While most Hawkeye fans have spent the weekend intently focused on the two Iowa basketball programs with the men getting another thrilling, last-second win on Saturday and the women picking up another top-10 win on Sunday to slide into first place, the Iowa football program has been having itself a big weekend as well. The Hawkeyes have had more than 50 recruits on campus for one of two play junior days before spring arrives.
This first junior day was not only highly attended, but it brought in a number of highly sought after prospects from all over the country. There were a number of players in town from out of state, but perhaps more importantly some of the top priorities from the state of Iowa made the trip.
That included Cedar Rapids Xavier linebacker Ethan Hurkett. This wasn’t Hurkett’s first visit to Iowa City, but it was the first time he’s left with an offer from the Hawkeyes. He wasted little time jumping on the opportunity, committing to Iowa today.
to an original #SUposse Rough Rider, @CRXavierFB All-State LB @ethan_H116 on his offer & subsequent commitment to @HawkeyeFootball. Deserved, Earned, He #MadeItHappen. @CoachSWallace @RobHoweHN @HawkeyeReport @MatthewBain_ @AllenTrieu @SBock247 @BlairRIVALS @CoachK_Bell pic.twitter.com/1rL0Omw8CW— JC Moreau (@TheStrengthU) February 17, 2019
Hurkett is an important pick up at this stage in the class of 2020 recruiting cycle for a number of reasons. First and foremost, he’s a talented player. Despite not yet being ranked by either 247 Sports or Rivals, Hurkett is very solid at middle linebacker.
He’s got a great frame at 6’3” and 230 pounds as only a high school junior. He plays with a good motor and shows solid instincts up the middle. He finished with 64 tackles, 10 tackles for loss and a pair of sacks on Xavier’s class 3A state championship team this past season. That was good enough to earn hi 1st team All-State.
Beyond the pure talent as a linebacker, Hurkett’s frame allows further flexibility for the Hawkeye staff in this class. When the Hawkeyes landed Logan Jones of Council Bluffs Lewis Central, he became the third defensive end in the class. But with the injury to Michael Lois, the staff has been adding pieces that can play in multiple positions. For Jones, those projections include defensive end and tackle. Same of Illinois native Isaiah Bruce.
Hurkett is another with position flexibility. He could easily put on 30-40 pounds over the next couple years and project very nicely at defensive end. Xavier did put him with a hand on the ground from time to time and you can see in his strength coach’s video, he has good hands if he does end up in the trenches.
Furthermore, Hurkett is the third commitment in the class of 2020 to hail from the Hawkeye state. He’s also teammates with one of the Iowa staff’s top offensive line targets, Xavier guard Josh Volk. Volk and Kuemper Catholic defensive end Blaise Gunnerson are two of the state’s top remaining prospects in the class of 2020 and have mentioned an interest in playin together. Both have been to Iowa City a number of times and adding Hurkett can’t hurt the chances of continuing to build on a very strong group from within the state.
With the addition of Hurkett, Iowa’s class of 2020 now stands at 6 total commits. Like most year’s the group should end up somewhere north of 20 in total. So far, things have been heavy on the defensive side of the ball. In addition to Hurkett, who is the only linebacker thus far, there are the three aforementioned defensive linemen. That makes four of the six defenders. The other two members of the class are Texas QB Deuce Hogan and Des Moines running back Gavin Williams.
Welcome aboard Ethan Hurkett!