April 13, 2010

Iowa in the driver's seat for Gaines

Before starting the recruiting process, Michigan native Ashton Gaines sat down and made a list of his dream schools. One of the programs that he included was the Iowa Hawkeyes, who ended up being the first team to offer him a scholarship. Now, after a recent visit to campus, Iowa is in the driver's seat for the 5-foot-11, 170-pound playmaker, according to his coach, Rod Oden. We caught up with Oden to talk about Gaines, his interest in Iowa, and much more.

Q: Can you talk a little bit about Ashton as a player?

ODEN: He is a dynamic football player. He can probably play seven positions and be productive. He's a guy who doesn't really care where he plays because he's the consummate team player. For us, he plays wide receiver and safety. A lot of colleges have said he could play cornerback too. He just wants to play football and contribute in any way he can. He has a knack for making big plays and finds the football. For our team, he was our third and ten guy on offense. Everybody knew who was getting the ball on third down. He was also our key playmaker on defense. When we needed a turnover, he came up with the big play. He's really a great kid..

Q: Iowa likes him at receiver, right?

ODEN: Yes, they like him at receiver and the situation is great for him. From my understanding, most of their guys are seniors so when he would be getting there, he'd have an opportunity to compete for early playing time. I think he's a perfect fit for their system, a pro style offense. He does a lot of things well. He runs great routes, he can block, and play within the system. It's a great situation for him out there. He loves Iowa and from what I hear about today's visit, Iowa loves him.

As a junior, Gaines put up big numbers on both sides of the ball, finishing with 56 catches for 817 yards and seven touchdowns as a receiver to go along with 71 tackles and seven interceptions on defense.

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