There's new news and notes everyday on the recruiting trail the closer we get to National Signing Day and the Iowa Hawkeyes are in the thick of it. We take a look at the recent developments.
OFFENSIVE TACKLE TARGETS
It is no secret that Iowa would like to fill the last spot in the class, or two, with an offensive tackle. The top targets are Matt Farniok of South Dakota and Alaric Jackson of Detroit. Those have been the two the Hawkeye have been in hot pursuit of for a very, very long time. Farniok is likely the preference, but Jackson is also on the wish list for Iowa. I think the scenario in which the Hawkeyes add both to the fold as highly unlikely. I think the scenario in which they add one of the two is very promising.
Michigan State, along with Nebraska, is in the mix for both Farniok and Jackson. However, they are expected to land offensive tackle Luke Campbell. I think this likely means they'll not necessarily be a candidate for Farniok. With Jackson being in-state and from Detroit, I figure that could still be in play closer to Signing Day where they can extend him a late offer if room allows.
Another wrench into the situation also concerns Michigan State. Not only are they expected to land Luke Campbell but they are also now a player for interior lineman Michael Onwenu of Detroit who is currently committed to Michigan. The Spartans hope to host Onwenu for a visit this weekend.
What do you know, this also pertains to offensive tackle recruiting. Four-star offensive tackle Erik Swenson de-committed from Michigan today as I'm sure many saw.
One source indicated to me that Iowa might get involved here but another source closer to the program suggested that it had yet to be a discussion point. So, as of now, I don't think there's any smoke between Swenson and Michigan. He is expected to be in contact with Nebraska, though, among other schools. Him going Nebraska's way would certainly help Iowa but doesn't exactly indicate how the Huskers feel about their chances with Farniok.
At the end of the day, I think Swenson stays in-state and heads to Illinois or Northwestern, but it is worth monitoring if Nebraska, or even Iowa, attempts to get involved.
CURRENT STATUS UPDATE
At this time, this is how I see the landscape playing out. Michigan State lands Campbell and chases Onwenu. That leaves Matt Farniok headed to Iowa or Nebraska. Whoever does not receive Farniok's commitment will get Alaric Jackson, assuming the Spartans don't extend him a late offer.
So, a prediction. Michigan State gets Campbell. Michigan keeps Onwenu. Nebraska wins out for Farniok. Iowa takes Jackson.
This is certainly a developing situation and can change at any time.
Iowa has extended a gray-shirt offer to in-state athlete Noah Clayberg of Pella. He is a prospect that projects to either running back or defensive back. I can see him being sort of a Miles Taylor type at safety for the Hawkeyes. He currently holds three scholarship offers from FCS schools South Dakota, South Dakota State, and Western Illinois so he'll have a decision to make. I can see it working out well for Iowa, though.
The Hawkeyes also stopped by Glenbard West High School in the Chicago area today and offered running back Sam Brodner. He's a former Vanderbilt commit that has wanted an offer from Iowa for quite some time. Wisconsin also recently offered and he has a scheduled official visit to Madison for this weekend. This is obviously a peculiar offer since Iowa has plenty of running backs already committed in Toks Akinribade and Toren Young. Barrington Wade is also committed but I see him as more of a linebacker. I don't think Brodner will be someone that's looked at as a linebacker.
Brodner is more than likely a contingency plan at this point should Akinribade decide to visit Indiana or Syracuse. Iowa coaches met with Akinribade this week and it's possible they weren't totally convinced. It could also be a case that Brodner is taken by the Hawkeyes should room allow as it gets closer to NSD.