We did this last year and now we’re striking up the band again this year.
HawkeyeReport.com publisher Tom Kakert will drop in with an occasional post on a topic that enthralls the masses (seriously): recruiting.
Iowa has a good number of prospects in the 2014 class. Many of them have committed, but not all. Tom also looks ahead to the 2015 class.
Thanks to Tom for the post (it’s good stuff, I learned a lot). I’ll be doing a chat on his site around 7 p.m. tonight.
With the Iowa/Iowa State game on tap this weekend, it’s a good time to look at some of the top recruiting prospects in the state of Iowa for 2014 and 2015.
It’s certainly an interesting year for in-state recruiting in the state of Iowa for the Class of 2014. With three prospects rated as four star prospects and two of those players in the Top 100 nationally, the state of Iowa has a bumper crop of talent.
Thus far, of the higher end prospects, decisions have already been made. It should be noted that all commitments at this point are of the verbal variety and are non-binding agreements. Prospect will be able to sign with the college program of their choice on the first Wednesday in February 2014.
The state’s highest ranked prospect is wide receiver Allen Lazard, who is committed to Iowa State. The 6-foot-5 receiver is ranked as the 37th best prospect according to Rivals.com and has multiple offers from some of the top programs in the country. His father played for the Cyclones and his brother is current a walk-on at Iowa State, so his commitment appears to be very solid. Lazard has said that the only way he might have second thoughts is if there was a coaching change in Ames and that appears to be unlikely.
The second highest rated prospect in Iowa is Ross Pierschbacher from Cedar Falls, who comes in at #88 according to Rivals.com. You could probably write a book about Pierschbacher’s recruiting saga over the summer with all of the twists and turns that it took.
Without going into all the details, the four star offensive tackle grew up a Hawkeye fan and verbally committed to Iowa in January. Alabama offered a few months later and eventually this summer he took visits to Stanford and Alabama. Following those visits he bounced back and forth between the Tide and the Hawkeyes before switching his commitment to Alabama. I still don’t think the final chapter in his book has been written, especially if Iowa shows progress this fall.
The final four star is Jay Scheel, and athlete/quarterback from Union HS in La Porte City. He is just outside Rivals.com’s Top 250, but earned his ranking. He has been committed to Iowa since late January and remains solid in that pledge.
The Hawkeyes have done very well with the rest of the top in-state prospects in the Class of 2014, securing verbal commitments from three other players. Leading that list is three star defensive end Matt Nelson from Xavier High School in Cedar Rapids. Nelson turned down offers from Notre Dame and Stanford when he picked the Hawkeyes.
A pair of three star offensive linemen are also on board with Iowa. Keegan Render from Indianola picked Iowa over Iowa State and Lucas LeGrand from Dubuque grew up a Hawkeye fan and committed shortly after being offered.
The only other prep prospect in the state of Iowa to commit to a BCS level school from the Class of 2014 is defensive end Glyeb Ewing from Waukon. He has verbally committed to Oregon State this summer and it should be noted did not receive an offer from Iowa or Iowa State.
Like I said, this is a pretty strong year for in-state prospects in terms of top end prospects, but there’s depth as well. I suspect that before we get to signing day there are several other prospects that will eventually land offers from either Iowa, Iowa State, or perhaps both schools.
Some of the names to watch include:
Rico Gafford, a fast athlete from Des Moines Dowling, who probably projects to the defensive backfield in college. He current holds an offer from Northern Iowa.
Cole Tuner is a bruising offensive lineman from Cedar Rapids Xavier and the best guess is he plays guard at the college level. He holds offers from Illinois State, South Dakota State, and Western Illinois.
Ross Reynolds is another interior lineman who Iowa has shown interest in. Reynolds, who is from Waukee High School, has offers from Illinois State, Missouri State, South Dakota, South Dakota State, and Western Illinois.
Jacob Sobotka is a big 6-foot-3 athlete from Mount Ayr and recently visited Iowa City. He probably projects to linebacker or defensive line in college.
A.J. Allen is a very good athletic linebacker prospect from Waukee who was invited to Iowa City for their summer BBQ in the middle of August. He continues to hear from Iowa, Iowa State, and UNI.
Daniel Vega is a very intriguing prospect out of Cedar Rapid Xavier. At 6-foot-4 and 260 pounds, he is a dominant player on the field. He has offers from Illinois State, Western Illinois, South Dakota, and North Dakota.
Anthony Holmes is a 6-foot-6 wide receiver who recently moved from Colorado and has settled in at Des Moines Valley High School. Iowa has shown interest in Holmes and he has visited Iowa City a couple of times.
Looking ahead to the Class of 2015, three prospects really jump out as early potential high three or low four star prospects. The top two prospects in the 2015 group are Levi and Landan Paulsen. As you might have guessed, they are twin brothers and they are both 6-foot-6 and 260 pounds. Both project to the offensive line and Iowa has jumped in early with a scholarship offers for the Woodbury Central prep standouts.
Iowa already has one verbal commitment in the Class of 2015 and that is from Jacob Newborg from West Lyon High School. At 6-foot-2 and 270 pounds, Newborg projects to the guard or center position at the college level.
One name to watch early on as far as quarterbacks is Dowling standout Ryan Boyle. He is coming off ACL surgery, but the 6-foot-1 and 205 pounder is a very good athlete and Iowa has shown a lot of interest in him early on in the recruiting process.