Receiving good news never gets old in the world of recruiting. Receiving news that a four-star instate recruit wants to play football for your university is something entirely different.
The Hawkeyes got that good news this weekend when 2014 offensive lineman Ross Pierschbacher of Cedar Falls gave his verbal pledge to Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz and assistant coaches Reese Morgan and Brian Ferentz on Saturday, according to several Iowa media outlets including HawkeyeInsider’s Rob Howe.
He announced his decision publically on Twitter Saturday morning.
"Getting a chance to play in front of my home state and my community just felt right," Pierschbacher said. "I wanted to be a Hawkeye."
Pierschbacher is a four-star lineman who ranks as the fourth best offensive guard in the nation. Entering his junior season, the first-team all-stater sits at 6-foot-5, 270 pounds. It is the third straight year a top athlete from Cedar Falls commits to Iowa, joining Barkley Hill in 2012 and Ike Boettger in 2013.
Ferentz and Morgan visited Pierschbacher on Friday. He had other scholarship offers from Iowa State, Boise State, Oklahoma, Wisconsin, Nebraska and Northern Iowa and chose Iowa over Notre Dame.
"I sat down and talked with them for a while," Pierschbacher said. "They just really helped me feel more comfortable with where they're going with the program and how they see me. I just woke up (Saturday) morning feeling really good about it knowing where I wanted to go. I got the stress off me and got the 2014 recruiting class going for Iowa."
Pierschbacher said he was scheduled to visit Notre Dame's junior day next weekend. Instead, he will be at Iowa for its underclassmen event.
"It came down to Iowa and Notre Dame," Pierschbacher said. "Coach (Brian) Kelly interviewing with the NFL, that just got me thinking that I wanted to play for the coach I committed to. If he doesn't go this year, maybe he'll go the next year after that."
He picked Iowa over Notre Dame because the Fighting Irish had four four-star linemen in their 2013 class, according to Howe.
"I just started to question if playing time would become an issue," Pierschbacher said. "I want to play. Coming into Iowa, I think I have a better chance to play earlier than Notre Dame."
Howe also said that Pierschbacher plans on recruiting for the Hawkeyes, starting with fellow 2014 recruits Jay Scheel of Union LaPorte City and Indianola’s Keegan Render.
"I talked to him (Saturday) morning," Pierschbacher said of Scheel. "He can speak for himself and I'm not going to pressure anybody. I just want to encourage guys that want to be a part of it to come join me, especially the in-state guys. They've been around Iowa football and know what it's about.
"Hopefully with my commitment, they see that things are going in the right way still and that we're not backtracking."
Pierschbacher believes the Hawkeye program is not defined by the 4-8 season they are coming off of. He wants to be a part of the rebuilding process.
"They were just so excited and extremely happy for me," he said. "They said they were going to push me just to get me my goals. I trust in them that they're going to do their job and help me achieve all that I can.
"Coach Morgan said he was going to go celebrate and that he couldn't stop smiling. If he misses church tomorrow he's going to blame it on me. I think Coach(Kirk) Ferentz said 'that's fantastic' about 20 times."