Sometimes, it just takes one minor thing to start the ball of momentum rolling. For the Hawkeyes, after things came to a standstill on the recruiting trail as the football season kicked off, perhaps it was the homecoming weekend jam-packed with recruits that is poised to set the ball rolling once again.
That big weekend got off on the right foot with the announcement by Iowa Western DT Anterio Thompson that he would be joining the Hawkeyes. On Friday night, Florida RB Kamari Moulton kept the momentum going.
Now, just a few hours later, Iowa has received a second commitment from last weekend’s group of visitors as former North Dakota State commit Kade Pieper announced he is now a Hawkeye.
Pieper is an intriguing prospect for Iowa. At 6’4” and 235 pounds, the Norfolk, Nebraska native looks like a prototypical build for an Iowa tight end. But Pieper is not a tight end. At Norfolk Catholic, he plays both ways lining up primary at defensive and offensive line.
When you turn on the film, you immediately see the type of physicality, athleticism and toughness that Iowa has begun to target on the interior of the offensive line. Ever since the Tyler Linderbaum experiment turned a defensive tackle into an All-American center, Iowa has been looking to replicate that success in each recruiting class. Even this year’s starting center, Logan Jones, is a converted defensive lineman.
Pieper looks to be in a similar mold. He moves well for his size, which shows through on both sides of the ball on film. But what really jumps off the screen is his physicality and that nasty streak we’ve come to look for in Hawkeye linemen. Perhaps that’s what drew North Dakota State to Pieper. The Bison have built a reputation of their own for developing offensive linemen.
Beyond NDSU, Pieper also held offers from North Dakota and South Dakota, but given his lack of size for an offensive lineman he had no power five offers and was rated as just a 2-star athlete by Rivals. 247 Sports did not assign a rating.
Look for Pieper to come to Iowa City with another 10-15 pounds already on his frame and looking to add 25-30 pounds in a redshirt year. At 270-280 pounds, he would then be primed to begin competing as a redshirt freshman while continuing to develop his technique and filling out his frame further.
After Moulton committed earlier on Friday evening, Pieper takes Iowa’s recruiting class of 2023 to 19 total commitments. That’s still good for 24th nationally according to Rivals and 28th per 247 Sports. Keep your eyes peeled as there are rumblings the Hawkeyes may not be done with their homecoming haul.
Welcome aboard Kade Pieper!