'15 Football Big Board

Hawkeye Insider Publisher Rob Howe offers Iowa fans a Recruiting Big Board listing 20 prospects the program would like to land.

With eight verbal commitments in the fold heading into the important month of May, Iowa was positioned to finish the Class of 2015 off strong. The Hawkeyes have addressed needs with instate linemen and have secured three prospects expected to get their first college look at quarterback.

I've resisted posting a recruiting board for years just because of the fluidity to recruiting. But as long as you don't hold me to this thing, I'm committed to sticking with it going forward.

So, for better or worse, here's my first attempt at a "Big Board." I'll try to update it every week or so or as needed when a player commits.

Note: These players all have reportedly received Hawkeye offers and are uncommitted.

2015 Recruiting Big Board
Location:Saint Paul, MN
High School: Cretin Derham Hall
Size: 6-3.5/245
Position: DE
National Position Rank: 8
Scholarship Offers: Too many to list. Nationally prominent programs like Florida, Michigan, Notre Dame, Ohio State and Oklahoma all have extended opportunities.

The Skinny: Iowa jumped in early on Cornell and he has visited the school on multiple occasions, most recently for a junior day in the winter. Within the last month, he announced on social media that he would be releasing a list of his Top 10 schools but that never materialized. Cornell is a tough read and is playing his cards close to the vest. Defensive end is the biggest need for the Hawkeyes and Cornell is No. 1 on the board. He has a relationship with former Iowa end Broderick Binns and knows the Hawkeye staff. His main connection, however, was Eric Johnson, who recently left the program.

Rob's Favorite: Notre Dame

Location:Cincinnati, OH
High School: Saint Xavier
Size: 6-1.5/210
Position: OLB
National Position Rank: 4
Scholarship Offers: Hilliard can pick his spot. Big boys Alabama, Michigan, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Oklahoma and USC all are in pursuit.

The Skinny: Hilliard has been building a relationship with the Hawkeyes since before his older brother, C.J. Hilliard, chose them last spring. Justin has said he would be fun to play with his sibling but has let it be known that he would pick the school he felt was best for him. The younger Hilliard fits perfectly into Iowa's defensive scheme as an athletic backer who can run sideline to sideline and hit. Can the Hawkeyes convince him turn away Nick Saban and Urban Meyer? It's a tall task.

Rob's Favorite: Alabama

Location:Warren, OH
High School: Harding
Size: 6-4/270
Position: C/G
National Position Rank: 7
Scholarship Offers: Daniels is one of the most sought after interior offensive linemen in the country. Arkansas, Auburn, Miami, Michigan State, Ohio State, Penn State, UCLA and Wisconsin are among his long list of offers.

The Skinny: Like Hilliard, Daniels has a younger sibling at Iowa. LeShun Daniels is a true sophomore running back there. James Daniels has visited Iowa City on multiple occasions, most recently for the spring game a few weeks ago. The last stop really connected him with the Hawkeyes, in particular offensive line Coach Brian Ferentz. Iowa made a nice move. LeShun Daniels Sr. played on the offensive line at Ohio State and briefly with the Minnesota Vikings. The Buckeyes could be tough to beat here.

Rob's Favorite: Ohio State

4. Hale Hentges
Location:Jefferson City, MO
High School: Helias
Size: 6-4/230
Position: TE
National Position Rank: 4
Scholarship Offers: Alabama, Auburn, Florida State, Georgia, LSU, Michigan, Missouri, Ohio State, Oklahoma and Texas, among others.

The Skinny: Like many on this list, Hentges has visited Iowa on multiple occasions. He told me last month that Iowa still is in the picture despite him having his choice of prominent programs nationally. The Hawkeyes jumped in very early with an offer and his father was recruited by Kirk Ferentz back in the '80s before choosing Iowa State. Iowa's long and successful history at tight end gives them a shot.

Rob's Favorite: Missouri

Location:Columbia, MO
High School: Rock Bridge Senior
Size: 6-3/190
Position: WR
National Position Rank: 9
Scholarship Offers: Alabama, Clemson, Florida State, Missouri, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Oregon, Stanford and others.
The Skinny: Ofodile visited Iowa for a spring practice, met with quarterback commit Ryan Boyle and left town impressed. He also sat in on a position meeting, met with current Hawkeye receivers and watched film. Wideout has been one of the more difficult spots to recruit during Ferentz Era and Odofile keeping Iowa in it might be a good sign. He's expected to cut his list to 10 at the beginning of June. It will be interesting to see if he leaves Columbia, where his father played for the Tigers.

