We continue our countdown to the start of the 2022 Iowa football season by profiling a young, heavily recruited offensive lineman who enters the year hoping to earn a spot in the Hawkeye front five.
Beau Stephens – RS Freshman
Blue Springs, MO (Blue Springs HS)
6’6”, 300 lbs.
2022 Projection: Backup offensive lineman
Beau Stephens is one of several highly coveted offensive linemen to sign with the Hawkeyes as part of their 2021 recruiting class. Stephens was a five (yes, FIVE) year letterwinner for his Missouri high school program and helped lead his team to five playoff appearances and one trip to the State Championship. Eighth graders playing varsity football is a rarity even at smaller schools, but it is virtually unheard of for someone that young to get varsity reps for a Class 6 program, the designation reserved for the state’s largest schools. By the time Stephens was a senior, he had emerged as one of the top players in the Kansas City metro area, earning first-team all-conference honors on both offense and defense. Unsurprisingly, Power Five programs started to take notice; Stephens ended his career as a four-star recruit who spurned programs like Michigan, LSU, and Texas A&M in favor of the Hawkeyes.
While Stephens saw action in only one game during his redshirt season, he could make a push for a larger role in 2022. Coaches were high on Stephens during Iowa’s spring camp, and at least one recruiting analyst projected that he had “the size and strength to play early in his career.” The bigger question may ultimately be where on the line Stephens ultimately ends up playing. Most analysts pegged him as a potential right tackle, and he could ultimately end up manning that spot if Mason Richman remains entrenched at left tackle and Connor Colby continues to play inside. However, with fellow 2021 commit David Davidkov set to push for playing time and a potential Kadyn Proctor commitment lingering in the ether, it would not be shocking to see the Hawkeyes capitalize on Stephens’ versatility and give him a shot at guard as well. Regardless of where he ultimately ends up playing, Stephens still projects as an important cog in the future of Iowa’s offensive line, even if he does not see the field much in 2022.