IOWA CITY, Iowa - There's been a lot of movement in Iowa recruiting since early July when we last posted a Hawkeye Insider Big Board for the 2015 Recruiting Class. Nate Vejvoda, Emmanuel Ogwo and James Daniels have committed in that time.
With 14 known verbal pledges in this cycle, Iowa has moved to an estimated three fourths of completion with this group. Coach Kirk Ferentz said it would end up in the mid to high teens, pending attrition.
Ogwo and Adrian Falconer provide the Hawkeyes with two projected wide receivers in this class. They're probably done with that position after signing six at it last year. Quarterback also has closed with Jack Beneventi, Ryan Boyle and Drew Cook in the fold.
Ferentz said a few weeks ago in Chicago that Iowa was targeting defense and skill positions with its remaining rides. The secondary, D-End, offensive tackle and running back appeared to be areas of need.
So, with that in mind, lets put together another edition of the Hi Big Board:
Note: These players all have reportedly received Hawkeye offers.
High School: Winnetonka High
National Position Rank: 36
Reported Scholarship Offers: Cincinnati, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kansas State, Louisville, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Northern Illinois, Oregon, Tulsa.
The Skinny: Doherty plays at a position of need for Iowa and does so with excellent athleticism and football instincts. It's been reported that the KC product will only consider colleges offering him scholarships in football and baseball, of which Iowa is one. Doherty could end up being selected high enough in next year's MLB amateur draft to turn pro out of high school but that hasn't slowed his college recruitment for football. Good friend and Minnetonka alum Aaron Mends is a freshman linebacker with the Hawkeyes this season and that gives Iowa a nice connection here. He has yet to visit campus and getting him to do so this fall will be a key.
Rob's Favorite: Oregon
High School: Gordon Tech
National Position Rank: 34
Reported Scholarship Offers: Arizona, Arizona State, Illinois, Penn State, Tennessee and others.
The Skinny: Williams jumps up the board with commitments to Iowa and other schools by players previously ahead of him. Athletic pass rushers considering Iowa are scarce and the Hawkeyes have been a leader for Williams since early this year. Speculation is that Iowa coaches are waiting on Williams to qualify academically before they'd be willing to take his commitment. If that happens, the talented end could be the next pledge in '15 and he would be a very nice addition.
Rob's Favorite: Iowa
High School: Riverview High
National Position Rank: 65
Reported Scholarship Offers: South Florida, Arizona, Arkansas, Iowa, Kentucky, Syracuse, Tennessee, Wake Forest.
The Skinny: Higdon jumps on the board for the first time. He's been laying low and not talking much about his recruitment when we finally connected with him last month. He made us aware that while still verbally committed to South Florida, he planned to officially visit Arkansas, Iowa and Kentucky. With running back targets Aca'cedric Ware, Devine Ozigbo and Alex Murphy coming off Iowa's board this summer, and incoming freshman Markel Smith failing to qualify academically, Higdon became a priority.
Rob's Favorite: South Florida
High School: Largo High
National Position Rank: 58
Scholarship Offers: Indiana, Louisville, Minnesota, NC State, Rutgers, Syracuse, Central Florida, Virginia, Wake Forest, Wisconsin.
The Skinny: Crawford's head coach is Marcus Paschal, another talented safety Iowa pulled out of Largo. It gives Iowa a connection but won't be the deciding factor. As with most players coming from far away with a lot of closer options, it will be key for Iowa to get Crawford on campus. He seems to be taking his recruitment slowly so a trip to Kinnick could come in the form of an official visit. He's a very good athlete who could push for early playing time in the Hawkeye secondary.
Rob's Favorite: Lousiville
High School: Lorain City
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. In this case, it's Ohio State and Michigan State, where he's visited. Berry named Toledo, Iowa and Minnesota his favorites at the end of May.
Rob's Favorite: Iowa
High School: Moore Haven High
National Position Rank: 85
Reported Scholarship Offers: Duke, NC State, Northwestern, Vanderbilt, Virginia, among others.
The Skinny: Hallback joins Higdon as first-timers on the big board. You can read the skinny for Higdon for the reasoning. To summarize: Iowa needs running backs and guys higher on its list have committed elsewhere. Hallback has not talked much about his recruitment. He's named Duke a favorite in the past but interest in him has picked up this summer. He was supposed to release a Top 5 in July but that never happened. Academics will play a big role in Hallback's decision.
Rob's Favorite: Duke
High School: Hylton
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 drops five spots in the board not based on talent but on where I feel Iowa sits with him. Burrell released his Top 15 list in June and Iowa was on it. He has a long-standing relationship with Hawkeye Assistant Jim Reid, who served as Virginia's defensive coordinator before joining the program. Not sure that will be enough to pull him in but it would nice to get an official visit.
Rob's Favorite: Penn State
High School: McKinney North
Size: 5-11, 180
National Position Rank: NR
Scholarship Offers: Arkansas State, Kansas State, Nevada.
The Skinny: Iowa needs to continue to improve team speed and Balous fits the bill. He ran a 4.39, 40 at a Nike Combine this spring. Balous has canceled a couple of visits to Iowa so far. He recently stopped at Kansas State and reportedly almost committed. Iowa jumped in early on Balous' recruitment and sits in a good position. The Hawkeyes need to get him on campus.
Rob's Favorite: Kansas State
High School: Rockwall High
Size: 6-2, 220
National Position Rank: 11
Scholarship Offers: Alabama, Arizona State, Auburn, Baylor, Clemson, Colorado, Iowa, Mississippi State, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, SMU, Texas, Texas Tech, Tulsa, UCLA, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin.
The Skinny: Warren's place on the big board is less about his talent and more about Iowa's chances here. As you can see above, the competition is stiff for the son of the former three-time pro bowl running back of the same name. Warren would fill Iowa's need for a big back and make the misses of Ozigbo and Murphy a blessing. If the Hawkeyes could land Warren and Higdon, they would be ecstatic. Fans should be, too.
Rob's Favorite: Texas
High School: Shiloh High
Size: 5-11, 160
National Position Rank: 74
Scholarship Offers: Duke, Florida, Georgia Tech, Illinois, Iowa, Louisville, Minnesota, South Carolina, Tennessee, Wisconsin, among others.
The Skinny: McDuffie stands out on the track as well as the gridiron. The Hawkeyes jumped in with an offer for the Peach State speedster in May and he talked with us about the opportunity. Iowa continues to pursue prospects in the Atlanta area and McDuffie gives them the best shot with a member of the current class. Still, pulling him out of the South with his offer list will be a large challenge.
Rob's Favorite: South Carolina