Rob's Favorite: Missouri

Location:Woodbridge, VA
High School: Hylton
Size: 6-5/305
Position: G
National Position Rank: 4
Scholarship Offers: Alabama, Clemson, Florida, Florida State, Georgia, LSU, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Penn State, South Carolina, Texas, Texas A&M and others.
The Skinny: Burrell told us last month that he really has connected with Iowa Assistant Chris White and hoped to visit the school soon. That, obviously, will be the key. The Hawkeyes history on the offensive line usually gets them into the conversation but pulling top-ranked kids from other parts of the country remains a huge challenge.

Rob's Favorite: Penn State

Location:Downers Grove, IL
High School: North
Size: 6-6/225
Position: TE
National Position Rank: 8
Scholarship Offers: Illinois, Indiana, Iowa State, Syracuse, Vanderbilt, Wisconsin.
The Skinny: Edwards is a running quarterback in high school and projects as an athletic tight end or left tackle at the next level. He's visited Iowa multiple times, the last time in early April when coaches explained their vision to him. They sold him on the chance of coming in at tight end and perhaps growing into the next great left tackle at the school, following in the footsteps of Robert Gallery, Marshal Yanda, Bryan Bulaga, Riley Reiff and Brandon Scherff. He liked the idea.

Rob's Favorite: Iowa

Location:Forestville, MD
High School: Bishop McNamara
Size: 5-11/176
Position: CB
National Position Rank: 48
Scholarship Offers: Illinois, Kentucky, Maryland, Ohio State, Virginia Tech.
The Skinny: The Hawkeyes just offered White on Thursday morning but have been recruiting him for quite some time. He knows incoming recruits Omar Truitt and Miles Taylor along with current Hawkeye, Nico Law, at whose alma mater he plays. White said he will visit Iowa this summer and is seriously considering it as an option. In these pass happy days, you can never have enough corners. And keeping the DMV pipeline open also would be great for the Hawkeyes.

Rob's Favorite: Iowa

Location:De Soto, TX
High School: De Soto
Size: 5-11/315
Position: DT
National Position Rank: 30
Scholarship Offers: Arizona State, Texas Christian, Texas, Wisconsin.
The Skinny: Big Ten teams like to run the football and English likes to clog up the lanes. He's said he will visit Iowa and that's good news for the Hawkeyes. It's usually a challenge to pull kids with Texas offers out of the Lone Star State but Iowa's success with defensive tackles and the NFL could help here. He was committed to the Longhorns before opening things up and the competition will be stiff.

Rob's Favorite: TCU

Location:Kansas City, MO
High School: Winnetonka
Size: 6-1/190
Position: S
National Position Rank: 31
Scholarship Offers: Cincinnati, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas State, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska and others.
The Skinny: Iowa is trying to strike it rich at Winnetonka two years in a row after landing linebacker Aaron Mends in the '14 class. Doherty is a very good athlete who also excels on the baseball diamond. He wants to play both sports at the next level and Iowa is among the schools that have offered that opportunity. Doherty has been saying for a while that he wants to visit the Hawkeyes but hasn't fit it into his busy schedule thus far.

Rob's Favorite: Missouri

Location:Chicago, IL
High School: Gordon Tech
Size: 6-5/265
Position: DE
National Position Rank: 34
Scholarship Offers: Arizona, Arizona State, Illinois, Penn State, Tennessee and others.
The Skinny: Williams visited Iowa during spring practice and it's a school he likes a lot, according to what he told us in a recent story. He would fill a position of need and it would be nice for Iowa to make more moves in Chicago after being silent there in the last cycle.

Rob's Favorite: Iowa

12. Justin Jinning
Location:The Colony, TX
High School: The Colony
Size: 6-1.5/205
Position: OLB
National Position Rank: 42
Scholarship Offers: Iowa.
The Skinny: Iowa identified Jinning early in the process. Like Aaron Mends, he's a big undersized compared to prototypes, but he can hit and run. Schools like Missouri, Baylor, Arkansas and Kansas State are keeping tabs on Jinning and the longer his recruitment lasts the more competition the Hawkeyes figure to face. However, right now, they are building the relationship. One stumbling block could be his desire to study aerospace engineering, a major not offered at Iowa.

