By Tyler Devine
IOWA CITY, Iowa – The Iowa football team's success in recruiting the Detroit area might soon reap more benefits.
Iowa defensive coordinator Phil Parker has been instrumental in landing some top high school players from the Detroit area, highlighted by former star cornerback Desmond King, who is now a rookie with the Los Angeles Chargers.
Detroit native Alaric Jackson also starts for the current Iowa team at left tackle despite being just a redshirt freshman.
And now another Detroit native has strong interest in the Hawkeyes, and the opportunity to follow in the same footsteps as King and Jackson.
Three-star athlete Eli Collins has narrowed his list of schools to Iowa, Michigan State, Purdue, Wisconsin and Pittsburgh. Collins previously had a top six, but has since cut Mississippi State from the list.
The Iowa coaching staff’s ability to develop talent stands out to Collins, as well as the opportunity to play in the Big Ten.
“Iowa has a great program and they’re pretty successful,” Collins said. “Also Iowa’s in the Big Ten which is a big stage. Iowa’s not far from home, it’s relatively close as well. They also take good players and make them great.
“Me and coach Parker have connected really well. Every time he comes down we have great conversation and talk a lot.”
Aiding in Iowa’s pursuit of the 6-foot-2, 195-pound Collins is that he knows Alaric Jackson and Iowa sophomore defensive tackle Cedrick Lattimore, who is from Redford, Mich., which near Detroit..
Collins already has made one visit to Iowa City. He was on campus for Iowa’s upset over then No. 2-ranked Michigan last November at Kinnick Stadium.
He now wants to take another look at what Iowa has to offer, thanks partly to Jackson's persuasiveness.
“A few players around where I’m from went to Iowa and they seemed to enjoy it a lot,” Collins said. “I’ve talked to Alaric and he kind of convinced me to come back for another visit but this time an official.”
Collins said he still is working out the details for his official visit to Iowa. He also said he wants to wait until he takes all of his official visits before picking a school.
In addition to Iowa, Collins also has scholarship offers from Boston College, Central Michigan, Indiana, Iowa State, Minnesota, Mississippi State, Missouri, Northern Illinois, Syracuse, Toledo and Western Michigan.
Iowa currently has 13 players committed to its 2018 recruiting class. Four-star cornerback Julius Brents is the most recent to join the class, having announced his commitment on Sept. 1.
Iowa's 2018 recruiting class
Dillon Doyle, LB, 6-3, 215, Iowa City
Samson Evans, ATH, 6-1, 190, Crystal Lake, Ill.
Henry Geil, RB, 6-0, 211, Green Bay, Wis.
Cody Ince, OL, 6-5, 260, Balsam Lake, Wis.
Jeff Jenkins, OL, 6-4, 272, Crystal Lake, Ill.
D.J. Johnson DB, 6-0, 170, Indianapolis, Ind.
Tyler Linderbaum, DL, 6-2, 255, Solon
Jack Plumb, Ol, 6-8, 245, Green Bay, Wis.
Terry Roberts, DB, 5-10, 169, Erie, Pa.
Anthony Torres, TE, 6-6, 235, Mishawaka, Ind.
Noah Shannon, DL, 6-2, 285, Oswego, Ill.
Tyrone Tracy, ATH, 6-0, 187, Indianapolis, Ind.
Julius Brents, DB, 6-2, 179, Indianapolis, Ind.