With just a few weeks left before signing day, HawkeyeReport.com publisher Tom Kakert drops by with a recruiting update.
I think Iowa might be done. It looks like from Tom’s post that Iowa might be looking at one more O-lineman. That would put the Hawkeyes at 20 and leave them some work to do to put the roster at 85 (I think three schollies over, and they have until August to arrive at the number).
Here’s Tom’s post (I think it’s safe to assume Jay Scheel will not be a QB):
With a little more than a week left before signing day, it’s starting to look like Kirk Ferentz and his staff might be just about done when it comes to the Class of 2014 signees.
When Ferentz has been asked about the size of the 2014 class, he has always indicated that the low 20’s was about all this class could hold. Currently Iowa sits at 19 verbal commitments and frankly unless something somewhat unexpected pops up in the next week or so as far as official visitors, they may be just about done.
One prospect that may end up with a full ride as soon as this weekend is 6-foot-3 and 290 pound Ross Reynolds from Waukee, IA. This week, Iowa assistant coach Reese Morgan indicated to Reynolds was going to be on scholarship. Morgan always seems to get an in-state prospect as a last minute addition to the class and this year it will likely be Reynolds.
There is a chance that Reynolds could be in this year’s group that signs on February 5th or he may grayshirt, which means he goes on scholarship in January of 2015. One thing that is very certain is that Reynolds is going to take the Hawkeyes up on the offer and the best guess is it will be finalized this weekend when he makes an official visit.
Reynolds scholarship being active now or nearly a year from now might depend on what happens with another offensive line prospect Chukwuma Okorafor, a 6-foot-6 and 285 pounder from Michigan. Despite pulling in offers from Iowa, Oklahoma, Florida, and others, Okorafor is sticking with his early pledge to Western Michigan. Why would he stick with that early pledge to a MAC school over offers from more prestigious schools? Simple, Okorafor is new to the country and he has very little history when it comes to college football and where programs stand. Plus, he is very close to his family. There is always a chance that he will schedule a last minute visit next weekend, but right now it looks like he done with recruiting and will stick with his original choice.
Beyond the decisions to be made regarding adding one more offensive lineman, it looks like Iowa may be done with the 2014 class. The Hawkeyes have put some feelers out in the past week or so to a couple of defensive back prospects on the east coast, but it seems somewhat unlikely that they will get a visit or land a commitment from them. So, it looks like the final number will more than likely end up being 20 new Hawkeyes on February 5th.
Currently with 19 commitments, Rivals.com has Iowa’s class ranked 53rd in the country and 9th in the Big Ten. The Hawkeyes have a pair of four star commitments in this class in quarterback Tyler Wiegers from Michigan and athlete/WR Jay Scheel from La Porte City, IA.
When you look at this class overall, the Hawkeyes seemed to do a nice job of filling needs at linebacker and defensive back. Iowa lost three senior linebackers after the 2013 season and they will be filling those holes with four new freshmen in the fall. At defensive back, Iowa didn’t have a significant loss in terms of numbers, but they are adding in five new players in this class at cornerback and safety.
If there was a position where Iowa might have come up short in their goals for the Class of 2014, it’s probably on the offensive and defensive line. After his early commitment to Iowa, actually the first prospect to give a verbal to the Hawkeyes, Cedar Falls prep Ross Pierschbacher flipped to Alabama late in the summer. That left a hole on the offensive line, possibly at tackle, and the Hawkeyes really never filled it with a natural tackle prospect. Iowa is getting three good in-state players in Reynolds, Lucas LeGrand and Keegan Render, but a more natural tackle prospect would have been nice in this class.
On the defensive line, Iowa would have liked to have added another defensive end prospect with strong rushing the passer possibilities. While Iowa is adding Matt Nelson from Cedar Rapids Xavier, who turned down Notre Dame and Stanford to stay close to home, one more end would have been a nice addition to this class. A name to potentially watch into the spring is Torey Hendrick from Brooklyn, NY. He is still working through some academic related issues and more than likely will have to spend another year at the junior college level, but there is a chance he could end up in the 2014 class and Iowa would welcome the 6-foot-4 and 230 pound pass rusher.
While the 2014 class may not end up highly ranked by Rivals.com, it’s still a solid class with several potential contributors early on in their careers. Something to watch for in 2015 is the bump that the Hawkeyes might get on the recruiting trail coming off an 8-4 season. As we have learned over the years, the recruiting bump of a good season generally comes the following year.
Iowa already has commitments from two prospects in 2015 in in-state prospect Jake Newborg and Chicago area quarterback Jack Beneventi. Both are three star prospects according to Rivals.com. The Hawkeyes may be getting some good news fairly soon from the 2015 class with possible commitments from Levi and Landon Paulsen from Moville, IA. The Paulsen twins are stand 6-foot-6 and weigh in at about 260 pounds and project to the offensive line. They are currently considered strong leans towards the Hawkeyes and it seems like they could commit fairly soon.
The Hawkeyes also hosted a Junior Day last weekend with several highly rated prospects on campus for the day. One of the big names in Iowa City was Jashon Cornell, a 6-foot-3 and 240 pound defensive end with offers from just about every major program in the country.
Cornell is rated as the 74th best player in the Class of 2015 and the Minnesota native has been to Iowa City several times in the past year. Iowa has also recently offered Brady Reiff, the younger brother of former Hawkeye Riley Reiff. The 6-foot-3 and 215 pound Reiff has said he is a heavy lean to follow in his older brother’s footsteps to Iowa City.
If you are looking ahead, the Class of 2015 doesn’t appear to be a big one in terms of scholarship numbers with just 14 seniors on scholarship currently on the roster, so keep that in mind when you see the commitments continue to come in this spring and summer.
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