The Iowa Hawkeyes have built a near-full recruiting class already, numbering at 22 commits. It's a class that has filled up quicker than most Iowa classes in the past, but that is more of a result of the recruiting climate of today. The calendar is sped up so much that it is imperative to secure the verbal pledges and recruit prospects at a much younger age.
One of their additions to the 2016 group is Skokie (Ill.) Niles North athlete Barrington Wade. He's listed as a running back in the Scout recruiting database, rated as a three-star prospect and the third best running back in the state of Illinois.
Wade issued his commitment to the Hawkeyes on June 15 of this year.
Hawkeye Insider's Derek Young evaluated his game and projected where he fits best in Iowa City.
As a running back, Wade exhibits good patience. He waits for the play to develop in front of him before taking off. His vision has only gotten better with more experience in the backfield.
The Illinois prospect is a bruiser of a back. It will take more than first contact to bring him down. He's a physical player that initiates a lot of the contact, dishing it out instead of receiving it. His size allows him to overpower and knock around many of the opponents he faces at the high school level.
He also runs with a forward lean, which is crucial. Falling forward consistently is an underrated trait for a running back, and an important one to ensure optimal gains.
With that all being said, I think he best projects as a linebacker for Iowa. That would not be a problem for the Hawkeyes, as the only current running back set to depart will be senior Jordan Canzeri, and there's a lot of optimism around the potential of true freshman Eric Graham.
The linebacker group will lose Cole Fisher and Travis Perry, but will return probable starters Josey Jewell, Ben Niemann, and Bo Bower. In addition to that sophomore trio, they have four true freshmen in Jack Hockaday, Angelo Garbutt, Nick Wilson, and Justin Jinning to go along with redshirt freshman Aaron Mends.
Him rolling in as a linebacker would assure of him being a candidate to redshirt, but the competition for him on the depth chart would be less proven players than it would be at running back.
His vision from being a running back should help him immensely as a linebacker in seeing plays develop in front of him. I do enjoy linebackers that have experience as running backs for that reason.
Wade being a bit stiff, and not having prototypical quickness and speed for running back, makes him a better fit on the defensive side of the ball. His speed and quickness becomes an asset at linebacker, instead of an area of improvement for running back.
His bruising mentality and penchant for contact translates well to the position and blends in with the Big Ten style of football.
With Wade and Amani Jones at linebacker, the Hawkeyes have two players that love to hit and inflict contact.