Early Returns

HI Publisher Rob Howe takes a look at five incoming freshmen he feels have the best chance to have an instant impact on the program.

Iowa CITY, Iowa - A look at the five members of the 2012 recruiting class who might make an immediate impact in their true freshmen seasons:

5. Barkley Hill, RB - The Cedar Falls product didn't receive a lot of attention from Iowa fans because he spent most of the recruiting process verbally committed to Iowa State. That shouldn't detract from his talent.

Iowa thought about taking three running backs in the class, but once it got a late pledge from Hill the Hawkeyes decided they were set. He's a very good athlete and a position of need. He should be in the mix for carries with true sophomore Jordan Canzeri and fellow true freshman Greg Garmon.

4. Cameron Wilson, WR - At least one incoming freshman is likely to see action right away at wide receiver. Wilson is the most polished of a talented group.

The Ohio native isn't going to blow anyone away with his speed, but he's by no means slow. He's a very good route runner with excellent hands. He's athletic enough to go up and get it and also uses his strength to get yards after the catch.

3. Jaleel Johnson, DT - There's a reason why Iowa and Michigan State fought over this talented tackle from the Chicago area. He's a man-child.

The lines might be the toughest places to break in for a high school player advancing to college. At 6-foot-4, 300-pounds, Johnson has the body and the mentality to succeed in the two-gap. He'll get a chance to show what he has as Iowa needs help up front.

2. Connor Kornbrath, P - Think Ryan Donahue. There's a better than average chance that the leg from West Virginia will handle the punting duties as a true freshman.

Jonny Mullings and John Wienke could provide competition for Kornbrath, but it likely won't be too stiff. The incoming recruit boasts a big leg and is a solid all-around athlete in the mold of Nate Kaeding.

1. Greg Garmon, RB - Barring an injury, the speedster from Erie, PA will play. With his skill set, he'll likely play a lot.

Garmon can get to the edge and also run up between the tackles. He catches the ball well out of the backfield, which could allow the Hawkeyes to play him in tandem with another running back by using him in the slot.

Garmon also brings a home run threat to the backfield. He's a big play waiting to happen.


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