January 22, 2010

Next in line from St. Louis

This weekend Don Shumpert and Christian Kirksey will move one step closer to doing what guys like Marvin McNutt, Adrian Clayborn, and Paul Chaney have already done, taking their game from St. Louis to Iowa City. After watching their fellow St. Louis natives star in the Orange Bowl the duo will make their official visit to Iowa and are just days away from making it official and signing with the Hawkeyes.

The duo who attend Hazelwood High School made their verbal commitments to Iowa in late August and haven't wavered since. The level of excitement that they have for being a Hawkeye continues to grow, especially after watching their future schools dominant performance in the Orange Bowl with a pair of St. Louis natives leading the way.

"I was really proud of the Hawkeyes and especially the St. Louis guys," Shumpert said. "They really went out and represented."

Kirksey, who will play linebacker for the Hawkeyes, even paused and thought about being out there on the field in the black and gold while watching the Orange Bowl.

"The defense played really good in that game and I was really proud of Adrian Clayborn since he is a St. Louis guy," he said. "I even took a few minutes and imagined myself out there on the Iowa defense."

This weekend, Shumpert, who is slated to play safety for Iowa, and Kirksey, will make their way from St. Louis to Iowa City and they are looking forward to meeting several of their fellow recruits who will be in town on their official visits.

"I've already met A.J. Derby and Jim Poggi when we are in town for the Minnesota game. They were both cool guys, but I am really looking forward to meeting the rest of the guys too," Kirksey said.

Shumpert said that he has kept in touch with a few of the incoming recruits on Facebook and they exchange messages there from time to time.

The path to early playing time for 6-foot-2 and 185 pound Shumpert might have opened up a bit more in the past week with transfer of safety David Cato. Currently the Hawkeyes have three safeties on scholarship in starters Brett Greenwood and Tyler Sash to go along with backup safety Jack Swanson. Shumpert is the only other safety prospect currently committed and the Iowa coaches have made him aware of the situation at his future position.

"The coaches actually told me about a month ago that someone might be leaving at my position. I didn't know who, but I know it means I could have an earlier opportunity," Shumpert said.

This past week, Iowa Assistant Coach and Recruiting Coordinator Eric Johnson was at Shumpert's basketball game and the two said hello after the game. In addition to the visit to Iowa this weekend, he said that Kirk Ferentz and defensive backs coach Phil Parker will be in St. Louis next week to watch him play basketball and make his in-home visit.

Kirksey says the he has kept in contact with Coach Johnson and Coach Wilson since committing to Iowa and they have told him to be ready when he comes to Iowa City this summer to start working out.

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