Waterloo offensive lineman Ross Pierschbacher visited Alabama last fall. He took in a Crimson Tide game and Bama went on to win another national title, its third in four years. He then became the first player to commit to Iowa in its Class of 2014 in January, something that turned heads as Iowa was coming off a 4-8 season.
Then in February, Pierschbacher started to waver a little bit on the ‘strength’ of that verbal.
He took visits to Alabama and Stanford in recent weeks and released a statement Sunday night saying he was committing to Alabama, thanking Iowa for their time.
Iowa didn’t miss out for lack of trying:
Twice last week RP called Iowa to say he was committing to Bama. Both times Ferentz spent an hour flipping him back. Didn't work this time.
— Scott Dochterman (@ScottDochterman) August 12, 2013
As I wrote in late July, I don’t blame the kid for looking at all of his options or choosing to play for a college football dynasty unlike any other we’ve seen in decades. I also think that if Iowa weren’t coming off of a 4-8 season they would have stood a better chance here, given Kirk Ferentz’s track record of getting offensive linemen to the NFL; Iowa has more offensive linemen drafted since 2003 (13) than any other program.
Alabama is no slouch and of the kid wants to win a national title or four along the way, I sure as heck can’t argue with it. Again, it probably comes down to the same old thing in sports; if you are complaining it means the scoreboard must have gone the other way and for Iowa last year, that’s what happened. It was a brutal offense to watch and it could have left a mark.
I will add one more thing here…Pierschbacher has seemed confused since shortly after making his Iowa commitment. Almost as if he were looking for an excuse to back out of it. Again, this is how the game works and this is the last time a good player has a choice of where he is going to play until he’s been in the NFL at least four years. That would require getting into the NFL and then being good AND healthy enough for four years to be able to call your own shot.
So for most great high school football players, this is the one and only time they get to make a pick like this…so he’s in control and has decided to go play for Alabama..or at least he has for now. When you go back and read what he said in January at the time he committed (which you can here), you might want to jot this down in pencil, and not pen.
“Getting a chance to play in front of my home state and my community just felt right. I wanted to be a Hawkeye.”
Before you rag on Pierschbacher, remember this; he didn’t have an offer from Alabama when he committed back in January.
Regardless, there’s no positive way to spin it for Iowa. They lost out on someone they very much wanted and one of the highest rated linemen in the nation who comes from inside the Hawkeye State. That’s painful on a lot of fronts.