Rob's Favorite: Iowa

Location:Indianapolis, IN
High School: Bishop Chatard
Size: 6-6/295
Position: OT
National Position Rank: 46
Scholarship Offers: Cincinnati, Indiana, Kentucky, Minnesota, Purdue, Syracuse.
The Skinny: McCann was one of the first offensive linemen offered by Iowa in the 2015 Class. He has visited the school on multiple occasions but things have been quite with his recruitment most of the spring. O-Line is a big need for the Hawkeyes in this class and McCann is a key target.

Rob's Favorite: Indiana

Location:Cedar Hill, TX
High School: Cedar Hill
Size: 6-0/196
Position: RB
National Position Rank: 50
Scholarship Offers: Clemson, Florida, Maryland, Mississippi, Northwestern, Ohio State, SMU, Texas Tech and Wisconsin.
The Skinny: Ware was scheduled to visit Iowa for the spring game but canceled due to a track meet in which he was involved. The Hawkeyes have offered several running backs in this class and Ware is high on the board.

Rob's Favorite: Iowa

Location:Nixa, MO
High School: Nixa
Size: 6-2/220
Position: RB
National Position Rank: 59
Scholarship Offers: Mississippi State, Purdue, Illinois, Iowa State.
The Skinny: Murphy visited Iowa City for a junior day when it snowed. He enjoyed it, which says a lot, considering the weather scares away some prospects. Murphy is a bruising back with deceptive speed and shiftiness.

Rob's Favorite: Iowa

Location:Lincolnshire, IL
High School: Stevenson
Size: 6-2/175
Position: WR
National Position Rank: 59
Scholarship Offers: Boston College, Illinois, Iowa State, Nebraska, Northwestern, Purdue.
The Skinny: The son of former Notre Dame and Chicago Bears running back Mark Green, Cameron doesn't appear to be in a hurry to make a decision. He said he likes Iowa but the Hawkeyes likely will need to hop other Big Ten teams to land the talented wideout.

Rob's Favorite: Northwestern

17. Jaelen Austin
Location:Grand Prairie, TX
High School: South Grand Prairie
Size: 6-2/190
Position: WR
National Position Rank: 69
Scholarship Offers: Arkansas, TCU, Texas Tech, Baylor, Kansas State, Mississippi, Nebraska, Texas A&M.
The Skinny: In the driver's seat for much of Austin's early recruitment, Iowa appears to be moving to the second row. He still lists the Hawkeyes among his favorites but it appears he's waiting for bigger-named schools to offer. He recently visited Alabama and has been to Texas on multiple occasions.

Rob's Favorite: Texas Tech

Location:Princeton, NJ
High School: The Hun School
Size: 6-1/195
Position: OLB
National Position Rank: NR
Scholarship Offers: Boston College, Rutgers.
The Skinny: Sharp visited Iowa for the spring game and enjoyed his time at the Big Ten school. He said the Hawkeyes moved to the top of his last after the stop. Even so, he still hasn't committed and the door being open makes it less likely Iowa lands this talented defender the longer it remains that way.

Rob's Favorite: Iowa

19. Bryce Balous
Location:McKinney, TX
High School: McKinney North
Size: 5-11, 180
Position: S
National Position Rank: NR
Scholarship Offers: Iowa. The Skinny: Like Jinning, Iowa is in early and building a relationship with Balous, who recently ran a 4.39, 40 at a Nike Combine. Balous told us that he will be visiting Iowa in June and that could make an impact on the Texan as the new facilities draw closer to completion.

Rob's Favorite: Iowa

Location:Lorain, OH
High School: Lorain City
Size: 6-4/215
Position: DE
National Position Rank: 70
Scholarship Offers: IIllinois, Syracuse, MAC schools.
The Skinny: Iowa is building a relationship with Berry and hopes to get him on campus to show him how much they could use his athleticism at defensive end. Berry seems to be taking his time with his recruitment which often times means the prospect is waiting for other offers.

Rob's Favorite: Ohio State


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