On Monday morning, ESPN released its initial ESPN Junior 300 Recruiting Rankings. The list included a pair of the Hawkeyes’ current commitments in the recruiting class of 2019. In addition, a slew of guys with Iowa offers found their way onto the list, including a number the Hawkeyes are well-positioned with.
The ESPN Jr 300 was released this morning. California DE @kayvonT8 is the No. 1 overall prospect:https://t.co/P2ix1Nn6kE— Tom VanHaaren (@TomVH) August 14, 2017
As you may recall, Iowa’s class of 2019 is currently sitting at 4 commitments. All are listed as 3-star prospects according to Rivals (see chart below), but I would think a few of them are due for a rankings upgrade based on what we see in the ESPN rankings.*
What is it we see? Well for starters it’s a pair of Hawkeye commitments included in this initial top 300 ranking. Offensive tackle commit and Norwalk native Tyler Endres comes in at #101 in the initial ranks. That’s good for a 4-star rating.
You’ll recall that Endres is a 6’6” 289-lb monster of a high school junior-to-be. He’s joined in the top 300 by fellow offensive tackle and Holstein, Iowa native Ezra Miller. Miller checks in at #227 on the list. That’s also good for a 4-star rating by ESPN. Like Endres, Miller is a mammoth for such a young guy. Heading into his junior season in high school, he measures in at 6’6” and 281 lbs. Those two are going to make some really massive bookends to the offensive line for years to come.
As a reminder, here’s a look at the entire list of commitments Iowa has already earned in the class of 2019.
Iowa Football Class of 2019 Commitments
|Larry Tracy||DB||Indianapolis, IN||5'11"||175||3||7/31/17|
|Tyler Endres||OL||Norwalk, IA||6'6"||280||3||6/24/17|
|Logan Lee||TE||Orion, IL||6'5"||225||3||6/24/17|
|Ezra Miller||OL||Holstein, IA||6'6"||280||3||4/22/17|
*Note that this isn’t any indictment of Rivals’ rankings or an indication I think ESPN’s are better, they simply don’t tend to differ all that much at the end of the day. Cases where they do differ tend to be due to one site getting more evaluation in than another. I’d expect Rivals to conduct further evaluations on most of these guys and update rankings accordingly.
In addition to the two current commitments, ESPN’s new ranking also included a slew of top prospects Iowa has offered for 2019. Here’s a rundown of everyone boasting an Iowa offer, according to Rivals.
Iowa Football Class of 2019 Offers
|Max Duggan||PRO||3||6'2"||180||Council Bluffs, IA||List|
|Jirehl Brock||RB||4||6'0"||186||Quincy, IL||List|
|David Bell||WR||4||6'2"||180||Indianapolis, IN||List|
|Julian Barnett||WR||4||6'2"||180||Belleville, MI||List|
|Marcus Washington||WR||4||6'2"||170||St. Louis, MO||List|
|Maurice Massey||WR||3||6'4"||180||St. Louis, MO||List|
|Kyren Williams||WR||3||5'10"||190||St. Louis, MO||List|
|Logan Lee||TE||3||6'5"||225||Orion, IL||Iowa|
|Devontae Dobbs||OT||4||6'4"||270||Belleville, MI||List|
|Quinn Carroll||OT||4||6'6"||280||Edina, MN||List|
|Trevor Keegan||OT||4||6'6"||290||Crystal Lake, IL||List|
|Justin Britt||OT||3||6'4"||282||Indianapolis, IN||List|
|Tyler Endres||OT||3||6'6"||280||Norwalk, IA||Iowa|
|Ezra Miller||OT||3||6'6"||280||Holstein, IA||Iowa|
|Will Putnam||OG||4||6'4"||280||Tampa, FL||List|
|Rodas Johnson||OG||4||6'4"||270||Columbus, OH||List|
|Jason Bargy||SDE||3||6'5"||231||Momence, IL||List|
|Marcus Hicks||SDE||3||6'6"||230||Wichita, KS||List|
|Spencer Bono||WDE||3||6'4"||217||Cincinnati, OH||List|
|Mosai Newsom||WDE||NR||6'5"||245||Waverly, IA||List|
|Nakobe Dean||OLB||4||6'1"||215||Horn Lake, MS||List|
|Isaiah Azubuike||OLB||3||5'11"||195||St. Louis, MO||List|
|Jack Campbell||OLB||3||6'3"||205||Cedar Falls, IA||List|
|Nick Henrich||OLB||3||6'3"||195||Omaha, NE||List|
|Jack Kiser||OLB||3||6'2"||206||Royal Center, IN||List|
|Shammond Cooper||ILB||3||6'1"||190||St. Louis, MO||List|
|Moses Douglass||CB||4||6'0"||173||Springfield, OH||List|
|Larry Tracy||CB||3||5'11"||175||Indianapolis, IN||Iowa|
|Brian Williams||S||4||6'1"||190||Dallas, TX||List|
|Marvin Grant||S||4||6'2"||190||Detroit, MI||List|
|Sebastian Castro||S||3||6'1"||198||Oak Lawn, IL||List|
|Isaiah Williams||ATH||4||5'10"||160||St. Louis, MO||List|
|Jalani Williams||ATH||4||6'2"||170||St. Louis, MO||List|
|Derrick Miller||ATH||3||5'11"||160||O'Fallon, MO||List|
Of those with an offer, here’s a look at who made the top 300 list from ESPN this week.
