Ankeny, Iowa – Now that the 2018 college football signing day is officially in the past our team at Hawkeye Heaven is going to put together a series of articles where we highlight each of the 22 commitments Iowa received. We’ll share each recruit’s highlights, and do our best to mention what jumps out to us about each player on tape. Then we will predict what kind of an impact we think they will make in a Hawkeye uniform. Next up is 4 star CB Julius Brents.
Brents currently stands at 6’2″ and weighs 179 lbs. He’s a defensive back whose skills seem more appropriate for the CB position at the D1 level even though you’ll see him playing some safety in his highlight tape.
Brents is a 4 star recruit. Rivals has him ranked as the 4th best prospect in the state of Indiana for the 2018 class. Brents had some interest from elite programs like Ohio State and Alabama although they never officially extended offers. He ultimately chose Iowa over offers from Purdue, Michigan State, NC State, Louisville, Boston College, Indiana, and Cincinnati.
It’s also worth noting that Iowa seems to be leading in the recruitment of Brents’ teammate at Warren Central, Justin Britt. Britt is a 6’4 267 lb offensive guard in the 2019 class who currently holds offers from fellow Big Ten programs Minnesota, Michigan State, Purdue, and Indiana. Let’s hope Brents will help sway Britt towards the good guys a year from now. The Hawkeyes are building quite the recruiting pipeline in Indianapolis.
PBU’s! For those who aren’t familiar with this statistic it stands for Pass Break Ups. Brents is breaking up passes right and left in his highlight reel. Obviously he’ll be playing against better competition in the Big Ten, but in his high school highlight reel he looks like Brents Island. He’s smothering the opponents receivers and doing so without committing a penalty. He shows great timing making a play on the ball as well. It would be nice to see more converted interceptions, but his coverage skills are flat out impressive.
Brents’ has solid fundamentals and a nice instinct for where the pass or where the runner is going to go. He isn’t a huge hitter, but he tackles very well. His discipline is impressive for a player his age. He rarely finds himself out of position and seems to naturally read the play action pass. Watch the play at about the 3:37 mark of the video. This is a good example of his discipline and fundamentals. He reads the draw, doesn’t get baited by the ball carriers move when he tries to cut outside, and then wraps him up in the open field.
For comparison purposes, Brents’ physique and play style reminds me a lot of Greg Mabin. The Hawkeyes recruited Mabin as a WR out of high school, but eventually found he was a better fit at CB. Mabin came into the Iowa program listed at 6’2 190 lbs. Brents will put on some weight and play at about the same size Mabin did.
The Hawkeyes are stockpiling a ton of talent in the defensive backfield. The success they’ve shown developing defensive backs is clearly paying off on the recruiting trail. Phil Parker is arguably the best defensive back mind in the country. It’s hard to argue with the type of players he has developed. Young DB’s long to become the next Bob Sanders, Micah Hyde, Desmond King, or Josh Jackson. Coming to Iowa City to play ball is their first step in the right direction.
Brents is an impressive recruit. Ferentz and Phil Parker have shown they aren’t afraid to play young guys in the defensive backfield. I don’t expect Brents to come in and play right away, but it wouldn’t surprise me to see him make a serious push for playing time as a either a redshirt freshman or true sophomore.
Welcome to the Hawkeye family Julius!