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The Situation Room: Iowa Football Class of 2018 Recruiting Overview

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It’s officially recruiting season for Iowa Football. Here’s a look at the scholarship distribution chart, recruiting needs, outstanding offers and even some #analysis.

NCAA Football: Nebraska at Iowa
Kirk Ferentz and his staff are beginning to build momentum in the class of 2018.
Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

Following a long period of relative quiet on the recruiting trail, we’ve seen things pick up in recent weeks. On the heels of the spring game, which brought a number of visitors to Iowa City, we saw commitments from 2019 OL Ezra Miller and 2018 RB Henry Geil. That was followed closely by the departure of Iowa’s first commitment in the class of 2018, Mike Bruner, and the commitments of WR Tyrone Tracy and DL Tyler Linderbaum. As the momentum begins to build, let’s take a look at the current scholarship situation for the Hawkeyes, key upcoming departures and who might replace them in the class of 2018.

Iowa Football Offensive Scholarship Distribution

POS SR JR SO RS FR Incoming FR Total 2018 COMMITS 2019 COMMITS
POS SR JR SO RS FR Incoming FR Total 2018 COMMITS 2019 COMMITS
QB Tyler Wiegers Ryan Boyle; Ryan Schmidt; Nathan Stanley Peyton Mansell 5
RB Akrum Wadley Marcel Joly Toks Akrinibabe Toren Young Kyshaun Bryan; Ivory Kelly-Martin 6 Henry Geil
FB Brady Ross 1
WR Matt Vandeberg Adrian Falconer; Jerminic Smith Devonte Young Max Cooper; Henry Marchese; Brandon Smith; Ihmir Smith-Marsette 8 Tyrone Tracy
TE Jon Wisnieski; Peter Pekar Drew Cook; Noah Fant; Nate Vejvoda Shaun Beyer; TJ Hockenson Jacob Coons 8
OL Ike Boettger; Boone Myers; Sean Welsh James Daniels; Lucas LeGrand; Keegan Render; Ross Reynolds Landon Paulsen; Logan Paulsen Cole Banwart; Alaric Jackson; Spencer Williams Mark Kallenberger; Coy Kirkpatrick; Tristan Wirfs 15 Jeff Jenkins Ezra Miller
Total 7 8 11 6 11 43

Iowa Football Defensive Scholarship Distribution

POS SR JR SO RS FR Incoming FR Total 2018 COMMITS 2019 COMMITS
POS SR JR SO RS FR Incoming FR Total 2018 COMMITS 2019 COMMITS
S Miles Taylor Jake Gervase; Brandon Snyder Amani Hooker Noah Clayberg; Djimon Colbert; Geno Stone 7
CB Josh Jackson Michael Ojemudia; Manny Rugamba Cedric Boswell Trey Creamer; Matt Hankins; Camron Harrell; Josh Turner 8
LB Bo Bower; Josey Jewell; Ben Niemann; Kevin Ward Jack Hockaday; Aaron Mends Angelo Garbutt; Amani Jones; Kristian Welch Nick Niemann; Kyle Taylor; Barrington Wade Nate Wieland 13 Dillon Doyle
DE Parker Hesse; Matt Nelson Anthony Nelson Chauncey Golston; Romeo McKnight; Austin Schulte; Brandon Simon Levi Duwa; AJ Epenesa 9
DT Nathan Bazata Garrett Jansen; Cedric Lattimore; Jacob Newborg; Brady Reiff Daviyon Nixon 6
Total 6 7 11 8 11 43

Iowa Football Special Teams Scholarship Distribution

POS SR JR SO RS FR Incoming FR Total 2018 COMMITS 2019 COMMITS
POS SR JR SO RS FR Incoming FR Total 2018 COMMITS 2019 COMMITS
K Mick Ellis 1
P Ryan Gersonde 1
LS Tyler Kluver 1
Total 1 1 1 3

Total Current Scholarship Players

89

Key Upcoming Departures

Akrum Wadley, RB

Matt VandeBerg, WR

Ike Boettger, OL

Boone Myers, OL

Sean Welsh, OL

Miles Taylor, S

Bo Bower, LB

Josey Jewell, LB

Ben Niemann, LB

Nathan Bazata, DT

Available Scholarships

Based solely on the guys listed above as graduating after this year, Iowa has 14 available scholarships for the 2018 class. However, Iowa is also 4 scholarships over the limit currently. That would imply at least 4 current Hawkeyes will be leaving the program prior to Fall camp. We can also expect a few more to leave prior to National Signing Day next February. So at the end of the day, I would expect the class of 2018 to be in the neighborhood of 20 scholarship players.

Current Commitments

Dillon Doyle, LB

Henry Geil, RB

Jeff Jenkins, OL

Tyler Linderbaum, DT

Tyrone Tracy, WR

Remaining Needs

I think it’s a decent bet the Hawkeyes make a run at a QB in this class. They’ve offered 7 already, although most have committed elsewhere, and I think it’s a good idea to take one a year, especially given Iowa’s prior success at converting guys to other positions.

