The return of actual football is just around the corner (two weeks away!), but recruiting never sleeps. And Iowa picked up a verbal commitment from another Class of 2020 recruit today:
COMMITTED pic.twitter.com/zKC5rlp2Nu— Deontae Craig (@CraigDeontae) August 16, 2019
Craig, listed at 6'3", 235 lbs, is ranked a 3* recruit by both Rivals and 247 Sports. But behind that 3* ranking is a pretty impressive offer list: per Rivals, he chose Iowa over offers from Ohio State, Notre Dame, Michigan, Michigan State, Tennessee, Vanderbilt, Cincinnati, Georgia Tech, Indiana, North Carolina, Northwestern, Purdue, and Minnesota. Not bad -- landing a kid with that many legit schools also offering him is always a positive.
Iowa won Craig's favor for two main reasons, per Rivals:
“I chose Iowa because of the stability of the coaching staff and how well they develop their players.”
That certainly checks out: stability is one thing Iowa's staff can sell better than nearly any other and player development has been a pretty consistent positive for Iowa during Kirk Ferentz's 20 years in charge, too. That applies more at some positions than others -- but it so happens that Craig's projected position (defensive end) is one of those. It can't hurt to point to the likes of A.J. Epenesa, Anthony Nelson, and Parker Hesse when discussing defensive end development, to say nothing of guys like Adrian Clayborn, Christian Ballard, and Matt Roth if you go back a few years.
If you want to get a peek of Craig terrorizing opposing offensive players, here you go:
Craig shows off a pretty nice first step there, but he's not always using raw speed or strength to get beyond offensive linemen. He finishes tackles well when he gets a hand on a player, too. There's a good tool set to work with there for a defensive end.
Welcome to Iowa, Mr. Craig.