IOWA CITY, Iowa – Five years ago this coming fall, the Iowa football team added 22 players from its 2010 recruiting class.
The class, which included four 4-star recruits, was rocked by attrition as nine players quit the team despite still having eligibility. But stars also emerged from the class, most notably 2014 Outland Trophy winner Brandon Scherff and the linebacker triumvirate of James Morris, Christian Kirksey and Anthony Hitchens.
Iowa’s 2010 recruiting class was sort of feast or famine. For every star, there was a player whose career fizzled.
Nine of the recruits in the 2010 class played as true freshmen in 2010 and exhausted their eligibility in 2014, while six played as fifth-year seniors last season.
Either way, the 2010 class has run its course in college, leaving behind a checkered legacy. Here’s a closer look at what each of the 22 recruits accomplished at Iowa:
Marcus Coker, RB, Hyattsville, Md., 4-star – He was on the verge of stardom – and on course to become Iowa’s all-time leading rusher – when he quit the team late in the 2011 season after being suspended for undisclosed reasons. He is Iowa’s 13th all-time leading rusher with 2,006 yards despite playing less than two seasons. The high point to his shortened career was the 2010 Insight Bowl when Coker rushed for 219 yards and scored two touchdowns during a 27-24 victory over Missouri. He played his final two seasons at Stony Brook University in New York.
Carl Davis, DT, Sterling Heights, Mich., 3-star – The anchor to Iowa’s defensive line in each of the past two seasons. He made second-team all-Big Ten as a junior and senior and was selected by the Baltimore Ravens in the third round of the 2015 NFL draft and with the 90th pick overall.
A.J. Derby, ATH, Iowa City, 4-star – The son of former Iowa linebacker John Derby came to Iowa as a quarterback, switched to linebacker, transferred to a junior-college in Kansas where he played quarterback, transferred to Arkansas as a quarterback, but then switched to tight end for his senior season in 2014. Derby performed well enough as a tight end last season that the Super Bowl champion New England Patriots selected him in the sixth-round of the 2015 NFL draft.
Andrew Donnal, OL, Monclova, Ohio, 4-star – He started all 13 games at right tackle last season as a fifth-year senior. He also played extensively in 2013 and started three games as a sophomore in 2012 before suffering a season-ending injury. The St. Louis Rams selected Donnal in the fourth round of the 2015 NFL draft with the 119th pick overall.
Anthony Ferguson, DL, Baltimore, Md., 3-star – He quit the team for personal reasons without ever having played in a game. However, he stayed enrolled at the University of Iowa and earned his degree.
C.J. Fiedorowicz, TE, Johnsburg, Ill., 4-star – One of the most celebrated tight ends in the 2010 class, he struggled during the early stages of his Hawkeye career before earning first-team all-Big Ten accolades as a senior in 2013. The Houston Texans selected Fiedorowicz in the third-round of the 2014 NFL draft.
Austin Gray, LB, Warren, Mich., 3-star – He left the team for personal reasons shortly after participating in summer camp as a true freshman in 2010.
Mike Hardy, DE, Appleton, Wis., 3-star – A key contributor as a junior and senior, he started the final six games of the 2013 season, recording 34 tackles, including five for losses. He also played a significant role as a reserve last season.
Anthony Hitchens, LB, Lorain, Ohio, 2-star – He is proof that the star system isn’t always accurate. He arrived at Iowa as a 2-star recruit and left as a second-team all-Big Ten linebacker. He also performed well for the Dallas Cowboys as a rookie last season after being taken in the fourth-round of the 2014 draft.
De’Andre Johnson, RB, Miami, Fla., 3-star – One of many running backs whose career ended prematurely at Iowa. He was dismissed from the team in Aug. 2012 after having two minor encounters with police.
Donavan Johnson, DL, Arlington, Texas, 3-star – He only lasted one year at Iowa, redshirting as a true freshman in 2010. He didn’t return for the 2011 season.
Christian Kirksey, LB, St. Louis, Mo., 3-star – A three-year starter for the Hawkeyes who now plays for the Cleveland Browns after being selected in the third-round of the 2014 draft. He started the last 38 games in his college career.
B.J. Lowery, DB, Cincinnati, Ohio, 3-star – One of nine true freshmen to play for Iowa in 2010, he cracked the starting lineup at left cornerback as a junior and then made first-team all-Big Ten as a senior.
Kevonte Martin-Manley, WR, Pontiac, Mich., 2-star – Another lightly recruited player who defied the odds at Iowa. He ended his career last season as Iowa’s all-time leader with 174 receptions.
Tanner Miller, DB, Kalona, 2-star – And yet another 2-star recruit from this class who excelled as a Hawkeye. Miller saw action in eight games as a true freshman in 2010 before becoming a three-year starter at free safety. He tied an Iowa record with a 98-yard interception return for a touchdown in a 2011 win over Northwestern.
James Morris, LB, Solon, 3-star – A star running back in high school, Morris chose to play linebacker in college and it’s hard to argue with his decision. He ended his career in 2013 as one of only six players in school history to record 400 career tackles.
Jonny Mullings, P, Canberra, Australia, 2-star – He was redshirted in 2010 and didn’t see any game action in 2011 before moving on. He played one season at Ottumwa High School after previously playing rugby in Australia.
Jim Poggi, LB, Towson, Md., 3-star – He quit playing football in Feb. 2013 because of persistent injuries that kept him from playing in the previous two seasons.
Brandon Scherff, OL, Denison, 3-star – The former high school quarterback achieved stardom as a left tackle for Iowa. He overcame a season-ending injury in 2012 to start the final 26 games of his career as a junior and senior. He earned consensus all-America honors as a senior and was taken fifth overall in the 2015 NFL draft by the Washington Redskins.
Don Shumpert, WR, St. Louis, Mo., 3-star – One of nine true freshmen to play in 2010, he contributed mostly on special teams until his senior season when he started four games at receiver. He had 15 catches for 182 yards as a senior.
Louis Trinca-Pasat, DL, Chicago, Ill., 3-star – He was named Iowa’s defensive MVP as a senior this past season. He also was voted second-team all-Big Ten by the league’s coaches last season.
Austin Vier, ATH, Huxley, 2-star – A back injury ended his career before he had a chance to appear in a game for the Hawkeyes. He was expected to play tight end at Iowa.