Jirehl Brock is in many ways your typical recruit. Your typical, elite-level recruit, that is. A running back out of Quincy, Ill., Brock was first offered in May of 2017 and collected 14 in all, a process which he called “very overwhelming.”
He visited Northwestern, Minnesota, Iowa and Iowa State. Iowa moved on after the Hawkeyes took a junior college recruit. Notre Dame swooped in late in the process — if you can call “June of your senior year” late, which, given the new rules, I think we can — but Brock sensed it was to pressure another player on the Irish’s board to move. Ultimately, Brock, a 4-star rated as the No. 216 player in the country and the No. 13 running back, committed to Iowa State, but not without some intense pressure from the Gophers.
“When (Quincy High School head coach Rick) Little says people were calling every hour, it was (Minnesota) calling,” Brock told the Quincy Herald-Whig. “They would text every 30 minutes. It was a lot to take in. You don’t want to be rude about it. You try to be as nice as possible. They were the hardest school to say no to.
“Before I took my visit, I heard they would put you in the office and lock the doors and put an hourglass upside down and say, ‘You have this much time to commit.’ Good thing they never did that to me. Talking to Coach Fleck in his office with my parents, it was really tempting to commit because of the approach he takes. He’s a really good guy, don’t get me wrong, but he knows how to make somebody intimidated.”
Brock credited his low-key relationships with Cyclones head coach Matt Campbell and running backs coach Nathan Scheelhaase with choosing Iowa State. “I’m not going to lie. The flashy stuff is really cool, but the relationships are a big part,” he said.
If Minnesota and its competition put on the hard sell, it was because of the golden rule of recruiting: if you don’t do it, somebody else will.
“This process has been really crazy,” Little told the paper. “You see the strategy that goes into every different school. Even at the end of June, I had different schools calling me, like six times in one day. ‘Any update? Have you talked to him?’ They knew his decision was coming, and sometimes I could feel the pressure that recruiter was under.”