Things have not been trending well for the Hawkeyes on the field of late as Iowa has lost three straight games in the month of November. A lot of that has been related to an offense that ranks nationally in production. But the defense has remained stout and ranks top-10 nationally in virtually every statistical category.
It comes as little surprise, though perhaps some consternation, that it’s the defense which continues to hit the ground running on the recruiting trail. The Hawkeyes have put together a borderline top-25 recruiting class in 2023, driven in large part by 9 defensive commitments.
Early Saturday morning/late Friday night, just hours before the Hawkeyes play host to the Northwestern Wildcats, Phil Parker added to his haul in the class as Iowa added a commitment from Iowa Western Community College defensive tackle Anterio Thompson.
Originally from Dubuque, Thompson is a physical specimen, measuring in at 6’2” and 300 pounds. He’s the type of big body mixed with athleticism that Iowa has rarely seen and when they do, they typically only see for a season or two.
In the case of Thompson, that’s roughly in line with his timeline as things stand. A 2021 graduate of Dubuque Hempstead, Thompson took a redshirt his first season in Council Bluffs before bursting onto the scene this year. Through seven games, he’s racked up 17 tackles, 5.5 TFL and 4 sacks at DT for the Reivers.
Now, Thompson is set to graduate in December and enroll at Iowa in January with three years left to play for the Hawkeyes.
When he does join Iowa, he brings with him a physicality the Hawkeyes will need to replace in the middle of the defensive line with the graduation of Noah Shannon. The Hawkeyes have youth on the depth chart, but it’s possible we see a player like Lukas Van Ness slide outside to replace the graduating John Waggoner and Joe Evans creating a need for even more depth alongside Logan Lee and Jeremiah Pittman.
Beyond the sheer size and physicality, Thompson shows great explosion and burst on film, giving him a mix of abilities in the pass rush. He can blow past slower linemen or overpower weaker ones. Arriving in January, Thompson should have a spring and fall camp to continue developing his technique and hand placement allowing him to immediately factor into the rotation at defensive tackle in 2023.
With the addition of Thompson, Iowa now has 17 commitments in the class of 2023. It’s a class that now ranks 25th nationally according to Rivals and 30th per 247 Sports. Thompson is Iowa’s 10th commitment on Parker’s defense. He joins fellow Iowan Maddux Borcherding-Johnson at defensive tackle. He’s iowa fourth commitment in total on the defensive line, joining Colorado native Chase Brackney, Des Moines native David Caulker and Michigan native Kenny Marrieweather, all of whom are defensive end prospects.
While Thompson is set to play on Saturday, the Hawkeyes will be hosting nearly two dozen high school prospects for their homecoming matchup with Northwestern. Thompson may be the first of several weekend commitments for Iowa.
Welcome aboard Anterio Thompson!