For the longest time, the Iowa Hawkeyes were known for their lack of production at wide receiver. It became a self-fulfilling prophecy wherein Iowa didn’t have good receivers, therefore good receivers wouldn’t go to Iowa.
Then offensive coordinator Brian Ferentz and wide receivers coach Kelton Copeland found something they liked. A lot. In the class of 2021, the offensive staff has tried to replicate the current mix of players like Ihmir Smith-Marsette, Brandon Smith, Tyrone Tracy Jr. and Nico Ragaini.
That’s where hybrid running back/wide receiver Arland Bruce fits in. Originally from Kansas, Bruce bought into concept and committed to the Hawkeyes back in April. A few months later, he moved to the state and teamed up with fellow WR commit Brody Brecht at Ankeny.
Today, he’s officially a Hawkeye.
So how exactly does Bruce fit into Iowa’s offense? His film looks an awful lot like current receiver Tyrone Tracy. Bruce was used as both a running back and wide receiver as a prep and finished his senior year with 55 carries for 482 yards and 6 touchdowns on the ground, as well as 21 catches for 347 yards and 4 touchdowns through the air.
Put simply, Bruce is dynamic with the ball in his hands and someone you find a way to incorporate any way you can. Out of the backfield, he has tremendous vision and the kind of wiggle that would make Tyler Goodson proud. He has breakaway speed at the second level which allows him to project as a receiver. That was a similar story for the aforementioned Tracy.
Those talents earned him 3 stars from both Rivals and 247 Sports. Aside from the Iowa offer, Bruce had offers from Tulsa, Iowa State and others.
While originally a native of Kansas, Bruce is considered one of 10 commitments in Iowa’s class of 2021 to hail from within the state’s borders. As mentioned, he’ll be joined by his Ankeny teammate at Ankeny Brody Brecht, who is also a WR. That position group will also include Nebraska native Keagan Johnson.
Welcome aboard, officially, Arland Bruce!