Kevin Buford, a speedy three star defensive back/running back from Canton, Michigan, committed to play football for the Iowa Hawkeyes yesterday.
Buford, who is 5 ft. 9 and 165 pounds, holds a host of MAC offers and had previously committed to the Toledo Rockets before making his official visit to Iowa City last weekend.
He was allegedly enamored and committed right away. The swiftness of his decision presumably had to do with an actual Big Ten offer, his first from a BCS automatic qualifier school. It’s not as if Iowa had to beat out stiff competition.
The hope here is that Buford fills that slighted, diamond-in-the-rough role of someone who just barely slipped through the cracks because of some perceived physical weakness (size, in this case), but who possesses enough of a chip on his shoulder to work hard and surprise opponents.
Iowa has always been successful with the short, fast defensive back model — Jovon Johnson comes to mind — and Buford could be the next in line. Still, how happy can Hawkeye fans be when their school is staving off nothing but MAC offers for a prospect? Not much of a recruiting victory, and more of a wait-and-see developmental approach. Is recruiting falling off, or just coming full circle from the beginning of Kirk’s tenure when he built the program on such players?
Hawk fans shouldn’t be concerned. Kirk has always recruited these types of players. It just seems odd to see a Big Ten school not named Minnesota or Indiana fighting off a swarm of MAC schools to secure a high school recruit. Thankfully, Ferentz has given these fans reason to trust his judgement and knack for player development over the years.