IOWA CITY, Iowa - Iowa took another step towards the completion of its 2015 Recruiting Class last week. Missouri defender Michael Slater verbally pledged to the Hawkeyes bringing the group to 15 known commitments.
Coach Kirk Ferentz has said this cycle would end up in the high teens but most years that number pushes to at least 20. And if that's the case, Iowa is roughly three quarters of the way to its conclusion.
You can review the 15 players in the fold so far right here. The Hawkeyes are addressing their offensive line needs with five pledges at that position.
Slater and Brady Reiff, the younger brother of former Iowa offensive line standout Riley Reiff, answer Iowa's desire to build defensive end depth. Emmanuel Ogwo said that he and Adrian Falconer round out the receiver haul in this class.
The Hawkeyes mostly will focus on defense for the rest of this class. Defensive back and line represent the biggest requirements.
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: 38
Reported Scholarship Offers: Iowa, Kansas State, Louisville, Missouri, Oregon and others.
The Skinny: Doherty plays a position of need for Iowa and does so with excellent athleticism and football instincts. His list of five finalists includes the Hawkeyes, Kansas State, Louisville, Missouri and Oregon. The KC product is looking to play football and baseball in college. 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 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. Doherty said he will officially visit Iowa City but has not set a date.
Rob's Favorite: Oregon
High School: DePaul Prep
National Position Rank: No. 16 DT
Reported Scholarship Offers: Arizona, Iowa, Michigan State, Missouri, Oregon and others.
The Skinny: Williams has unofficially visited Iowa City several times, the last one coming for the season opener against UNI. The coaches showed him a lot of attention and he's clearly a top target. He'll unofficially visit Michigan State this coming weekend for its showdown with Michigan. He also as set official visits to Iowa (Oct. 31), Oregon (Nov. 22), Arizona (Dec. 4) and Missouri (Dec. 12). Williams is a very good athlete for a player his size. That opens the door for him to play end at the next level. If he keeps growing, he could turn into a disruptive force on the inside.
Rob's Favorite: Iowa
High School: Riverview High
National Position Rank: 66
Reported Scholarship Offers: Arizona, Arkansas, Iowa, Kentucky and others.
The Skinny: Higdon recently de-committed from South Florida and now the Bulls appear out of the picture. He said he's focused on Arizona, Arkansas, Iowa and Kentucky. Iowa is the only school he's officially visited to date. He has yet to schedule others. The Hawkeyes are looking to land at least one running back in this cycle and Higdon appears to be the most attainable target. With Markel Smith close to getting the grade at prep school to land at Iowa in January, Iowa would be in fine shape if Higdon signed up in February.
Rob's Favorite: Iowa
High School: Largo High
National Position Rank: 50
Scholarship Offers: Cincinnati, UConn, Indiana, Iowa, Louisville, Minnesota, NC State, North Carolina, Rutgers, Syracuse, Virginia, Wake Forest, Wisconsin and others.
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. Crawford officially visited Iowa last month and loved what he saw. Now, the Hawkeyes have to hold on. He seems to be taking his recruitment slowly. He visited North Carolina this past weekend but plans take the rest of his trips after the season.
Rob's Favorite: North Carolina
High School: Lorain City
National Position Rank: 65
Scholarship Offers: IIllinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Syracuse and 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. I think those schools see him as a fallback at this point.
Rob's Favorite: Iowa
High School: Cheyenne East High
National Position Rank: 87
Reported Scholarship Offers: Cal, Colorado, Iowa, Missouri, Oregon, Utah, Washington, Wyoming and others.
The Skinny: The talented Bartlett received his first piece of recruiting mail from the Hawkeyes back when he was a sophomore. They didn't offer a scholarship until August of this year, however, and the delay put them behind schools like Colorado and Oregon. Iowa has made up ground, though. They visited him earlier this month and have secured an official visit on a to-be-determined date. He led his state in rushing last season fas a quarterback. He's also a three-time state champion wrestler and fits nicely into the Iowa mold.
Rob's Favorite: Colorado
High School: St. Thomas Aquinas High
National Position Rank: 46
Scholarship Offers: Boston College, Cincinnati, Georgia Tech, Illinois, Iowa , Kentucky, Michigan State, Minnesota, Mississippi State, Pittsburgh, Purdue, Syracsue, Wisconsin and others.
The Skinny: Linebacker isn't a position Iowa went into the season looking to address after signing several in the last cycle. It's still an area in need of an upgrade athletically and Hart fits the bill along with Bartlett. Hart really is slow playing his recruitment and it's hard to get any type of feel where it's headed. He reports an impressive list of offers. He attends the same high school as did Iowa quarterback Jake Rudock.
Rob's Favorite: Mississippi 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, Stanford, Texas, Texas Tech, Tulsa, UCLA Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin and others.
The Skinny: Warren's place on the big board is less about his talent and more about Iowa's chances here. Talent wise, he'd top the list. He's an absolute beast with the ball in his hands. The competition is stiff for the son of the former three-time pro bowl running back of the same name. In August, he named Iowa, Oregon, Stanford, Texas, Texas Tech and Washington as his Top 6. He said recently that the would officially visit the in-state schools, Washington and Stanford. That would leave the Hawkeyes duking it out with Oregon for the last visit. Keep your fingers crossed. Warren is a program changing back tailor made for the Hawkeye offense.
Rob's Favorite: Texas
High School: Guyer High
Size: 6-3, 260
National Position Rank: 58
Scholarship Offers: UConn, Duke, Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Northwestern, Wake Forest and others.
The Skinny: Thompson is a new addition to the Big Board. He committed to Kansas in June but has started looking around since the school fired head coach Charlie Weis. Iowa appears firmly in the mix among the schools who could pry Thompson away from his Jayhawks' pledge. He's an athletic interior defensive lineman who would fit well into the Hawkeyes' four-man front.
Rob's Favorite: Kansas
High School: Moore Haven Senior High
Size: 5-11, 190
National Position Rank: 87
Scholarship Offers: Duke, Illinois. Iowa, NC State, Northwestern, Vanderbilt, Virginia and others.
The Skinny: The Sunshine State back recently told Scout.com that Iowa would be among his official visits. NC State, Duke and Illinois were the other schools he mentioned seeing. It's hard to say where Hallback sits on the Iowa board. It's likely behind Higdon and Warren. If Markel Smith gets his test score and Higdon commits, Hallback might be out of luck as far as a running back scholarship. Iowa likes him as a defensive back but the kid seems set on carrying the ball in college.
Rob's Favorite: NC State