After a blistering start to the week with three commitments in less than 24 hours, hopefully Hawkeye fans took some time on Wednesday to catch their breath. Iowa football took the day off from raking in commitments on the back of their big 2024 official visit weekend, but the time to rest has already ended.
On Thursday, the Iowa football staff picked up where they left off on Tuesday by adding their fourth commitment of the week when 3-star Illinois wide receiver KJ Parker announced his intent to be a Hawkeye.
Parker, who will be a senior at Immaculate Conception Catholic Prep where he’s coached by former Hawkeye Matt Bowen, is a versatile playmaker on the outside. At 5’11” and 170 pounds, he’s got a smaller frame than in-state receiver Reece Vander Zee, who committed earlier this week.
Instead, Parker projects more as a slot receiver with top end speed that will allow him to excel both on routes over the middle and downfield. On film, he shows a diverse route tree with lateral quickness used to make defenders miss with the ball in his hands. At the prep level, his speed also allows him to simply outrun defenders on downfield routes and once he’s made the catch.
Those skills helped Parker haul in 37 catches for 1,082 yards and 17 TDs as a junior at IC Catholic. Those numbers earned him the honors of Metro Suburban Blue Conference Player of the Year, as well as Illinois Class 3A All-State.
So what drew Parker to Iowa City?
“What really made me decide on committing to the University of Iowa is the brotherhood there,” Parker told HawkeyeReport.com. “I feel the love from everyone and everywhere I go. Iowa is truly a special place and I’m happy to be taking my hard work and talent there.”
Having a program advocate like Matt Bowen as your coach doesn’t hurt either.
Parker chose the Hawkeyes over offers from Cincinnati, Wisconsin, Iowa State, Buffalo, Western Michigan, Miami (OH), Ohio, Toledo and others. The addition of Parker takes Iowa’s class of 2024 up to 16 total commitments. The class is ranked 30th nationally according to On3 (32nd per Rivals and 26th per 247 Sports). That’s good for 8th in the Big Ten (9th per Rivals and 7th per 247 Sports).
With the Hawkeyes now having their QB, a pair of RBs, a pair of TEs, four offensive linemen and now two WRs already committed in the class of 2024, the staff is likely nearly done on the offensive side of the ball. Iowa is still expected to make a run at one more receiver this cycle and already has an official visit scheduled with a talented WR from Florida this fall, but the early momentum means the staff is ahead of the game and can focus its efforts on a few top priorities while also getting a head start on the class of 2025.
Welcome aboard KJ Parker!