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June 20, 2003

Can Iowa, Iowa State keep talent at home?

The state of Iowa produced 18 players who signed Division I letters of intent in the Class of 2003. Iowa and Iowa State combined for 17 of those prospects, while Kansas snuck into the state's borders and took one player.

This year there appears to be another bumper crop of prospects with eight players already having made commitments from the state.

The Cyclones have landed five verbal commitments and the Hawkeyes three. Yet, with only four of our top ten prospects committed, there is still plenty of talent still trying to decide where to spend their college years.

Rivals100.com's Midlands analyst Brian Gates gives his feedback on who he believes are the top 10 players in the state of Iowa for the Class of 2004.



10. Warren Suess
Quarterback
6-foot-4, 190 pounds
Cedar Rapids Washington

Suess is not only one of the top prospects in the state, he is drawing recruiting attention from schools across the country including Iowa, Iowa State, Michigan, Stanford and Northwestern. He is the signal caller for one of the top teams in the state and is one of five players who could end up at Division I schools.

The Suess-led offense will showcase more passing this season with the graduation of the team's leading running back. And Suess will have one of the country's top receivers to be throwing the ball to.

Suess is the son of former Iowa quarterback Phil Suess. As a junior he threw for 1,130 yards as a junior while completing 74 of 138 passes with 12 touchdowns.

"With what we have coming back and leadership like Warren offers us we should be in pretty good shape this fall," Washington coach Paul James said. "Warren started at the end of his sophomore season and then took over the reins last fall as a junior. He has gotten the grasp of the offense and is comfortable running our offense. We're expecting big things from him this fall. And we're not worried about him handling the pressure."

9. Kyle Wilcox
Defensive Tackle
6-foot-4, 245 pounds
Des Moines Dowling

Wilcox has kept himself busy this summer with a trip to Iowa State and Iowa for their camps. He plans trips to Northwestern and Colorado to take a look at two more of his top three schools.

"Iowa, Colorado and Northwestern are at the top," Wilcox said. "I like them all. Iowa State really impressed me at the camp and they are right there too."

Wilcox has been adding size to his frame through workouts since football season ended last fall.

"He has been working hard," Dowling coach Matt Dillon said. "He has probably put on 25 pounds of muscle by working out. If he can keep his speed and quickness with the extra weight, he'll be right up there with the top players in the Midwest."

Wilcox currently has one scholarship offer, from Northwestern, as he heads into he summer.

8. Matt Kroul
Linebacker
6-foot-1, 215 pounds
Mount Vernon

Kroul has already ended the recruiting process with an early pledge to Kirk Ferentz's Iowa program. Mount Vernon coach Jim Bellamy knows the Hawkeyes have landed a great athlete.

"He is an all around athlete," Bellamy told HawkeyeReport.com. "He is a great football player, very good wrestler, he runs track and plays baseball and is an excellent student. He has a great work ethic and just goes after everything he does with an amazing intensity."

7. Jason Scales
Running Back
5-foot-9, 175 pounds
West Des Moines Valley

Scales is one of the state's top running backs for the Class of 2004. He rushed for nearly 2,600 yards and 32 touchdowns as a junior.

While Scales guards his list of interested schools it is believed he has interest from Iowa, Iowa State, Kansas and Nebraska.

"He is one of the better running backs in the region," one Big 12 recruiting coordinator said. "It will be interesting to see how his senior season goes. If it takes off, then more schools will come and get involved."

6. Mitch King
Linebacker
6-foot-3, 230 pounds
Burlington

King ended his recruitment early too, also choosing the Hawkeyes over Iowa State and Kansas State.

"I was just happy with everything at Iowa," King said. "I just felt like I would have the best opportunities for me and my career there."


5. Rob Bruggeman
Defensive Tackle
6-foot-4, 240 pounds
Cedar Rapids Washington

Bruggeman is another of the Washington five who will likely move on to Division I football in 2004. And his coach isn't looking forward to losing any of them.

"A guy like Rob is so versatile," Washington coach Paul James said. "He is a stand out on the defensive line and on the offensive line. It will be tough to fill his spot. He does so many things for us along the line."

Bruggeman likes the Hawkeyes the most at this point.

"I think he really favors Iowa right now," James said. "There are a lot of schools coming after him. Iowa State, Colorado, Kansas State, Michigan, Illinois and Colorado. We'll see how it all plays out."

4. Travis Ferguson
Linebacker
6-foot-5, 230 pounds
Waterloo East

Ferguson chose to commit to Iowa State a year ago after camping in Ames prior to his junior season.

Ferguson will be following former East star Milan Moses to Ames.

"Milan and I have pretty much been best friends since we were both really little," Ferguson told CycloneReport.com. "It's really exciting to know we're going to be on the same team at the next level. Milan has pretty much been a walking billboard for Iowa State. We pushed each other a lot and have always had the same goal of going to the same college and playing ball on the same team."

Ferguson has lined up at several positions throughout his career at East, including tight end, wide receiver, fullback and tailback.

"They said they were going to keep it open and see which one I progress the most at, with there being a possibility of defensive end too," he said. "Right now I'm kind of leaning towards outside linebacker as my strong point with the way my body's built right now."



3. Greg Coleman
Running Back
6-foot, 205 pounds
Iowa City West

Coleman earned first-team all-state honors and earned player of the year honors for his conference last fall. He rushed for 2,108 yards and 23 touchdowns as a junior.

Coleman's standing among the top players in the state is not in doubt. His standing with college coaches could have been jeopardized with his recent troubles with the law.

"Basically, the schools I have talked to are saying they will wait until they see how the case goes," Coleman told CycloneReport.com about the reaction from colleges concerning his legal problems.

Iowa State, Michigan and Iowa had offered scholarships, while Kansas State, Nebraska and Colorado had expressed early interest.

2. Ted Bentler
Defensive End
6-foot-4, 245 pounds
Davenport Assumption

Bentler committed to Iowa early during his junior season.

Assumption coach Wade King knows the Hawkeyes have landed a good defensive player in Bentler.

"He is a very intense young man," King told HawkeyeReport.com. "He is one of the fastest kids on the team and he is a very intense defensive-minded player."

1. Adrian Arrington
Wide Receiver
6-foot-4, 180 pounds
Cedar Rapids Washington

Arrington is the third member from Washington to be part of the Top 10 in Iowa. But there is not a lot of doubt he not only belongs in the top 10, but he belongs at the top of the list.

Arrington caught 39 passes for 526 yards and five touchdowns as a junior.

"Adrian is at the top of a lot of lists," Washington coach Paul James said. "He's been to Michigan's camp for the last few years. Iowa, Iowa State and Kansas State are right there too."

James knows why more than those four are involved too.

"Adrian has been given some gifts from God," James said. "He has tremendous ability and does things the right way on the field and that catches the eyes of the coaches who are recruiting him."


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