Iowa QB, RB Prospects

The Iowa coaches are out in the recruiting trail this month before bringing prospects to town for camps in June. Here's a look at some of the quarterbacks and running backs with Hawkeye offers and interest.

Greg Davis zeroed in on Nic Shimonek last spring as his top quarterback target. Iowa's offensive coordinator got his man in what became a rather unusually short recruitment.

Schools and prospective signal callers often are involved in a longer courtship than we saw with the Hawkeyes and Shimonek, whose other scholarship offer at the time of his commitment came from Lamar. Iowa certainly is finding that out in the 2014 cycle.

Today, we take a look at some of the quarterbacks and running backs on the Hawkeye board. Iowa is moving down its list as a result of its top targets choosing other schools and likely is looking to take one QB and two RBs.

The Hawkeyes became one of the first schools to offer a scholarship to Wheaton, IL quarterback Clayton Thorson, who visited Iowa City on several occasions. He committed to Northwestern this spring. They also offered Dimonic McKinzy of Kansas City before pulling back his opportunity and he has since verballed to Minnesota.

On the running back front, three of Iowa's top choices are off of the board. Justin Jackson (Northwestern), Jeffrey Jones (Minnesota) and Mikale Wilbon (Vanderbilt) selected other schools after visiting the Hawkeyes.

While coaches want to grab the players highest up their list, all is not lost for Iowa. There are plenty of good prospects around the country and there's a chance that a player farther down the board could outperform one who picked another program.

With that in mind, let's take a look at some other quarterback and running back recruits with known Iowa interest:

Michael O'Connor, 6-5, 205, QB, IMG Academy - Iowa reportedly offered the Bradenton, FL prospect recently. It will be interesting to see if the Hawkeyes got in early enough with O'Connor, who's Greg Pickel writes might be nearing a commitment.

Reid Travis, 6-7, 220, QB, Minneapolis De La Salle - Travis is a rare athlete with scholarship offers from BCS level football and basketball programs. He holds offers from the Hawkeyes in both sports and has visited Iowa City to meet with each coaching staff. His basketball offer list is very impressive and he could end up at a premier hoops school where he can give football a shot.

Jake Kolbe, 6-3, 185, QB, Naperville (IL) Central - Kolbe is a solid prospect who attended the Hawkeyes junior day in January. Central Michigan and Toledo have offered him a scholarship. BCS schools like Iowa, Boston College, Illinois, Indiana and Iowa State could pull the trigger down the road.

Tyler Creath, 6-1, 200, QB, Christian Brothers College (St. Louis) - Like Kolbe, Creath visited Iowa for its junior day. Arizona, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisville, Michigan State, Missouri and Western Michigan also have shown interest in him. He has not received a scholarship offer to date.

Easton Stick, 6-2, 202, QB, Creighton Prep (Omaha) - Stick and his family stopped by the Hawkeye facility this spring. South Dakota has offered him a scholarship. Iowa State, Nebraska, Northwestern and Purdue have shown him interest. He sits well with Iowa and could end up with a Hawkeye offer after further evaluation.

Sam Straub, 6-3, 210, QB, Ames - Straub dropped by spring practice at Iowa last month before competing in an Elite 11 event in Chicago. He's definitely a player on which to keep an eye as Iowa and others continue to evaluate him. Iowa State, Michigan State, Missouri and Wisconsin are showing him interest.

Chris James, 5-10, 207, RB, Notre Dame Prep (Niles, IL) - James tweeted Tuesday night that Iowa, Michigan State and Pittsburgh, in no particular order, were his top three schools. James has stated that he's taking his time with his decision. He fits well into the Iowa system as a fast back who can catch the ball well.

Markel Smith, 5-11, 210, RB, St. John Vianney (Kirkwood, MO) - Smith backed off of his Missouri commitment and Iowa sits high on his list of prospective landing spots. Smith is taking his process slowly after his decommitment and the Hawkeyes likely will see plenty of competition for his services.

Qadree Ollison, 6-1, 225, RB, Buffalo (NY) Canisius - Iowa was part of a flurry of offers that came in last month for Ollison. The Hawkeyes have stayed on him and are in good standing. If the Hawkeyes can get him across the country for a visit, they're a serious player. Pittsburgh and %%MATCH_49%% are the main competition right now and Penn State is a factor if it offers.

C.J. Hilliard, 5-10, 185, RB, Cincinnati St. Xavier - Hilliard visited Iowa for its spring game and has the Hawkeyes among his favorites. One of the interesting dynamics in his recruitment is that his younger brother, Justin Hilliard, is a top linebacker prospect in the 2015 class. More schools could end up offering C.J. in hopes of landing a package deal with his brother. Iowa has offered Justin, who also visited Kinnick Stadium for the spring game.

Taiwan Deal, 6-2, 220, RB, Dematha Catholic (Hyattsville, MD) - The Hawkeyes hit paydirt with Marcus Coker out of Dematha and have done a good job recruiting Deal. Sill, Iowa probably is on the outside looking in with schools like Wisconsin, Pittsburgh and others also pushing hard for his commitment. He has twice visited Madison.

Other QBs on radar: Stephen Barmore, Southington (CT) High; Michael Scarnecchia, Fleming Island High (Orange Park, FL).

Other RBs on radar: Arkeel Newsome, Ansonia (CT) High; Brock Broughton, Kearney (MO) High; Steve Brown, Raymore-Peculiar (MO) High; James Butler, St. Francis (IL); Jarvion Franklin, Andrew High (Tinley Park, IL); D'Anthony Cross, Thornton Township High (Harvey, IL).

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