Caring is Creepy 2021: Have a Seat, Arland Bruce IV

By RossWB on April 29, 2020 at 10:13 pm
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@abruceiv (Twitter)
HAVE A SEAT
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Iowa's red-hot recruiting roll isn't slowing down and after adding some very promising hosses to their 2021 recruiting haul, they picked up an exciting addition to the skill-position ranks on Tuesday. Kansas City-area athlete Arland Bruce IV was the latest 2021 croot to pledge his future to Iowa: 

Bruce, listed at 5'10", 185 lbs, is from Olathe, KS, in the Kansas City area. He's ranked a 3* prospect by both Rivals and 247. Unlike some of Iowa's recent recruiting pick-ups, Bruce doesn't have a lengthy offer sheet -- just Iowa, Iowa State, Tulsa, and Western Illinois. This is another head-to-head win over Matt Campbell (hey, just like the regular season!), though, and that never gets old. Plus, while Bruce might not have a bevy of offers, his production at the high school level has been extraordinary. 

Bruce ran for 2,487 yards and 43 touchdowns (!) last year, while also throwing for 404 passing yards and five touchdowns through the air; those figures earned him the Simone Award, an annual award to recognize the most outstanding high school football player in the Kansas City metropolitan area, and saw him named player of the year by the Kansas City Star. As Scott Dochterman noted, Bruce is on the verge of breaking some pretty impressive records, too: 

Breaking a Darren Sproles record from high school is no joke, considering how outrageously productive he was. Bruce has good bloodlines as well; his father, Arland Bruce III, played college football at Minnesota and had a 13-year career in the NFL and (primarily) CFL, where he was a two-time Grey Cup winner. 

In an interview with Rivals, Bruce cited Iowa's track record for stability and development as reasons for choosing to commit to Iowa. He also mentioned being sold on Brian Ferentz's plan for him in the Iowa offense, with a role similar to what Tyrone Tracy did for Iowa this past season. 

Q: When you hear that, what does that consist of beyond catching the ball?

BRUCE: Working at all of the wide receiver positions, lining up out wide and in the slot, jet sweeps, maybe a few carries at running back, returns, and everything.

Tyrone Tracy definitely brought a jolt of excitement to the Iowa offense this year (along with the continued emergence of Brandon Smith and Ihmir Smith-Marsette and the arrival of Tyler Goodson, of course), and it felt like he and Iowa were just scratching the surface of what he might be able to do. Clearly Iowa likes the idea of having a player like that and want to groom Bruce as the next-in-line there. That seems like an excellent idea; having speedy, versatile athletes that can line up in multiple positions and do a variety of things can only help Iowa's offense. 

As far as his highlights... hope you like seeing a dude run away from everyone else!

Bruce played quarterback/running back exclusively for Olathe North last year, which does create the slight oddity of a guy being recruited as a receiver with a highlight reel that doesn't feature him making a single catch. But it's also easy to see why Iowa was interested in him based on the skills he does show here, particularly his speed and elusiveness. Bruce is a very twitchy runner; he does an impressive job of changing direction or making small cuts or jumps without appearing to lose much (if any) overall speed. That allows him to glide past defenders, which makes him a nightmare to try and tackle in the open field -- sounds like a good attribute to have in a slot receiver. Bruce will probably need to work on his catching ability and his route running to get on the field at Iowa, but that's fine -- there's plenty of intriguing ability here already to get excited about. 

Welcome to Iowa, Arland. 

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