After reeling in a punter from Arizona State, the Iowa football program has gone back to the transfer portal.
Iowa’s defensive line has been a source of some consternation this offseason. What with Anthony Nelson somewhat-surprisingly announcing his intentions to enter the NFL draft, and since we don’t really know what’s going on with Daviyon Nixon, the Hawkeyes are looking at replacing all four starters along the defensive line. (AJE wasn’t a starter, nitpick all you want.)
And so, this morning, a guy who might be ready to play right away fell into Iowa’s lap.
Zach VanValkenburg, Michigan’s prep football player of the year in 2015, has spent the last two seasons at D-II Hillsdale College in Michigan. The 6-4, 265-pounder will have two years of eligibility left at Iowa, and can play on the interior or exterior of the line—though it would take Iowa to install some heavy Doyle-izing to try and get this kid on the interior in the near future.
He was mostly an edge rusher at Hillsdale, where he racked up 70 tackles, 14.5 for a loss, 8.5 sacks and forced 3 fumbles as a sophomore.
Iowa wasn’t the only D-I team to look at ZVV. Michigan State reportedly offered him, while Buffalo, Eastern Michigan, Toledo, UConn (lol) and Oregon State reached out as well.
His highlight reel from last season is pretty impressive:
Welcome aboard, Zach VanValkenburg! We hope to see you make opposing quarterbacks cry in the near future.