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Iowa Football Recruiting: Two-Star Linebacker Seth Benson Commits and Signs with Hawkeyes

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The Hawkeyes got a late night commitment in the Early Signing Day period.

NCAA Football: Nebraska at Iowa Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

Check out our EARLY SIGNING PERIOD HEADQUARTERS to keep up with all of Iowa’s moves during the signing period.

After the de-commitment of linebacker Ben VanSumeren just a few short days before the Early Signing Period began, Iowa needed a replacement to fill that spot quickly if they wanted to lock someone up in December. It looks like they got their man, as they poached linebacker Seth Benson from South Dakota State late on Thursday night.

After making the decision late at night, he made it official by signing his letter of intent on Friday morning.

Benson, who stands at 6’1” and 210 pounds, is a lightly recruited and relatively unknown commodity out of Washington High School in Sioux Falls, SD. He’s just a two-star recruit per Rivals and doesn’t even have a 247sports profile, which shows just how lightly evaluated he was in high school. Rivals shows that his only offers were from Iowa, South Dakota, North Dakota, South Dakota State, and North Dakota State. Iowa became involved pretty late in the game, only offering a scholarship the day after VanSumeren flipped to Michigan.

While Benson is only a two-star recruit and doesn’t jump off the page, that doesn’t tell the whole story. He was the South Dakota Gatorade Player of the Year and logged a ridiculous 110 tackles in his senior campaign. Looking at his senior highlight tape, you can see that there’s talent there - he rushes the passer well (particularly from the defensive end position) and looks to be solid shedding blocks to chase ballcarriers. What really stands out is his speed - he speed rushes opposing offensive tackles a bunch in his highlight tape and goes by untouched on numerous occasions, while also looking really good in kick coverage. If anything, he looks to be incredibly versatile, playing all over the field.

Since Kirk Ferentz has been at the helm of the program, Iowa’s had success in the past when recruiting South Dakota. They’ve only had a handful of scholarship players from the Mount Rushmore State, but they’ve all been unquestionably successful - Chad Greenway (Mount Vernon, SD), three-star Riley Reiff (Parkston, SD), and two-star Matt VandeBerg (Brandon, SD), to name a few, have all gone on to be solid, if not great, Hawkeyes.

Benson is the 17th player and second linebacker in the Class of 2018, joining Dillon Doyle at the position. He’s also the third Gatorade Player of the Year in the class, a list that includes Tyrone Tracy, Jr. (Indiana) and Sampson Evans (Illinois). It’s interesting to note that of the three players to earn Gatorate POTY honors in their home state, two of them come in as two-star recruits, as Evans ended up losing his third star late in the season (likely correlated to him being recruited for a position he didn’t play in high school).

While it’s unclear what this move means for how Iowa will recruit for the duration of the year, it wouldn’t necessarily be surprising if they continued looking for another linebacker to bring into the mix. It appears Benson definitely has upside, but linebacker will be a position of need for the Hawkeyes with all three starters graduating, and it wouldn’t hurt to continue adding depth at the position. Wide receiver is still an area where depth can be improved after the mass exodus this past offseason, but it appears as though Ferentz and the staff have addressed the rest of their needs by the end of the early signing period.

Here’s the full list of commitments in the Class of 2018 and where they come from:

Iowa Football Class of 2018 Commitments

Name Pos Hometown Ht Wt Stars Commitment Date Signing Period
Name Pos Hometown Ht Wt Stars Commitment Date Signing Period
Jeff Jenkins OL Crystal Lake, IL 6'4" 272 3 1/22/2017 Early
Dillon Doyle LB Iowa City, IA 6'3" 215 3 3/20/2017 Early
Henry Geil RB Green Bay, WI 6'0" 211 3 4/23/2017 Early
Tyrone Tracy Jr. ATH Indianapolis, IN 6'0" 187 3 4/29/2017 Early
Tyler Linderbaum DT Solon, IA 6'2" 255 3 5/1/2017 Early
Samson Evans ATH Crystal Lake, IL 6'1" 190 2 5/21/2017 Early
Terry Roberts DB Erie, PA 5'10" 169 3 6/5/2017 Early
Cody Ince OL Balsam Lake, WI 6'5" 260 3 6/19/2017 Early
Jack Plumb TE Green Bay, WI 6'8" 245 3 6/26/2017 Early
Noah Shannon DT Oswego, IL 6'2" 285 3 7/4/2017 Early
DJ Johnson DB Indianapolis, IN 6'0" 170 3 8/22/2017 Late*
Julius Brents DB Indianapolis, IN 6'2" 180 4 9/1/2017 Late*
John Waggoner DE West Des Moines, IA 6'5" 245 4 12/5/2017 Early
Calvin Lockett WR Largo, FL 6'2" 170 3 12/13/2017 Early
Spencer Petras QB Kentfield, CA 6'5" 225 4 12/15/2017 Early
Dallas Craddieth DB Florrisant, MO 6'1" 180 4 12/20/2017 Early
Seth Benson LB Sioux Falls, SD 6'1" 210 2 12/21/2017 Early
Nico Ragaini WR West Haven, CT 6'0" 190 3 1/8/2017 NA
Logan Klemp LB Jewell, IA 6'3" 210 2 2/2/2018 Late
Kaevon Merriweather S Belleville, MI 6'2" 195 2 2/2/2018 Late
Jayden McDonald LB Suwanee, GA 6'1" 210 3 2/5/2018 Late

Congratulations to Seth Benson on joining the Hawkeyes! We look forward to seeing you don the black and gold in future years.