The class of 2021 just had their signing day a few short weeks ago, but in the world of college football recruiting, coaching staffs never get a break. That’s no different in Iowa City, where the Hawkeyes have already turned their attention to the class of 2022.
After landing a top-25 class in 2021, Iowa is looking to build on that momentum for the next class. They got off to an excellent early start when in state 4-star class of ‘22 defensive end Aaron Graves committed to the Hawkeyes back in 2019. Now they have bookends as Graves helped Iowa to reel in another big time defensive end.
This time it’s Kansas native Caden Crawford, who committed to the Hawkeyes on Wednesday.
Like Graves, who Crawford has developed a bond with throughout the recruiting process, Crawford is an explosive playmaker off the edge.
He has a tremendous frame for the position at 6’5” and 240 pounds as a high school junior. Look for him to add some bulk as he enters the program and makes the shift to a full time defensive lineman after playing as an outside linebacker/hybrid edge rusher at Lansing High in Kansas.
As junior, Crawford used that explosiveness and a nice combination of power with quick hands to rack up 78 tackles, 18 TFL and 4 sacks.
Crawford chose Iowa over offers from Oklahoma State, Nebraska, Minnesota and Kansas State as well as interest from a number of other power 5 programs. He committed to Iowa despite being unable to take an official visit due to the ongoing dead period in the NCAA. He was set to take a self-guided trip through Iowa City last weekend, but decided to wait because he wanted to do it alongside Graves, who was preoccupied wrestling in the state meet.
The two will now have plenty of time to visit together as Iowa’s first two commits in the class of 2022. While Graves is rated as a 4-star prospect, Crawford is not far behind as a very high 3-star. Despite having just two commits in the class, the Hawkeyes now have the 26th rated class in the nation for 2022. Look for that to continue to rise as the class fills out.
Welcome aboard Caden Crawford!