The Iowa Hawkeyes have a culture built on hard work, development and measuring success solely by on-field results. After a season like we just witnessed, however, it’s easy to see how some programs can get caught up in the off-season hype. When things don’t go well on the field, looking to the future is the only solace in a dark world.
Fortunately for the Hawkeyes, the darkness of this past season still nearly resulted in a Big Ten West title and the hopes for this offseason have kicked off with a major bang. That came as Iowa added the first major transfer portal name when former Michigan QB Cade McNamara announced his decision to join the Hawkeyes. Iowa has since added McNamara’s former teammate TE Erick All.
The Hawkeyes will surely continue to look for additions via the transfer portal as the staff is currently following more than two dozen portal entrants, but it’s time to shift focus from the portal onto the recruiting class of 2023.
Over the years, this Iowa staff has built a reputation as a developmental program that can take under the radar prospects and turn them into NFL players. But success on the field, as well as an uptick in talent across the state of Iowa has meant a surge in recruiting for the Hawkeyes. Since 2020, Iowa’s recruiting class has been ranked no lower than 30th nationally according to Rivals. That’s up from an average of 51st nationally in the ten years that preceeded.
Now, the Hawkeyes are again poised to haul in a top-30 class nationally, though the makeup of the official class is perhaps in limbo as the letter of intent begin to roll in on the first signing period of the cycle.
Let’s revisit some of the key details to know on signing day.
Open Scholarships for 2023: 26
Potential Super Seniors: 3
After several consecutive years with relatively small classes, Iowa is poised to bring in one of its larger recruiting classes in some time for 2023. While the Hawkeyes have historically kept their classes under 20 total commitments, Iowa is expected to finish out 2023 in the 20-25 commitment range. And that’s before we factor in transfers.
As it stands, Iowa has 21 players committed before the early signing period opens on Wednesday and 26 total open scholarships. Both of those numbers are fluid. After a weekend visit to Alabama, 5-star offensive tackle Kadyn Proctor is expected to flip his commitment to the Tide. On the flip side, Iowa is expected to add at least one more commitment between now and the end of the first day of the early period.
And as we see every year, there are sure to be further departures following the bowl game on New Year’s Eve. Those open scholarships are likely to be spread between current walk-ons already in the program and several additional transfer portal additions. Iowa is expected to take 5-8 total portal commitments ahead of spring practice.
Here’s a look at the class as it stands entering signing day.
Teegan Davis, CB - Princeton, IL
Dayton Howard, WR - Kansas City, MO
Jarriett Buie, WR - Tampa, FL
Kamari Moulton, RB - Fort Lauderdale, FL
Kade Pieper, OL - Norfolk, NE
Anterio Thompson, DT - Council Bluffs, IA (Iowa Western CC)
Kahlil Tate, S - Chicago, IL
Kenny Merrieweather, DE - Detroit, MI
Zach Ortwerth, TE - St. Louis, MO
Kadyn Proctor , OL - Pleasant Hill, IA
Trevor Lauck, OL - Indianapolis, IN
Cannon Leonard, OL - Gilman, IL
Aidan Hall, LB - Harlan, IA
Zach Lutmer, S - Rock Rapids, IA
John Nestor, S - Chicago, IL
Leighton Jones, OL - Brownsburg, IN
Alex Mota, WR - Marion, IA
Chase Brackney, DE - Englewood, CO
Marco Lainez, QB - Princeton, NJ
Ben Kueter, LB - Iowa City, IA
M. Borcherding-Johnson, DT - Norwalk, IA
Historically, we’ve seen a flurry of LOIs coming in during the early morning hours on signing day with a few stragglers into the afternoon as some prospects hold signing day ceremonies. This year is expected to be similar with the majority of commits making things official on Wednesday morning.
Stay tuned here as we’ll be posting live updates throughout signing day, including a story on each signing as it becomes official and a recap of the class once things are finalized in the coming days. We’ll also have a signing day open thread for discussion on not only Iowa’s, but other signing day events from around college football.