The world may be on lockdown right now, but Iowa football is locking up recruits left and right. (Not literally -- that would be illegal.) Iowa's torrid recent run in recruiting hit a new high on Monday, with a commitment from a highly sought-after hoss, Illinois OL David Davidkov:
COMMITTED pic.twitter.com/vy2LBLKlxP— David Davidkov (@davidkov_d) April 27, 2020
Double David! David Squared! David Russian David! Ahem. Yes, we're just a mite excited.
Davidkov, listed at 6'6", 295 lbs, is a 4* recruit per Rivals and 247 Sports and a prospect with no small amount of hype behind him. Rivals has him as the 190th overall prospect and 24th best offensive tackle in the Class of 2021, while 247 has him as the 134th overall prospect and the 18th best tackle in this class. Davidkov has the offer sheet to back up that level of buzz, too: he chose Iowa over offers from an enormous list of schools, including LSU, Oregon, Iowa State, and virtually the entire Big Ten, including Ohio State, Penn State, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Michigan State. Iowa went toe-to-toe with some recruiting powerhouses for Davidkov's services -- and came out on top.
What put Iowa over the top in the race for Davidkov? Relationships (the Iowa staff has been recruiting Davidkov for a long time now) and reputation -- that is, Iowa's (well-deserved) reputation for developing top-notch offensive linemen. Per Rivals:
"Iowa just feels like the right place for me. I feel that I can relate really well with the players and the students at Iowa. The players at Iowa are humble and hard working and I just could not pass up such an amazing opportunity to play for the Hawkeyes. The coaches at Iowa can develop my potential to the best of my ability and Iowa has such a great tradition of developing great offensive linemen. I also know I'll get a great education at Iowa and everything just feels right to me about my decision."
Marshal Yanda just wrapped up a Hall of Fame-caliber career in the NFL. Tristan Wirfs was just selected #13 overall in the 2020 NFL Draft. Five Iowa offensive linemen have been drafted in the first round in the last 16 years and countless more have been drafted in later rounds or signed free agent contracts. The recent success of both James Daniels and Tristan Wirfs, who both cracked the starting lineup as true freshmen and parlayed that early success into early entries after their junior seasons and high draft picks probably makes Iowa even more appealing to recruits, especially blue-chippers. The precedent has been set; if you're good enough, you can play early and often at Iowa. Seriously, if you're an OL recruit, why wouldn't you want to come to Iowa?
Wanna see some highlights? Sure you do. Hope you like pancakes!
My lord, Davidkov just flattens defenders in those clips... over and over and over and over. He completely erases opponents from plays. He takes more guys down than some wrestling recruits. Davidkov moves well in space and does a good job of using his arms to engage pass rushers -- and once he gets his hands on an opponent, it's over. There's no shortage of raw power and overpowering strength on display in those clips. Davidkov looks like the total package as a tackle prospect and the prospect of Ferentz & Co. getting to mold raw material this talented is pretty tantalizing.
Welcome to Iowa, Mr. Davidkov. We're extremely excited to see what you can do in black and gold.