The Iowa Hawkeyes are back on the recruiting trail after a season that saw them go undefeated in the regular season, win the Big Ten West, play in the Big Ten Championship Game in Indianapolis, and head to the Rose Bowl on New Year's Day.
That success is beginning to pay dividends on the recruiting trail. They've been able to keep the class intact for the most part and notched a big commitment over the weekend in the nation's top defensive end in the 2017 class, A.J. Epenesa of Edwardsville, Illinois.
They'll be looking to add to that success with a bit more this weekend, this time in the form of the 2016 class. Many of the commits will be in town, but a few top uncommitted prospects will be in Iowa City as well.
Devonte Young. The three-star wideout from Maryland committed to the Hawkeyes way back in June. He's as firm to Iowa as can be.
Cole Banwart. The in-state guard from Algona also committed to Iowa in June. He was visited this week by head coach Kirk Ferentz and assistant Reese Morgan.
Amani Hooker. Many think the Hawkeyes are getting quite a steal in the playmaking three-star safety from Minnesota. He's also a heck of a player at the high school level on the offensive side of the ball.
Toren Young. Thre three-star running back from Wisconsin was courted by a few different programs over the last few months but has stayed solid to the Hawkeyes.
Shaun Beyer. The three-star tight end from Cedar Rapids is being pursued heavily by new Iowa State head coach Matt Campbell but he'll be signing with Iowa, period.
Romeo McKnight. The three-star defensive end from the Chicago area tore his ACL during his senior season so a redshirt is highly likely his first year in Iowa City.
Spencer Williams. The three-star lineman from Cedar Falls has been one of the main recruiters within the Iowa class this year.
Noah Fant. There was discussion about Fant being a four-star in the 2016 class but he'll finish as one of the higher-rated three-star seniors. Iowa is getting a heck of an athlete. An in-home visit with Nebraska is possible but the Hawkeyes should hang onto Fant.
Kristian Welch. The under-the-radar prospect from Wisconsin has not wavered from his Iowa pledge and projects as a fullback or linebacker at the next level.
Cedric Boswell. Iowa has had success with cornerbacks from Michigan before and hope it strikes again with Boswell.
Lance Billings. He's an under-the-radar prospect from Ohio that can contribute for Iowa in a few years. He'll be a safety or a slot receiver.
Chauncey Golston. He's a high-upside defensive end from East English Village Prep in Michigan, the same high school as Desmond King.
Cedrick Lattimore. Iowa will win out over Michigan State for the four-star defensive lineman from Desmond King's high school. It's a big recruiting win and he could have an impact early on in his career for the Hawkeyes.
TOP UNCOMMITTED TARGETS
Matt Farniok. His recruitment was thought to be over by the end of the summer but it has dragged on. It will end soon after this official visit to Iowa. The three-star lineman has already taken official visits to Nebraska and Michigan State. Brian Ferentz visited him last week and he's been at the top of the Iowa recruiting board for a long, long time. His insistence on keeping the Hawkeyes atop his list for a long period of time and his multiple visits to Lincoln suggest that this should come down to Iowa and Nebraska. This weekend's trip could tip the scales one way or the other.
Alaric Jackson. It is kind of odd that Iowa is hosting both of the offensive tackles in the same weekend. It is not believed they will add both but one's decision should impact the other. The three schools in the mix for Farniok; Iowa, Michigan State, and Nebraska, are the same schools involved with Jackson. Though he does not currently hold an offer from MSU, a late offer from the Spartans is not out of the question and if it came it would likely end up in him signing to play his college football in East Lansing. If he doesn't grab an offer from Michigan State, and the Spartans don't land Farniok, I see a scenario where the Huskers get one of the tackles and the Hawkeyes sign the other. Or maybe the Hawkeyes surprise everyone and land both.