at their high schools, 20-of-21 were multisport athletes, and all 21 participated on state playoff teams. Offensive lineman Sean Welsh (Springboro, Ohio) and defensive back Solomon Warfield (Lorain, Ohio) were invited to the Offense-Defense Bowl in Houston; offensive lineman Colin Goebel (Lisle, Ill.) and wide receiver Derrick Willies (Rock Island, Ill.) were invited to the International Bowl in Austin, Texas.
"We're eager to start a new chapter when the players get to campus, and that will be the next phase for us," Ferentz said. "At the end of the day it comes down to the work ethic, the character, and the attitude that players possess. Based on the work we've done, we feel good about this class."
Ferentz said the nature of recruiting continues to evolve, and the Hawkeyes did most of their work in two phases.
"We had a large number of commitments around the end of July, early August; that was kind of phase one," Ferentz said.
The UI staff evaluated more players in the month of December, identifying several prospects after the 2012 season.
"That gave us a chance to make sure we did a thorough job of going back and looking at players that maybe hadn't drawn our attention prior to their senior years," Ferentz said. "That paid off for us and we're happy about that."
More than 60 percent of Wednesday's recruiting class earned academic recognition in high school on either an honor roll, National Honor Society, or both.
In other football news, spring drills will run from Wednesday, March 27, to Saturday, April 27. Ferentz said in 10-14 days he should be able to talk about a replacement for receivers coach Erik Campbell.