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Hawkeyes get an early Christmas present

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While it is still two days until Christmas, the Hawkeyes received an early present today when four-star safety Jordan Bernstine gave Iowa his verbal commitment. The 5-foot-10, 200-pound Bernstine, who attends Lincoln High School in Des Moines, made the call to Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz earlier this evening.

"I committed to Iowa today," said Bernstine. "I called Coach Ferentz and got a chance to talk to him and Coach Morgan. I just told them I'm looking forward to playing in black and gold next year. They were pretty excited about it and said I gave them an early Christmas present."

In committing to Iowa, Bernstine chose the Hawkeyes over scholarship offers from schools such as UCLA, Texas A&M, Pittsburgh, and Nebraska, each of whom he visited earlier this year. In the end, it was the home state school where the four-star safety ultimately found the right fit.

"When I took all my visits and got a chance to compare the schools, I just felt the most comfortable at the University of Iowa," Bernstine said. "My mom went on the visit to Iowa with me and she really liked it there. She's been pretty much like a recruiter for Iowa for the most part. She likes that it's so close, but she also really likes Coach Ferentz and the whole atmosphere at Iowa."

Bernstine, who made his official visit to Iowa City on December 8, was named conference defensive player of the year and first team all state after racking up 91 tackles and five interceptions in leading Lincoln to a 7-3 record this season. Also a standout offensive player, he averaged 10 yards a carry in rushing for 807 yards and 10 touchdowns, but it is defense that it his passion.

"Not everyone prefers defense, but I really do," said Bernstine. "I'd rather hit somebody than be hit is how I look at it. I love playing safety because it's like a natural position for me. I like to hit and if I have to, I can come up and cover a slot receiver too. I just love the position."

In May, Bernstine officially arrived on the national recruiting scene with a standout performance at the Columbus NIKE Camp. There, the four-star safety turned in a 4.38 forty and a 41.9" vertical on his way to earning the top overall rating at the camp. With impressive testing numbers to match a dynamic highlight tape, Bernstine drew more than a dozen scholarship offers, but it was Iowa where he felt the most comfortable.

"Being around the coaches, the players, and the school in general, I just felt comfortable at Iowa," Bernstine said. "Now, just knowing where I'll be playing college football and knowing the kind of work I'll have to put in to play in the Big Ten, it's a really good feeling. It feels good to know that I'll be a Hawkeye and the recruiting process is over. I'm just really excited."

Rivals.com ranks Bernstine as the No. 4 safety in the nation, the No. 58 prospect overall, and the No. 1 player in the state of Iowa this year. The commitment is Iowa's sixteenth to date in the recruiting class of 2007.