A week ago, it looked like the Iowa Hawkeyes were building steady momentum on the recruiting trail. They added a high quality 3-star offensive tackle from Illinois in Bodey McCaslin to take the class of 2024 up to 10 total commitments and keep it firmly in the top-25 nationally according to all major recruiting services.
Then Iowa went out and hit a home run by adding Ohio State transfer WR Kaleb Brown later in the week. Brown became the icing on a seven layer cake full of portal additions at positions of need from places like Michigan, OSU and Virginia. The momentum was gaining steam.
On Monday, that momentum continued as the Hawkeyes picked up another commitment in the class of 2024 as Illinois offensive lineman Will Nolan became the second tackle from the Land of Lincoln to verbal to Iowa in the last week.
COMMITTED!! ⬛️— William Nolan (@WillNolan75) May 8, 2023
@CoachBarnett_OL @Hersey_Football @criles76 @TNelson_9 pic.twitter.com/lLm4v67yZp
Like McCaslin a week ago, Nolan is an intriguing pickup as an athletic, mobile and big offensive tackle prospect from the Chicago suburbs. While competing in different conferences, McCaslin and Nolan are from similar sized schools in the same class.
At 6’6” and 275 pounds, Nolan comes with an even bigger frame than McCaslin and prototypical size for an offensive tackle prospect. He’s got great reach and importantly, great mobility. On film, he does well getting out in space and hunting down would be tacklers.
As a senior at John Hersey, the Huskies ran the table in the regular season, winning their conference and making the class 7A playoffs. The Huskies utilized Nolan at left tackle, but also had him on the move, frequently hunting down corners on a version of a tunnel screen. That type of mobility and athleticism is a key building block for a tackle prospect headed to Iowa’s zone blocking scheme.
Beyond the ability to get out in space and finish run blocks with his power, Nolan shows an ability to utilize his reach to get his hands on defenders and steer them. While pass drop film is limited, that reach and mobility also stand out in those clips.
All that seems to make for a match with the Hawkeyes. Nolan told HawkeyeReport the Hawkeyes were the choice almost as soon as they became an option.
“I genuinely just love Iowa. I’ve always wanted to play for a prestigious offensive line team. The second the offer came in, I almost knew right away it’s where I’m headed.”
The cherry on top is perhaps the connection between Hersey and the Hawkeyes. Nolan’s offensive line coach at Hersey actually played for Iowa offensive line coach George Barnett at Illinois State. Small world.
Nolan ultimately chose the Hawkeyes over offers from Iowa State, Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota, Vanderbilt, Duke, Syracuse, virtually the entire MAC and others. He’s a 3-star prospect according to Rivals, 247 Sports and On3. He’s rated as the 35th overall tackle prospect in the class and the #14 overall prospect from the state of Illinois per On3.
The addition of Nolan takes Iowa’s class of 2024 up to 11 total commitments. The class is ranked 15th nationally according to 247 Sports (up to 17th per Rivals add 21st per On3). That’s good for 4th in the Big Ten (4th per Rivals and 6th per On3).
McCaslin is now the third commitment for the Hawkeyes from the state of Illinois, joining the aforementioned McCaslin and fellow offensive lineman Josh Janowski. Along with those two and Iowa native Cody Fox, Iowa now has four offensive linemen officially on board in the class of 2024 and may well be done for the class. The Hawkeyes are again expected to take around 20 total commitments this cycle.
Welcome aboard Will Nolan!