Things are really starting to heat up on the recruiting trail for the Iowa Hawkeyes. The staff picked up a pair of commitments last week as WR Desmond Hutson of Kansas City committed early in the week and was joined by Ohio LB Jestin Jacobs on Friday. That takes the class of 2019 to eight members as of today.
Here’s a look at the group:
Iowa Football Class of 2019 Commitments
|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|
|Noah Fenske||OL||New Hampton, IA||6'5"||280||3||3/2/18|
|Jack Campbell||LB||Cedar Falls, IA||6'4"||210||3||3/31/18|
|Sebastian Castro||DB||Oak Lawn, IL||6'1"||198||3||4/25/18|
|Desmond Hutson||WR||Raytown, MO||6'4"||195||3||5/8/18|
|Jestin Jacobs||LB||Clayton, OH||6'4"||205||3||5/11/18|
|Jake Karchinski||DE||De Pere, WI||6'5"||245||3||5/18/18|
|Alex Padilla||QB||Greenwood Village, CO||6'2"||195||3||6/14/18|
|Jalen Hunt||DE||Belleville, MI||6'2"||245||3||6/23/18|
|Dane Belton||DB||Tampa, FL||6'1"||185||3||6/24/18|
|Justin Britt||OL||Indianapolis, IN||6'4"||282||3||6/24/18|
|Tyler Goodson||RB||Suwanee, GA||5'10"||192||3||7/3/18|
Most recruiting pundits are putting the total class size around 18. I think that’s probably low. While it will surely be a smaller class due to the scholarship situation, I don’t expect Iowa to really ever get below 20. For now, that’s the total I’m working with. By my math, that leaves 12 more openings.
With so few openings remaining, where is the staff focusing its time? In short, on some really, really good prospects. But in terms of positions, they’re spread across the board. Here’s a look at positional needs for the class, as well as where things stand today.
*Note that the two remaining openings to get to a class of 20 would be for best available at any position.
Over the next few weeks we’ll take a look at who, specifically, Iowa fans should keep an eye on at each position. Up first is quarterback.
Iowa likes to take at least one QB in every class and this one will be no different. With three currently on scholarship and none slated to leave, it’s unlikely they’ll take more than one. However, the quality of talent in the QB room right now is incredibly high. Nate Stanley has a legit chance to take down Chuck Long’s TD record and if he can improve on his completion percentage without a major shift in his TD-INT ratio, he may well hear his name thrown around for the NFL draft next year.
Behind him is Peyton Mansell, a fan favorite following last year’s fall camp, and freshman Spencer Petras who broke a few of Jared Goff’s high school records in California before enrolling early and immediately competing with Mansell. Whoever joins the room in the class of 2019 will likely have to wait their turn before they’re handed the keys to the Iowa offense.
The coaching staff has handed out four offers in the last week at the position, but I’m going to attempt to save your scrolling thumbs and only mention two of them here.
Zach Calzada, QB
Hometown: Sugar Hill, GA (Lanier)
Calzada has absolutely exploded onto the recruiting scene of late. The 3-star prospect boasts offers from 37 schools in total, including Maryland, Minnesota, Missouri, North Carolina, NC State, Northwestern, OK State, Pitt, Princeton and a number of others.
Turn on the tape and you see why. He can make just about any throw you’d ask him to. He shows a good ability to climb the pocket when pressured and a little wiggle on the option as well. That being said, he’s clearly a pocket passer and he’s got a bit of moxie to him. He looks to me a little like a young Drew Tate. A little.
The competition will be stiff.
Connor Bazelak, QB
Hometown: Dayton, OH (Archbishop Alter)
Bazelak is a name that’s been floating around for a bit as the staff has been monitoring him for some time. He actually came to Iowa City for a camp last summer and got some time with Ken O’Keefe. Last week he got an offer from the Hawkeyes.
Similar to Calzada, Bazelak has a plethora of offers (25 to be exact). Notables include Boston College, Duke, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Missouri, North Carolina, NC State, Pitt, Purdue, Rutgers, Vanderbilt and West Virginia, as well as a good portion of the Ivy League. Again, it’s eaasy to see why on film.
He doesn’t have quite the same wiggle as Calzada, but he shows the ability to make all the throws. He’s got a big frame at 6’4” and 205 lbs, something the staff seems to be targeting with both Petras in 2018 and most of the 2019 offers.
Bazelak has said Iowa is near the top of his list, which is impressive given some of those offers, and hopes to narrow things to a top 3-4 soon. He’s also looking to get back to Iowa City in June, coincidentally when Iowa is looking to host an official visit day, and then make his final decision before the end of the month.
Again, the competition will be stiff, but Iowa seems to be in a good spot.
The other names to monitor at this point include Jacob Clark of Rockwall, Texas and Maverick McIvor of San Angelo, Texas. Like Calzada and Bazelak, both Clark and McIvor are bigger QBs at 6’4” and 6’3” respectively.
Clark has a slight Iowa connection as his step father is an Iowa grad who got Clark on campus for the Iowa-Iowa State game in 2016. While his offer list isn’t as long as the guys mentioned above, he does have a handful of power 5 offers and he’ll be a name to follow through the late spring and into summer.
Like Clark, McIvor has a slight Iowa connection. His dad, Rick, was actually recruited by the Hawkeyes under Hayden Fry. Unfortunately, he found his way up north in the midst of a cold snap and ended up at Texas. Perhaps Iowa can have better success with his son? They’ll have to fend off several other power 5 suitors, including representatives from the Big Ten, Big 12, SEC and ACC.
Whoever Iowa ends up with at QB in the class of 2019, it’s pretty clear they’ll be a taller (6’3”+) pocket passer and they’ll have some strong competition for their services. We’ll keep you updated as recruits begin to narrow their lists, schedule visits and potentially commit.