Our next Hawkeye is our first player from in-state!
John Waggoner – RS Freshman
West Des Moines, IA (Dowling Catholic)
6’5”, 267 lbs
2019 Projection: Backup defensive end
Waggoner’s recruitment to Iowa was not as foregone a conclusion as one might expect from the #1 prospect in the state. The Hawkeyes were the second to offer, following Iowa State, before his junior year of high school. After performing well that season, a number of other schools jumped into the fray – 247sports detailed offers from a number teams, including blue bloods Oklahoma, LSU, Michigan, and Penn State.
He committed in December 2017 to join a deep defensive line as Daviyon Nixon (again), Noah Shannon, and Tyler Linderbaum were also a part of his class. With some weight to gain (the linked bio had him at 230), he used to redshirt year to beef up and build a good rapport with teammates.
Anthony Nelson’s departure to the NFL has opened up the opportunity for a backup role with Iowa’s goal to have a rotation of defensive linemen and early returns are as expected. Iowa is experimenting with linebackers as stand-up defensive ends so their inclusion might dampen some impact he might have in the pass rush game.
It’s tough to project how much he’ll play next year but he should factor into the rotation before becoming a much bigger piece of Iowa’s defense in the coming years.
Time to inject some 3+ year old highlights into your veins!