Beth Long

Iowa 2016 Recruiting Class Superlatives

Handing out the superlatives for the 2016 Iowa recruiting class.


I just think he's going to be a fantastic player and he's a member of the Scout 300 for a reason. He not only has an incredible arm but he's a sensational athlete in three different sports. He throws a 90 mph fastball in baseball and could get drafted this year and he's also good enough to be a D-1 basketball recruit.


Like Stanley, he's a four-star prospect and a top 300 player. I think he starts for at least three years in Iowa City possibly and gives them versatility as someone that can wreak havoc on both the inside and outside the defensive line. The top choices are obvious for a reason and they're in the Scout 300 for a reason in my eyes. I love both of their games.


Hooker was just all over the field as a senior. He scored about as many touchdowns on defense and special teams as he did offense. Hooker has a nose for the ball on the defensive side. He forces turnovers and makes things happen. The ballhawk should be able to do a lot more of that as a safety at Iowa.


Jackson was a tough grab by Iowa and they outlasted several schools that came in and gave their best shot. Not only did they beat out several teams for his services but they were all notorious programs such as Michigan State, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Nebraska. The Wolverines and Spartans were on and off again quite a bit with Jackson but that's the Hawkeyes going into enemy territory and taking away a pretty big piece to the class and shutting out their Big Ten West rivals as well. Iowa recruited him hard for over a year and may have been the winner for his services even if MSU and the Wolverines had been strongly involved on National Signing Day.


He's just a nasty, physical offensive lineman that fits what Iowa does so well. He's a bruiser, lunch-pail, hard working type player that flourishes under Kirk and Brian Ferentz. He'll shut his mouth, work his butt off, show up to work and knock his opponent around. He's from Cedar Falls and he always wanted to be a Hawkeye. I think this is a perfect match.


Brandon Simon hails from one of the more successful high school programs in the country, both in wins, number of recruits, and how well prepared their student athletes are when they arrive on campus. He's a nice edge rusher with a nice, long frame that can really turn the corner well. All he's missing is a little bit more size and strength but he's already showing up well-coached, athletic as heck, and an ability to rush the passer.


He knew all the commits better than anyone. Iowa commit Spencer Williams spearheaded chats, visits, and even coordinated efforts to try to lure others into the fold such as Noah Fant, Matt Farniok, and Alaric Jackson. He always knew what was going on behind the scenes and he was a driving force in building the class and keeping it together. He deserves a lot of credit and he did it because of how much he loves Iowa.


Defensive line is not a deep position for the Hawkeyes. They didn't have the impactful depth they wanted last year behind Nathan Bazata and Jaleel Johnson at defensive tackle. They're without Nate Meier now and could be without Drew Ott. Parker Hesse played a lot of football last year but is undersized and Matt Nelson still has more to prove. That's a lot of different spots a big college-ready body like Cedrick Lattimore can come in and contribute some. He's a super talent. Tight end is another spot but Lattimore just may be too good to keep off the field.


I think this has to go to Noah Fant for multiple reasons. The first being that he is a tight end from Omaha that had a Nebraska offer, but spurned the Huskers for the Hawkeyes. The second being which he almost visited Minnesota the last weekend before National Signing Day before the Iowa coaching staff convinced him otherwise. They overcame a lot to earn his verbal pledge and they fought like heck to keep him in the fold.


Scout was high on Beyer's ability for a while. Allen Trieu, the Midwest Recruiting Analyst, had Beyer rated as a three-star prospect while he was still committed to North Dakota State and did not have an FBS offer. Then Iowa, Iowa State, and Nebraska all wanted him. He's now one of the top five players in the state and will sport the black and gold.


He's one of two signees that already has an older brother on campus. Of course Kyle Taylor's older brother is Miles Taylor and Nick Niemann's older brother is Ben Niemann. Not only that, the father of the Niemanns is the new linebackers coach at Rutgers under head coach Chris Ash. That's a lot of linebacker in the family for him to not understand what will be asked of him by Kirk Ferentz and company when he arrives in Iowa City.


It's hard to ignore the capability and potential of this large human. He's 6-foot-7 and 285 pounds and has only played two years of football. He's still learning and hasn't developed all kinds of bad tendencies yet that must be broken when he arrives on campus. He's just a pup. He's a project but an extremely intriguing one. He shows his athleticism on the basketball court. It's going to be very, very interesting to see what he becomes in a couple years under the tutelage of Kirk and Brian Ferentz.

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