The staff seems to have gotten their man at RB and I would guess they will back off the guys who are listed as having an offer. I would expect the staff to treat TE much like QB and take one a year if possible, depending on talent available.

Wide receiver is a huge position of need. As we saw in the spring game with only two scholarship players participating, this group is going to be relying on young talent for a few years. Look for the staff to add a few more receivers in this class.

Based on graduation and the volume required, expect the staff to add 2-3 OL each cycle. Jenkins is already on board so I’d expect 1-2 more in this class. The defensive line is similar. Only Bazata graduates, but there’s a logjam at DT in the sophomore class, which seems ripe for attrition. They added Daviyon Nixon in last year’s class and have Solon’s Tyler Linderbaum already in 2018, but I would still expect at least one more DT in this class and a DE or two who may be able to slide inside.

And finally, the number of defensive backs used on special teams and in special situations alone requires they staff to look for a few in each class. Only S Miles Taylor graduates after this season and the class of 2017 included 7 guys tabbed as DBs, but I would still expect 3-4 S or CB prospects in the class of 2018

Outstanding Offers to Uncommitted Players

*Per Rivals.com

Iowa Football 2018 Offers to Uncommitted Recruits

Name Pos Ht Wt Hometown
Name Pos Ht Wt Hometown
Devin Black QB 6'2" 160 Seffner, FL
Kevin Doyle QB 6'3" 190 Washington, DC
Elijah Collins RB 6'2" 195 Detroit, MI
Jerome Ford RB 5'11" 200 Seffner, FL
Jahan Dotson WR 6'0" 165 Hightstown, NJ
Drue Jackson WR 6'1" 180 Sachse, TX
Daniel George WR 6'2" 205 Oxon Hill, MD
Meechi Harris WR 6'2" 185 Xenia, OH
Cameron Brown WR 6'1" 175 St. Louis, MO
DaShon Bussell WR 6'2" 175 Fort Wayne, IN
Patrick Jolly Jr. WR 6'1" 180 Lithia, FL
Taj Mustapha WR 6'1" 185 West Bloomfield, MI
Bryce Oliver WR 6'3" 205 Fort Lauderdale, FL
I'Shawn Stewart WR 5'11" 165 Bolingbrook, IL
Davion Williams WR 6'2" 178 Belleville, MI
Leonard Taylor TE 6'5" 240 Springfield, OH
Jackson Carman OT 6'6" 305 Fairfield, OH
Trevor Downing OT 6'4" 270 Creston, IA
Jalen Mayfield OT 6'5" 250 Grand Rapids, MI
Carlos Vettorello OT 6'4" 260 Detroit, MI
Trevor Trout DT 6'3" 295 St. Louis, MO
Michael Thompson DT 6'4" 273 Saint Louis, MO
Aeneas Hawkins DT 6'3" 260 Cincinnati, OH
Daniel Parker Jr. DT 6'4" 245 Blue Springs, MO
Bryson Williams DT 6'2" 293 Lincoln, NE
Thomas Booker SDE 6'4" 245 Baltimore, MD
Malcolm Lamar SDE 6'5" 256 Seffner, FL
Ronnie Perkins SDE 6'4" 260 St. Louis, MO
Daniel Carson SDE 6'5" 270 Independence, MO
John Waggoner WDE 6'5" 240 West Des Moines, IA
Andrew Chatfield OLB 6'1" 214 Plantation, FL
Cameron McGrone OLB 6'1" 210 Indianapolis, IN
DeAndre Square OLB 6'1" 196 Detroit, MI
Mike Bruner OLB 6'3" 215 Mequon, WI
Khalan Tolson OLB 6'0" 205 St. Petersburg, FL
Ayodele Adeoye ILB 6'2" 220 St. Louis, MO
Antwuan Johnson ILB 6'1" 229 Dayton, OH
Rosendo Louis ILB 6'2" 225 Deerfield Beach, FL
James Miller ILB 6'2" 220 Seffner, FL
Isaac Taylor-Stuart CB 6'2" 177 San Diego, CA
Michael Dowell CB 6'0" 190 Lakewood, OH
D.J. Johnson CB 6'0" 170 Indianapolis, IN
Isaih Pacheco CB 5'11" 190 Vineland, NJ
Ken Montgomery CB 6'2" 165 Tampa, FL
Julius Brents CB 6'2" 179 Indianapolis, IN
Jayce Rogers CB 5'8" 160 Valdosta, GA
Isheem Young S 5'10" 180 Philadelphia, PA
Dallas Craddieth S 6'1" 180 Florissant, MO
Maxwell Worship S 6'2" 185 Fort Lauderdale, FL
L'Christian Smith ATH 6'5" 215 Huber Heights, OH
Mario Goodrich ATH 6'2" 180 Lee's Summit, MO
Tavion Thomas ATH 6'2" 227 Dayton, OH
Saybein Clark ATH 6'1" 195 Sioux City, IA
Samson Evans ATH 6'1" 190 Crystal Lake, IL
Danuel Oscar ATH 5'11" 167 Sebastian, FL
Reese Taylor ATH 5'10" 175 Indianapolis, IN

#Analysis

So, yeah, that looks like a ton of offers (56 to be exact) and those are just the reported ones per Rivals for guys who haven’t already committed somewhere. We saw last week that Iowa has a total of 93 offers extended for the class of 2018 (for you math wizards out there, that would mean there are 37 offers to guys who have committed to another school already), which is apparently on the low end compared to some of our rivals. But remember, a lot of those offers were early and to guys Iowa really isn’t in on at this point so we can only glean so much about areas of emphasis by looking at positional offerings.

