HAWKEYES

First impressions: Hawkeye defensive backs

2014-02-11T11:49:00Z 2014-02-12T11:52:46Z First impressions: Hawkeye defensive backsSteve Batterson The Quad-City Times

One in a series of looks at the Iowa football program’s 2014 recruiting class, position by position:

The newcomers

Jalen Embry, 6-0, 184, Detroit (King HS)

Joshua Jackson, 6-1, 175, Corinth, Texas (Lake Dallas HS)

Marcel Joly, 5-11, 180, Hyattsville, Md. (Forestville Military Academy)

Miles Taylor, 6-0, 185, Silver Spring, Md. (Gonzaga College HS)

Omar Truitt, 5-11, 180, Fort Washington, Md. (St. John’s College HS)

The details

JALEN EMBRY: Played defensive back and wide receiver in addition to returning kicks at King HS in Detroit, earning first-team all-state honors last fall from the Detroit Free Press. … He intercepted four passes and had 28 tackles as a senior … Embry also caught 53 passes for 1,026 yards and 12 touchdowns. … In addition to his all-state honors, he was selected as a first-team all-metro pick by the Detroit News and earned first team all-city honors from the Detroit Free-Press and the Detroit News. … A two-year captain at King, he was part of teams which had a combined 19-6 record over the past two seasons. … Is also a sprinter and high jumper on the track team. … His high school coach was Dale Harvel.

JOSHUA JACKSON: Played both wide receiver and defensive back for Lake Dallas, captaining the team as a senior. … Was an all-district selection in Texas. … Caught 24 passes for 485 yards and nine scores last fall. … Is a multi-sport athlete, competing in basketball and track as well. Jackson qualified for the state track meet in the triple jump last spring. … Jackson selected the Hawkeyes over Colorado State, New Mexico and Nevada. … His high school coach was Michael Young.

MARCEL JOLY: A sprinter and hurdler on his high school track team, Joly was a two-year captain on the football team at the Forestville Military Academy in Maryland. … He was selected as the team’s offensive player of the year as a sophomore and played both running back and defensive back last fall along with being used to return kicks and punts. … Joly was credited with 36 tackles over the past two seasons and rushed for 493 yards as a senior after gaining 833 yards on 127 carries as a junior. … His high school coach Charles Harley.

MILES TAYLOR: Flipped his commitment from Georgia Tech to Iowa a little over a week before signing day. … He was a first-team all-conference and first-team all-metro selection in Washington, D.C., as a senior. … Taylor is the first player from his high school to be selected as the team’s defensive MVP twice, earning that recognition as both a junior and a senior. … As a senior, he recorded 86 tackles, three interceptions, broke up eight passes and recovered a pair of fumbles in addition to recording one sack. … His numbers were similar as a junior, when he had 85 stops, four interceptions, 11 pass break-ups, three sacks and recovered three fumbles. … He has been selected to compete in the Chesapeake Bowl, a senior all-star game. … Taylor also plays basketball at Gonzaga College High School. … Aaron Brady was his high school coach.

OMAR TRUITT: Played for a team which reached the state title game last fall. … A first-team all-state selection as a senior, he earned first-team all-conference and second-team all-metro honors in Washington, D.C., last fall. … He lettered four years as a defensive back, wide receiver and quarterback. … Truitt recorded 40 tackles, 10 pass break-ups and returned one of his six interceptions for a score on defense. … He also returned six kickoffs for 206 yards. … Truitt, coached by Joe Patterson at St. Johns College HS, is also a three-year track letterman.

The thoughts

Coach Kirk Ferentz on the Hawkeyes’ defensive back recruits:

“We signed more DBs than we would have anticipated or set out to do. Recruiting is a fluid thing, so if you have good players who are still interested in you and you like them, sometimes you’ll bend and expand what you thought were your needs and over-sign in an area and make up for that later on. All the DBs that we signed, we’re really excited about and obviously we’re excited about Desmond (King) and some of the other young players in our program.’’

Returning depth

Starters: SS John Lowdermilk, RC Desmond King

Back-ups: LC Jordan Lomax, SS Nico Law, FS Anthony Gair, RC Sean Draper

2013 signings

Desmond King, Malik Rucker, Solomon Warfield

Copyright 2016 The Quad-City Times. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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