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Iowa Football Recruiting: Hawkeyes Make the Cut for Detroit Athlete Elijah Collins

The Hawkeyes have been rolling on the recruiting trail. That continued this week as University of Detroit Jesuit athlete Elijah Collins trimmed his list to six schools, including Iowa.

NCAA Football: Outback Bowl-Florida vs Iowa
Kirk Ferentz and the Iowa Hawkeyes made another cut for Detroit linebacker Elijah Collins.
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The Iowa Football recruiting class of 2018 is shaping up very well for Kirk Ferentz and staff. As it stands, the Hawkeyes have 11 verbal commitments secured. Here’s a quick look at who they have on board.

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

If you’re a regular to the site, you know we’ve been covering the recruiting targets across the various position groups over the last few weeks. Among the positions covered was the linebacker group. You’ll recall from that post that Iowa currently has one commitment in the group - local Iowa City West product and son of strength coach Chris Doyle, Dillon Doyle.

Given the departure of all three starting linebackers following the conclusion of this season, the Hawkeyes are likely to take at least 2-3 commitments at the position in this recruiting cycle. With Doyle already on board, Iowa is looking for 1-2 more. At the top of their list is University of Detroit Jesuit athlete Elijah Collins.

Collins is a 3-star athlete who plays both running back and linebacker in high school and is being recruited at both spots by various schools. His highlights are almost exclusively on the offensive side of the ball, but what defensive highlights we do see show why Iowa likes him at linebacker. He’s got good size at 6’2” and 195 lbs. and he has a nose for reading the play and getting into the backfield. He’s athletic and given his versatility, I think would make a solid addition to the class of 2018.

Earlier this week, he got one step closer to joining the #Swarm18 when he trimmed his list to 6:

That’s a pretty decent group to be a part of. Digging a little deeper, Wisconsin is pretty tight on scholarships at the moment. Collins has said some positive things about the football culture in the south, but given his upper midwest roots I don’t see him ending up down at Mississippi State. Given where the program is relative to some others, I think Purdue is also unlikely. So that leaves Iowa along side Michigan State and Pitt.

The rumor mill says it’s Iowa or Michigan State. Sparty will no doubt be tough to beat for an in-state kid. They have a reputation as a good defensive program and have location on their side. But with the need at Iowa, I would expect the staff to put the full court press on Collins down the stretch.

They certainly seem to have a connection with the staff at University of Detroit Jesuit. They are also recruiting Collins’ high school teammate Carlos Vettorello, an offensive lineman in the class of 2018 and were in it until the very end for incoming Wisconsin defensive back Scott Nelson.

Collins has indicated he will likely take the decision into his senior season. I would expect him to take some official visits during the season and perhaps come to a decision closer to November or December, perhaps even later. We’ll keep you updated as things progress.