Rivals.com recruiting analyst Barry Every breaks down some of the top Division I-A talent in Iowa that participated in games involving Iowa City (Iowa) High School vs. Cedar Rapids (Iowa) Washington and West Des Moines (Iowa) Valley vs. West Des Moines (Iowa) Dowling Catholic.
A.J. Derby passed for 154 yards and a touchdown while rushing for 105 yards and three more scores in Iowa City's 27-23 win over favored Cedar Rapids.
Rivals250 offensive lineman David Barrent helped control the line of scrimmage in Valley's 22-0 victory over rival Dowling Catholic.
A closer look at some key players, listed alphabetically:
ASSETS: Has very good height, hands and does a nice job catching the ball at highest point. AREAS FOR IMPROVEMENT: Improve is run blocking and add more upper body strength and mass. MOST IMPRESSIVE PLAY: Made a diving, four-yard touchdown catch in cold, wet conditions to give his team a 16-7 second-quarter lead.
CONCLUSION: No question that the Iowa commit is one of the top players in Iowa and he should see early playing time for the Hawkeyes.
ASSETS: Is already put together like a rock and will be able to put on even more size as he matures. AREAS FOR IMPROVEMENT: Would like to see him hit the line of scrimmage at full speed and just run people over because he has that ability. MOST IMPRESSIVE PLAY: On a 13-yard TD run in the second quarter, he made a great move to the outside and punished a would-be tackler in the open field.
CONCLUSION: Already sports three BCS offers and more are likely on the way. Look for Dawson to be one of the top three or four prospects in the entire state of Iowa next season.
ASSETS: Physically, looks like a major college or NFL quarterback right now and plays with the mentality of a linebacker.
AREAS FOR IMPROVEMENT: If he is to be a quarterback at the next level, he will need to get a lot of reps before next season. He has the tools but is very raw.
MOST IMPRESSIVE PLAY: Threw two deep fades that looked like a beautiful three-point shot with great spin that dropped right down into tightly-covered receivers hands.
CONCLUSION: Has all the tools to be a dual-threat QB at the next level. If that does not work out there is no question that he could project as an athletic TE at the next level. Derby also sports three offers at this time and is more than likely one of the top three or four prospects in the state next season.
ASSETS: Has excellent height, long arms and runs exceptionally well for an offensive lineman. AREAS FOR IMPROVEMENT: Needs to increase his flexibility - which will help him get better pad level - and improve some on his lateral movement.
MOST IMPRESSIVE PLAY: Watching him pass protect by forcing defenders to the outside with his long arms. By the time the defense gets around Barrent, they are well past the pocket.
CONCLUSION: He has the frame to easily hold 320 pounds and there is no doubt that he is one of the top left tackle prospects in the country. Great get for Michigan State.
ASSETS: Has an excellent frame that can easily hold 30 to 40 more pounds. Also in great condition as he was the only two-way starter and he was on most of the special teams. AREAS FOR IMPROVEMENT: Will need to work on speed if he is going to play tight end at the next level. As a potential offensive lineman, he needs to have better pad level while blocking.
MOST IMPRESSIVE PLAY: The fact that he almost never came off of the field during the game.
CONCLUSION: Boffeli is a high academic kid with tremendous growth potential. Do not be surprised if he eventually makes the line calls for the Cyclones as a center.