The Iowa Hawkeyes added their top commit of the recruiting class this past Friday when they secured the verbal pledge of Omaha (Neb.) South athlete Noah Fant. They beat out schools such as Nebraska, UCLA, Cal, Northwestern, and Vanderbilt for his services. He also has a few other suitors that could eventually offer, including Notre Dame and Oregon.
Not only should he be considered the top recruit of the class thus far, he is also the most impressive recruiting win of the cycle. Defeating the programs previously on a prospect of Fant's stature is no small feat. The task now will be to hold onto him, and I do expect the Hawkeyes to get his signature on the first Wednesday in February.
Derek Young of Hawkeye Insider evaluates the game of the most recent Iowa commit.
Not only does Fant have excellent film from his junior season, but he also stood out at the Nike regional camp in Oregon. The Omaha athlete was one of the top standouts at the event, which has sparked the debate and discussion about him becoming a four-star prospect when it's all said and done.
"I loved him at the Oregon Opening regional," tweeted national recruiting analyst Greg Biggins. We have him so underrated. He should be rated as an athlete and in the foru-star conversation."
Lofty praise for a three-star recruit from Nebraska, but deservedly so. The Hawkeyes have landed this gem who has the ability to star as a defensive end, outside linebacker, or tight end. His elite level of athleticism is off the charts, and why he's been raved about so much of late.
He moves exceptionally well for his size; 6-foot-4 and 230 pouds. Take that into consideration when coupling it with a verified 40 yard dash time of 4.64 seconds.
As a defensive end, he's that quick-twitch mover. He has an elite get-off and even possesses a few nice moves as a lineman. He'd have to bulk up a bit more, add strength, and increase his arsenal of pass rushing moves, but the talent and ability is there.
For Iowa, tight end is the likely beginning position. And why not? With someone as athletic and dangerous as Fant, it makes sense to get the ball in his hands as much as possible. It also makes sense because of how successful the Hawkeyes have been at producing NFL-caliber tight ends. It was one of the driving forces behind Fant's verbal pledge to Iowa.
He has the necessary skill set, athleticism, and size to play right away at tight end for Kirk Ferentz and company. It may not be vital for him to contribute immediately because of what the depth chart will look like when he arrives, but it'll be difficult to keep him off the field regardless.
Fant has strong hands, moves smoothly, has nice speed, and can create separation with his suddenness. One fallback that could prevent him from any meaningful playing time soon after he arrives in Iowa City will be the strength component. He has good technique when blocking, but he'll need more strength to fend off the bigger opponents he will face at the next level.