After a brief lull -- and the departure of previous verbal commit Jordan Oladokun -- Iowa's 2021 football recruiting is back at work, adding a verbal commitment from a prized local defensive recruit. Jeremiah Pittman announced his plans to play football at Iowa on Monday night:
Pittman, listed at 6'2", 260 lbs, hails from neighboring Illinois and is ranked a 3* prospect by both Rivals and 247 Sports. He continued a trend that's been present among many of Iowa's 2021 recruits, though: having a very solid offer sheet. In addition to mid-major offers like Toledo, Bowling Green, Northern Illinois, and Iowa State, Pittman also had offers from Michigan State, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Missouri, Boston College, Texas Tech, Illinois, and Northwestern.
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, Pittman hasn't been able to visit the Iowa campus yet, but he told Rivals that he likes what he's seen in virtual visits -- and the relationships he's formed with the Iowa coaches.
"I haven't made a visit yet to Iowa because of the whole COVID-19 virus but I feel very comfortable with everything that Iowa has to offer. I've taken online visits and seen so much already regarding videos and seeing everything at Iowa including the campus. The relationship I have with the Iowa coaches is great. They just make me feel like a part of the family already and they truly care about you on and off the field. Academically, Iowa also has a lot to offer and it's just a great fit for me. Once everything is cleared up one of the first things I'll do is head over to Iowa for a long visit."
Pittman is the 15th member of Iowa's 2021 recruiting class and the fourth member projected for the defensive line, joining in-state defensive end prospects Jeff Bowie and Max Llewellyn and in-state defensive tackle prospect Griffin Liddle. That quartet comes on the heels of Iowa adding seven potential defensive line prospects in their 2020 recruiting class (Deontae Craig, Yahya Black, Lukas Van Ness, Ethan Hurkett, Logan Jones, Isaiah Bruce, and Michael Lois). Iowa has definitely made defensive line a priority in their last two recruiting classes, which makes sense; they're set to lose Chauncey Golston, Austin Schulte, and Zach VanValkenburg after this season. There's also a fair amount of uncertainty in the defensive line ranks going forward; a unit that's been anchored by the likes of AJ Epenesa, Anthony Nelson, Parker Hesse, Matt Nelson, and Cedric Lattimore over the last few seasons is going to need to find (and develop) some replacements.
Here's some video highlights from Pittman's junior season:
First of all, the highlights of Pittman as a short yardage back are hilarious -- it's like having a bulldozer line up in the backfield. As a defensive end, Pittman shows some nice moves. His pass rush chops look good and you have to like his first step and his ability to get to the edge quickly; he also appears to have good closing speed when he gets into the opposing backfield. Pittman will probably need to work on his technique at Iowa -- it looks like a lot of his success as a rusher comes from his raw quickness and strength and his advantages there will be lessened against Big Ten opposition. But there's plenty of time for him to hone those skills. For now, welcome to Iowa City, Jeremiah.