- #9 Devontae Dobbs, OT from Belleville, MI
- #10 Marcus Washington, WR from St. Louis, MO
- #19 Brian Williams, S from Dallas, TX
- #27 Isaiah Williams, ATH from St. Louis, MO
- #44 Julian Barnett, WR from Belleville, MI
- #68 Jason Bargy, DE from Momence, IL
- #86 Quinn Carroll, OT from Edina, MN
- #88 Nakobe Dean, LB from Horn Lake, MS
- #96 Shammond Cooper, LB from St. Louis, MO
- #126 David Bell, WR from Indianapolis, IN
- #161 Will Putnam, OT from Tampa Bay, FL
- #193 Trevor Keegan, OT from Crystal Lake, IL
- #212 Marcus Hicks, DE from Wichita, KS
- #217 Rodas Johnson, OG from Toledo, OH
- #234 Jalani Williams, S from St. Louis, MO
In total, the Hawkeyes have handed out 34 offers in the class of 2019 to players not currently committed elsewhere. Of those, 15 are to players considered to be in the top 300 by ESPN. What I really like is the staff seems to be extending offers, but not excessively so, like some other schools who will remain unnamed. The majority of the offers have come to guys in locations Iowa traditionally does well. Even the ones outside the Big Ten footprint are primarily to guys at schools where Iowa feels they have a connection either through a coach or a previous recruit from that school.
Some of those notable outliers on the map include Nakobe Dean, the linebacker from Horn Lake, MS. That’s not a state Iowa traditionally hits, but you’ll recall freshman WR Brandon Smith hails from Lake Cormorant, MS. He was discovered by Mississippi native and Hawkeye recruiting coordinator Kelvin Bell and reeled in. Dean’s hometown of Horn Lake is about 12 miles from Lake Cormorant and the two play each other annually. Dean’s Horn Lake beat Smith’s Lake Cormorant 14-9 last year.
Will Putnam is a guy listed as being from Tampa Bay. While the Hawkeyes have had some success in this area and certainly have the connections, Putnam is actually from Chatham, Illinois (the Springfield area) and only recently moved to Tampa. Those midwest roots certainly help, and that’s how Iowa first got in contact with him.
And then there’s the two hotbeds Iowa is really working to develop into pipelines. You’ll notice a trio of guys from the Indianapolis area hold offers in the class of 2019. Larry Tracy has already committed, joining his cousin Tyrone Tracy, who is in Iowa’s class of 2018. Iowa is also looking to potentially add commitments from Indianapolis-area defensive backs Julius Brents and DJ Johnson in the class of 2018. Brents is a high school teammate of 2019 targets David Bell and Justin Britt. Those connections help and Kelvin Bell is working hard to establish them.
In St. Louis, it’s Lavar Woods putting in a lot of work to establish some inroads. We saw a number of early offers to class of 2018 guys, most of whom have since garnered offers from some of college football’s blue bloods and won’t be coming to Iowa. But the Hawkeyes are still in on Dallas Craddieth in 2018, and have offers to 8 St. Louis-area prospects in 2019 (including Derrick Miller of O’Fallon).
As the class of 2018 continues to fill up, look for Iowa to continue making offers to prospects in the class of 2019. They’re off to a hot start and Hawkeye fans should feel good about the guys they’ve already offered.