Iowa's football coach, after Eno Benjamin 'decommitment,' says: 'You can't lose something you never had' Mark Emmert/HawkCentral.com
Iowa's no-visit policy for committed recruits took another hit on Tuesday when three-star receiver Gavin Holmes cited the rule as a reason for his decommitment.
Holmes is now the fourth 2017 recruit from Texas who has backed out of his Hawkeyes pledge. Eno Benjamin, previously a crown jewel in the class, was the first to decommit in late October after clashing with Iowa staff over his visits to other schools this fall. Iowa has a long-standing policy that commits take no other college visits.
Since Benjamin's defection, cornerback Chevin Calloway, receiver Beau Corrales and now Holmes have decommitted.
"I had a great feeling about Iowa and thought it was the place for me. Having family ties and being from Iowa, I thought I found my home for the next four years," Holmes wrote on his Twitter account Tuesday. "Unfortunately I've had a change of heart and realized that maybe Iowa isn't my fit. The whole situation with my (friend) Eno and Iowa's policy ... didn't sit very well with me."
Recruiting experts have knocked Iowa's policy, calling it out of date.
“It was something that was a lot more doable 10 or 15 years ago,” Rivals.com Midwest recruiting analyst Josh Helmholdt told the Register. “Back then, you didn’t have kids committing during their sophomore year of high school. Many teams used to go into the summer before senior years and didn’t have any recruits.
“It’s a totally different recruiting landscape right now.”
Holmes, a 5-foot-11 and 178-pounder, also cited Iowa's offensive system as a reason for his decision. Iowa currently ranks third-to-last in the Big Ten in pass offense.
Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz commented on the recent decommitments at Tuesday's media availability and reinforced that visits and policies were on a "case-by-case" basis.
"We'll talk about it and review when the season gets over," Ferentz said. "But I think we're pretty set in what we're doing and how we're doing it."
The loss of Holmes leaves the Hawkeyes with 13 recruits in the 2017 class, none of whom committed during the 2016 regular season. Around 20 recruits in total are expected to sign with Iowa. Quarterback Peyton Mansell and defensive back Matt Hankins are the remaining Iowa recruits from Texas.
"We know who we are and what we want to be," Ferentz added. "We'll tweak things here and there and adjust with the times. But basically, we have a good feel about what we're trying to do.
"Recruiting has gotten so heightened. At the end of the day, those recruiting rankings really don't mean crap, with all due respect. The only rankings that count are the ones in January."
WATCH MORE from Tuesday's press conference:
The junior middle linebacker on Monday was named one of five Butkus Award finalists. Chad Leistikow
The quarterback says there's a reason why the class isn't bigger Chad Leistikow
The Iowa cornerback talks about his defense's resiliency Mark Emmert
The senior defensive tackle talks about his NFL draft stock, his biggest improvement, and yes a certain Green Bay Packer Mark Emmert
Hawkeye defensive tackle Faith Ekakitie says "they could have the Heisman winner back there for all I care" Mark Emmert
- Josey Jewell on Butkus honor, Iowa future
- C.J. Beathard on what Iowa's 14 seniors have endured
- Desmond King on what he's proudest of
- Jaleel Johnson gets compared to a former Hawkeye now starring in NFL
- Which Nebraska quarterback is Iowa preparing to defend?