Welcome to the beginning our preview of the 2022 Iowa Hawkeyes football season as we take a look at each and every player on the roster counting down the days to kickoff inside Kinnick Stadium on Saturday, September 3rd. You can find each player preview, as well as the complete current roster on the countdown story stream here.
Next up in the countdown is #67, defensive tackle Gennings Dunker.
Gennings Dunker – RS Freshman
Lena, IL (Lena-Winslow)
6’5”, 291 lbs
2022 Projection: reserve offensive lineman
Dunker was an early commitment to Iowa’s recruiting class of 2021. The Lena-Winslow product was a high school teammate of former defensive lineman and class of 2020 commit Isaiah Bruce who entered the transfer portal after last season. With Bruce already in the fold, Dunker announced his commitment in 2019 as just a high school sophomore.
At the time, the Hawkeyes were his only offer and he remained solid commitment, which likely held back interest from other suitors despite continued development. Dunker grew into an absolute beast as a prep and came to the Hawkeyes at virtually the same size as his listed 6’5” and 290+ pounds.
At the time of his commitment, here’s what we had to say about Dunker’s profile.
“The Lena Winslow product is a road grader up front and plays with a mean streak reminiscent of current center Tyler Linderbaum. Dunker projects as a guard at the next level and comes in with a frame ready to play early in his career.”
It’s difficult to get much more of a read on his development since signing day back in December of 2020. Dunker took a redshirt year in 2021 so was not on the field for the Hawkeyes. That came after losing his senior season in high school due to the COVID-19 pandemic, meaning the redshirt freshman hasn’t seen a live rep in two seasons.
Entering the 2022 season, Dunker figures to again be on the outside looking in when it comes to playing time. He was not listed on the spring two deeps and isn’t likely to make it into them come fall barring an injury.
That said, his future still appears bright. Dunker is a big-bodied mauler with the athleticism to get out in space and make a block. That has historically led to good things for Iowa offensive linemen.
While his body is physically ready to compete in the Big Ten, the stiff competition in front of him on the interior offensive line this fall means Hawkeye fans should expect Dunker to make an impact as an upper classmen in 2024 after Iowa loses guys like Justin Britt have departed for graduation.
Until them, we’ll keep an eye on the hype videos, training camp photos and roster weights to see how Dunker is developing. Stranger things have certainly happened than an unexpected small-town lineman bursting onto the scene and carving out a key role.