When Iowa plays host to a big football game, rest assured events also will be happening off of the field. From the color coordination of fans in the stands to former Hawkeye and NFL standout Casey Wiegmann being honored, this weekend will be festive.
While not directed at recruits, a strong atmosphere certainly can, and does impress them. Iowa will welcome in to town a sizable group of prospects this weekend for it's Big Ten match-up with Penn State (7 pm CT, BTN).
Here's a closer look at some of them:
Ross Pierschbacher, Class of 2014, OL - The large human from Cedar Falls returns to Kinnick Stadium for a primetime game. A frequent Iowa visitor during the recruiting process, the 6-foot-5, 270-pound Pierschbacher also holds offers from Boise State, Iowa State, Nebraska, Northern Iowa (his first), Notre Dame, Oklahoma and Wisconsin.
Pierschbacher and Urbandale's Allen Lazard highlight a solid class in state. Scout.com ranks Pierschbacher as a four-star recruit and the third-ranked guard nationally for '14. Lazard, a WR, is also a four-star and ranked as the 13th-best player at his position for his class.
Clayton Thorson, '14, QB - This Wheaton, IL product appears to be at, or near the top of Iowa's wish list for '14 signal callers. He's camped with the Hawkeyes in the summer and attended the UNI game at Kinnick Stadium earlier this year. The pro-style QB holds offers from Illinois, Iowa, Northwestern, Penn State and Northern Illinois. He's said that he has no time table for a decision.
Berkley Edwards, '13, RB - The Michigan runner has officially visited Minnesota and California. This stop in Iowa City is scheduled to be an official and his final trip before deciding on a school later this month.
The Hawkeyes still are without a committed RB in the class. Edwards would seem to the top target with Rachid Ibrahim committing to Pittsurgh on Thursday.
John Kenny, '13, LB, - Kenny verballed to Iowa in April. He's continued to reaffirm that commitment amid questions that arose with the de-commitment of good friend and fellow Indianapolis area product, David Kenney.
Kenny joins Edwards as the only known official visitors this weekend. Kenny has unofficially visited Iowa City three times.
The Iowa coaches will continue to connect with Kenny in hopes of staving off pressure from Kenney and Indiana to keep him home.
"(It's) big loss for our class but we will be fine," Kenny said earlier this week about Kenney's de-commitment. "I wish him the best of luck."
Austin Roberts, '14, WR - A top-flight talent that moved from Tampa Plant to Carmel High in Indianapolis before this season, Roberts said in a text Wednesday that he's considering a visit to Iowa this weekend but it has not been set in stone.
Roberts has heard about Iowa throughout the season from his teammate, Kenny, whose locker his right next to the junior's. Kenney's de-commitment could hurt the Hawkeyes with his teammate, Dominique Booth, another WR in the '14 class, but perhaps Kenny can help with Roberts.
Scout.com ranks Roberts as the No. 19 WR nationally in '14 while Booth is 28. As you read above, Lazard is 13.
Update: Roberts said via text Saturday morning that he will not make it to Iowa City this weekend. He was going to travel with Kenny, but with Kenny on official visit, Roberts decided to wait for a later date to visit Hawkeyes.
Keegan Render, '14, OL - The Indianola High standout picked up an Iowa offer during the summer. He's also heard from Iowa State, Northern Illinois, Notre Dame and Wisconsin.
Render visited Iowa City last month for the Iowa State game. He didn't get a chance to speak with the Hawkeye coaches then but hopes to catch up with the staff this Saturday.
Render has said he wants to wait until his senior season to choose a school. It's a good sign for Iowa that he's been to two games already this season and the Hawkeyes were the first to offer a scholarship.
Jay Scheel, '14, QB - Scheel visited Iowa in August and again last month for the Iowa State game. This dynamic talent is being pursued steadily by the Hawkeyes.
Pierschbacher and Lazard overshadow Scheel, but the LaPorte City Union High star is the type of dual-threat QB Iowa covets. The Hawkeye have company. Iowa, Nebraska and Minnesota also have scholarship offer extended to him.
Mikale Wilbon, '14, RB - This talent from Chicago De La Salle has caught the eye of Michigan, Ohio State and others, but Iowa and Purdue were the first two schools to offer a scholarship.
The 5-foot-9, 192-pounder can run around and over defenders. He posted a 4.48-second, 40-yard dash at an Ohio State camp.
Brian Allen, '14, OL - An accomplished wrestler, the Hinsdale (IL) Central High product has visited Iowa a few times already. The Hawkeyes heavily recruited his brother, Jack Allen, before losing out to Michigan State.
In addition to Iowa, Allen holds offers from the Spartans, Illinois, Purdue and Wisconsin. He projects as a center and plays with a nasty streak on both sides of the ball in high school.
Aj Allen, '14, RB and Trevor Allen, '15, RB- The Waukee (Iowa) brothers are turning heads this fall with their 1-2 punch in suburban Des Moines. The younger Allen appears to be the one garnering the most attention but his sibling also is talented.
Ian Bunting, '14, WR/TE - At 6-6, 200 pounds, Brian Allen's teammate at Hinsdale Central provides a big target for his quarterback. He holds an offer from Purdue with Illinois, Iowa, Michigan State and Penn State.
Bunting has visited Northwestern, Michigan State, Illinois, Ohio State and Notre Dame so far this fall and has planned a trip to Wisconsin next weekend. He's expected to see Purdue and Michigan next month.
Class of 2013 verbal commitments Nathan Bazata, Ike Boettger, Malik Rucker Derrick Willies, Trevon Young, Sean Welsh, Brant Gressel and Matt Vandeberg have confirmed via text that they will be in Iowa City on unofficial visits. Tyler Kluver and Jon Wisnieski, also pledges in that group, were considering the trip at last check.
Reggie Spearman's tweets from earlier in the week pointed towards him possibly taking an Iowa visit. He tweeted on Thursday night that he would be visiting Iowa on Nov. 10 for the cross-division rivalry game against Purdue.
This story will be updated with the newest information on visitors, so please check back.