IOWA CITY, Iowa - With signing day less than two months away, the Iowa coaches spent the last two weeks crossing the country looking to round out their latest recruiting class. Monday marked the beginning of a dead period that lasts until Jan. 15.
Coaches can still speak on the phone and message recruits but in-person contact is prohibited for the next month per NCAA rules. That means what Iowa did the last few weeks while roaming the U.S. will play a key role in shaping the minds of their targets.
Chicago defensive tackle Raequan Williams and Tevis Bartlett, a Wyoming linebacker, received a lot of attention from the Hawkeyes during the latest open period. That made sense considering they're at positions of need.
A scholarship opened up last week with Chicago Quarterback Jack Beneventi announcing that Iowa no longer wanted his commitment. That left the class at 16 known pledges.
Attrition between now and signing day on Feb. 5 could change the final number, but as of now, it looks like this Hawkeye group will end up in the low 20s. That means we're probably looking at about a half dozen more commitments.
In addition to defensive line and linebacker, Iowa could use players at safety and cornerback. The Hawkeyes also would like to add a running back. That could end up being Markel Smith, a prep school product, who signed with them last year before failing to make it academically and is still trying to pass the ACT.
So, with those thoughts in mind, let's put together another edition of the HI Big Board:
Note: These players all have reportedly received Hawkeye offers.
High School: DePaul Prep
National Position Rank: No. 16 DT
Reported Scholarship Offers: Arizona, Iowa,Michigan State, Missouri, Oregon and others.
The Skinny: Williams officially visited Iowa in October after stopping at the school multiple times before it. The athletic big man knows what there is to know about the Hawkeyes. He's comfortable with it and has named Iowa his leader in the past. The competition is stiff, however. MSU, Arizona, Missouri and Oregon all enjoyed better seasons. Williams really will have to believe in the Iowa staff and where the program is headed to pick the Hawkeyes out of this group. Iowa sent multiple members of its staff to Williams for an in-home visit last week. The Hawkeyes want and need him badly.
Rob's Favorite: Michigan State
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 a lot ground, though. He gave them one of his five official visits along with Colorado, Oregon, Utah and Washington. Hometown Wyoming also is one of his six finalists. Like Williams, the Iowa staff has visited Bartlett with multiple coaches during the open period that ended Sunday.
Rob's Favorite: Iowa
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: Hart fits the need at defensive end and he's athletic enough that a lot of schools are recruiting him at linebacker. Hart just won a state championship at the school that also produced Iowa's starting quarterback, Jake Rudock. Hart officially visited Iowa last month and came away impressed. He's also officially visited Michigan State, Utah and North Carolina, which is searching for a new defensive coordinator but still is pushing hard for Hart. Louisville appeared to be the favorite for Hart's fifth official, but Texas A&M has recently entered the picture and visited his school last week. The Hawkeyes sent Chris White to see Hart during the open period.
Rob's Favorite: North Carolina
High School: Largo High
National Position Rank: 54
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 in September and loved what he saw. Now, the Hawkeyes have to hold on. He seems to be taking his recruitment slowly. He officially visited Indiana and Syracuse, too. The Hoosiers visited him multiple times during the open period. He's planned to use his fourth and fifth officials on North Carolina and Louisville, respectively.
Rob's Favorite: Louisville
High School: North Gwinnett High
Size: 6-3, 245
National Position Rank: 81
Scholarship Offers: California, Georgia Tech, Iowa, Michigan State, Minnesota, Stanford and others.
The Skinny: Saint-Amour slowed played his recruitment and ended up with an offer he really wanted last month when Stanford jumped in. He's officially visited Iowa, Michigan State and Minnesota but they could be left out if he likes what he sees in Palo Alto. He's a physical player that fits very well in the Big Ten. And the Cardinal looks like a Big Ten team in the PAC-12 with better weather.
Rob's Favorite: Stanford
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, 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 officially visited Texas this past weekend. Keep your fingers crossed. Warren is a program changing back tailor made for the Hawkeye offense.
Rob's Favorite: Texas
High School: Oak Park High
Size: 5-10, 175
National Position Rank: 41
Scholarship Offers: Iowa, Michigan, Michigan State, Minnesota, Tennessee and others.
The Skinny: Kelly appears on the board for the first time after picking up an Iowa offer at the end of last month. The Hawkeyes boast strong connections with Kelly, particularly cornerback Desmond King, who also is a Detroit-area product. The Hawkeyes face the task of overcoming in-state schools Michigan and Michigan State. Minnesota and Tennessee also are well positioned.
Rob's Favorite: Michigan State
High School: Hales Franciscan High
Size: 6-2, 175
National Position Rank: NR
Scholarship Offers: Central Michigan, Iowa, Nevada, Northern Illinois and others.
The Skinny: Christian jumps into the fray after picking up an Iowa offer on Sunday. The versatile, multi-sport athlete from the Windy City caught the staff's attention with a strong senior year and projects as a cornerback in the mold of Greg Mabin. Iowa is the only school wanting him to come in on defense. The other programs see him as a wide receiver. He prefers offense but is thinking over the opportunity to play defense at a Big Ten school.
Rob's Favorite: Iowa
High School: Bishop Dunne High
Size: 6-4, 275
National Position Rank: NR
Scholarship Offers: Baylor, Iowa, Missouri, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Texas Tech and others.
The Skinny: Like fellow Texan Warren, Daniels' place on this board results from Iowa's chances rather than his talent. He's a good one and would be a huge score for the Hawkeyes, literally and figuratively. It's been thought that his father's alma mater, Texas Tech, was the team to beat here but coaching changes and the uncertain futures of others in Lubbock may have opened the door for more programs. Baylor, Iowa and Missouri all have positioned themselves to make a move. Daniels gets along very well with Hawkeye assistant LeVar Woods, who recruits his area for the program.
Rob's Favorite: Texas Tech
High School: Charles W. Flanagan High
Size: 6-1, 195
National Position Rank: 103
Scholarship Offers: Iowa, Nebraska, Northern Illinois, Oregon State, South Florida, Temple, and others.
The Skinny: Talan has experienced an interesting recruitment, to say the least. He committed to Temple before flipping to Oregon State last month. Then, he de-committed from the Beavers after head coach Mike Riley left for Nebraska. Now, he's said to be a Nebraska lean but he wants to take more official visits. Iowa stopped to see him during October and offered. They like his athleticism as an outside linebacker. LeVar Woods messaged him last week and he's on their board.
Rob's Favorite: Nebraska