With 14 spots currently coming up due to graduation, the expectation Iowa will lose at least 4 more prior to the start of 2017 and the likelihood that a handful more find a new home before National Signing Day 2018, my expectation is another class in the 20-22 commitment range. Right now we are sitting at 5, which seems a little on the low end. At this time a year ago, the Hawkeyes had 9 commitments and then added a slew of them in June, July and August. While the staff is a little behind from a volume standpoint through the end of April, I would expect things to pick up through the summer as guys focus on their decisions without classes and before they start their senior years.

The biggest hole from a production standpoint will obviously be at RB. The departure of Akrum Wadley is going to leave a void nobody on the roster can fill. That being said, there’s a solid group of young guys already on campus, and the staff nailed down their top RB target in Henry Geil early in this recruiting cycle. We all know a certain Iowa Football deity who likes to wreak havoc so I don’t think it would be crazy for them to add another back in this class, but it won’t be a priority and would likely be a best available type situation late in the period when other needs have been filled.

NCAA Football: Outback Bowl-Florida vs Iowa
Akrum Wadley is going to be tough to replace, but RB isn’t the biggest area of need in the class of 2018.
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

From a volume standpoint, there are major concerns at WR, both from fans and apparently from the staff as well. Despite already locking in Indianapolis athlete Tyrone Tracy, who will almost certainly line up at WR, the staff still has 12 offers outstanding to receiver prospects who are uncommitted. That’s more than any other position, and given the depth chart issues, it’s warranted. I would expect a class slightly smaller than last year’s, but wouldn’t be surprised to see them take as many as they did in 2017 knowing there will be attrition.

The staff was early on St. Louis 4-star Kamryn Babb, but he has an offer list longer than Juan Harris’s decommitment list. Iowa also offered Babb’s high school teammate, Cameron Brown, but missed when he committed to Nebraska last week. If I were making a bet on who might commit that currently has an offer, I’d place my money about 60/40 on DaShon Bussell out of Fort Wayne, IN and I’Shawn Stewart out of Bollingbrook, IL. Iowa would gladly take both if they wanted to commit.

Other areas the staff seems to be focusing are the offensive and defensive lines. I know that probably comes as a complete shock for most of you, but a cursory look at the offer sheet shows 4 offers to OL (in addition to Jenkins already being in the fold), 6 DTs (in addition to Linderbaum) and 5 DEs. The crown jewel of that list of DEs is West Des Moines’ John Waggoner. The 6’5” 230 lb Dowling product is a consensus 4-star and has seen his recruitment really pick up with offers from MIchigan, Notre Dame, Penn State, Florida, Oklahoma, Ohio State, and just about anyone else you can think of. He’s still high on the Hawkeyes, but that will be one to keep an eye on as Iowa squares off against some blue bloods.

One of the OL offers is to Trevor Downing of Creston. I’d wager he ends up a Hawkeye without digging any deeper than he’s a big OL who has grown up seeing what Iowa does with linemen. There’s apparently some competition from ISU and Minnesota so we’ll see how that plays out after BF’s recent comments.

The #1 DT in Illinois, Oswego’s Noah Shannon, committed to Minnesota this week. He isn’t the first and won’t be the last to choose the Gophers over the Hawkeyes. Recall that down the stretch run of 2017, Iowa went head-to-head with Minnesota for Trey Creamer and Ihmir Smith-Marsette and came out on top.

The loss of 4 LBs to graduation this year is going to necessitate a few additions in this class. Dillon Doyle, son of strength and conditioning coach Chris Doyle, is already in the fold and Iowa may have been done if Mike Bruner of Wisconsin hadn’t decommitted. As it stands the staff has offers out to 9 uncommitted LBs (including Bruner). They continue to put in a lot of work in the Indianapolis area with an offer to Cameron McGrone and the St. Louis area with an offer to Ayodele Adeoye. Those two metro areas could be for the 2018 class what Texas was supposed to be in 2017 before the 4 de-committments.

That’s where the staff may have some success at the DB spot. I like their chances with CB DJ Johnson out of Indianapolis (despite the Notre Dame offer) and they have offers to CB Julius Brents, also of Indy, and Dallas Craddieth of Florissant, a St. Louis suburb. Another name to keep an eye for one of the DB openings is Maxwell Worship of Fort Lauderdale. He’s a 3-star safety with a great name to patrol the secondary.

It’s recruiting so things are obviously very fluid. We’ve seen over and over how fickle 17- and 18-year-old kids can be. Expect a number of the guys on that offer list to go elsewhere and a number of the final members of the class of 2018 to not be included in the list above. We’ll keep you updated throughout the process. Until then, keep those Twitter feeds updated. Stay #blessed my friends.