Big Ten Snapshots
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The Hawkeyes have eight commitments, and while the star values may not reflect it right now, I love the class. They have lots of kids that can play so far, and as this staff has a reputation for developing talent, I think this group will flourish.
Lombard Montini defensive tackle Jaleel Johnson picked up offers from Wisconsin, Michigan, Michigan State, and more. He was down to MSU and Iowa and the Hawkeyes won out for a powerful, athletic four-star interior guy.
One that Got Away:
Over the last few years, the recruiting battles between Iowa and Michigan State have been very interesting and back and forth. This year, the Spartans reeled in Southfield Lathrup (Mich.) linebacker Jamal Lyles, an athletic defender who had a Hawkeye offer and had visited campus.
Illinois has been kind once again to the Hawkeyes. Other than Johnson, Iowa recently landed Providence Catholic offensive tackle Ryan Ward, a 6'6, 270-lb kid whose brother will start at Northwestern this year. We think Ryan has the tools to become a starter for the Hawkeyes as well, and they beat out some good schools for him. Maurice Fleming is one of the most explosive kids we've seen. A high school quarterback, he earned several offers as a receiver, but will be a defensive back for Iowa, and we think he'll be a good one. Port Byron Riverdale's Mitch Keppy was the first commit on the year and is not a super well known kid, but he's a legacy and a wrestler with good size at 6'5, 280-lbs. He'll be a tackle or guard.
Dublin Jerome (Ohio) wide receiver Cameron Wilson is a kid we really like. He has good size and excellent run after the catch ability. We think he fits the offense very well and will be an impact guy.
Defensive end Drew Ott from Gilter (NE) is a kid with a great frame and really blew up this summer at camps. He plays eight man football, so he's going to have adjustments to make, but his long term potential is good as he's nearly 6'5, 230-lbs and clocked a 4.8 forty at Nebraska's camp. He also has experience on both sides of the ball.
The Hawkeyes recently added their
first in-state commitment, running back Michael Malloy, considered a sleeper, but has great athleticism and 4.4 speed in a 6'0, 175-lb frame. The Sioux City Heelan star ran for 31 touchdowns a year ago and could play a variety of positions in college if running back is not the spot.
Connor Kornbrath, an anamoly as a 6'7, 210-lb specalist, is likely to be a punter and kickoff man. He has a big leg, hitting a 51-yard field goal and recording 19 touchbacks last season.
Five-star offensive tackle Jordan Diamond still has Iowa very much in consideration, and is planning a visit to the school soon. He would be a huge get for the Hawkeyes.
The top player in the state, wide receiver Amara Darboh is also considering Iowa still, but Wisconsin, Michigan, Notre Dame and others are also in the mix. Missouri prospects Jehu Chesson and Brandon Sheperd are also considering Iowa, and former Minnesota commitment Andre McDonald also has an interest.
At running back, Pennsylvania products Greg Garmon and Drew Harris appear to be longer shots. That said, the Hawkeyes have legitimate chances with Oak Forest (Ill.) back Tevin Coleman and in-state prospect Barkley Hill. They also have offered St. Thomas Aquinas (Fla.) back Dami Ayoola.
No quarterback is in the class yet, but the Hawkeyes don't have any known offers out to potential signal callers, save Gunner Kiel, who is not likely to choose them. If a quarterback is taken, it will be one of a sleeper variety. We could see a kid like Collin Michael from Ohio or Joe Mollberg from Minnesota as contenders, but it could be a total sleeper as well.
At defensive tackle, the Hawkeyes have quite a few offers out, and Johnson's already on board, but we could see a tough, wrestler type like Lakewood (Ohio) St. Edward's Greg Kuhar giving them a strong look. Nathaniel Lohn seems to be one of the top ends on the board that is keeping the Hawkeyes high on his list.
At offensive tackle, 6'9 Jonah Pirsig is deciding very soon and Iowa is one of his top choices.
A pair of Detroit Cass Tech teammates, linebacker Laron Taylor and safety-cornerback Ruben Lile have been offered and have shown strong interest in Iowa. Both are likely to decide in August and we think the Hawkeyes have a great chance to land both, who are both at positions of need.