Peyton Mansell has already committed and he's their guy in the class. They won't pursue another and he's locked in with no worries of him looking elsewhere. Mansell has also been instrumental in recruiting others to the class since giving the Hawkeyes his commitment.
Iowa was the first to offer Eno Benjamin a few years ago and it paid off with a commitment from the four-star recruit. That was followed by a commitment from Ivory Kelly-Martin in the Spring. Kelly-Martin was offered at a junior day and picked the Hawkeyes soon after over other Big Ten programs. There's no concern of Benjamin looking elsewhere but there was some whispers about Kelly-Martin. His visit to Iowa for the Hawkeye Tailgater seems to have eased those (minor) concerns. There's other backs keeping Iowa in consideration but the Hawkeyes should be finished at running back.
This is a position with a lot of emphasis on it for this recruiting cycle. They reeled in two commitments at this spot in the past week in Brandon Smith of Mississippi and Gavin Holmes of Texas. That's two but they could possibly add two more.
The buzz on Martin currently is that Michigan State may have a slight edge due to them offering after he camped in East Lansing, their place in the Big Ten, plus his relationship with Rocky Lombardi that dates back to when they were young children. They have played together in multiple sports ever since. Martin did visit Iowa this past weekend which is a positive sign. A few people close to the situation think a decision could come soon and is likely between the Spartans and Hawkeyes. Something to consider is that Oliver's younger sister Ruby is in the finals for the 200 meter butterfly event in the swimming trials for the U.S. Olympic Team. The family has plenty of focuses at this time.
For Buckley, Iowa was thought to be in the driver's seat with Ole Miss for the past few months but the Hawkeyes generated some buzz and there was smoke that they could be the pick sooner rather than later. He's got a visit to Iowa City scheduled for the end of July and I have been told that is a trip to keep an eye on in terms of a possible decision. However, Buckley was offered by the in-state Texas A&M Aggies today. Does that impact the race? It is too early to determine but one would think that the SEC program will play a role moving forward.
What happens if Iowa were to miss on both? Maurice Bell already chose Colorado and his spot was likely disappearing after Iowa reeled in Holmes and Smith in back-to-back days. They could circle back on Bell or they could also turn their attention and increase their pursuit of Mac Hippenhammer, the top wideout in Indiana. The other contenders for his services are Michigan State and Penn State.
Iowa has landed Jacob Coons of Solon already and he fits a similar mold as Noah Fant and Shaun Beyer in the last class. He could be a tight end or play on the edge or as an outside linebacker at the next level. Even if he does not end up at tight end, I do not foresee any other prospects added here.
The Hawkeyes garnered early commitments from Mount Vernon's Tristan Wirfs and Bettendorf's Mark Kallenberger. They're likely finished here unless Zach Dykstra changed his mind about his verbal pledge to Miami. Dykstra is another big-time in-state prospect from Spirit Lake. He's solid to the 'Canes for now.
No offers have been sent out to anyone that projects to play the interior of the offensive line. That is probably a strong sign it is not much of a target in this class. They have signed guys like Spencer Williams, Cole Banwart, James Daniels, the Paulsen twins, and Jake Newborg the past two classes. It isn't much of a need.
They've landed three high priorities and three good ones already in this group with the additions of A.J. Epenesa, Levi Duwa and Coy Kirkpatrick. Kirkpatrick could likely slide inside and be a defensive tackle at the next level. His versatility will be a welcome addition as they look to beef up the tackle position.
There was a lot of bodies in the last class that also could end up playing this position, 5-6 guys in fact. They're probably done at this spot. There's not anyone they're circling the waters for at this moment at defensive end. If they end up with a couple spots left or have more space than expected, they could attempt to add junior college defensive end Andrew Van Ginkel. He's at Iowa Western Community College and a native of Iowa. He's a bounceback from the University of South Dakota and would have two years left to play two.
Juan Harris is no longer in the class and is possibly headed to Illinois or Minnesota. Kirkpatrick could end up here but I think they'd like to land one more. They're a little bit low on defensive tackles. The only obvious target that remains right now is Damion Daniels of Bishop Dunne High School in Dallas. The Hawkeyes were a significant player for his brother's services before he chose Oklahoma State.
Daniels' top schools suggest that Iowa is in prime position to make a splash, if not the leader. Surprisingly, Oklahoma State was left off his top schools but one would think they play a role at some point. Stay tuned on this one. It likely gets decided much later in the process.
More offers will likely be extended at this position as they look to add one more. They will increase their pool of candidates as to not be left on the floor without a dance partner.
They missed on Colin Anderson of Alabama who chose Vanderbilt. I think they would add a linebacker in a perfect world but it wouldn't be a total loss if they did not just because of last year's haul and Coons' flexibility. If they begin to offer additional players at this position, that will be the sign. As of now, it would likely be more of a luxury than anything. The lone linebacker right now with an offer that is worth noting here is Marcus Bowman of Maryland. He likes Iowa, as well as Syracuse, Minnesota, and Maryland.
After adding Barrington Wade and Amani Jones, the inside linebacker spot is not as much of a need. Kyle Taylor could also be an inside player. They also have Josey Jewell left with multiple years of eligibility, as well as Angelo Garbutt. Iowa plays a 4-3, not a 3-4, so it is more important to have more bodies on the edge. They'll address the inside in the 2018 class most likely.
Corner is a major position that needs addressed. Because of transfers and graduation, they will only have four scholarship cornerbacks after the 2016 regular season in Josh Jackson, Michael Ojemudia, Emmanuel Rugamba, and Cedric Boswell. There's also flexibility with Boswell as he could end up as a safety at some point, too. They need a handful of bodies here.
They already landed one they like a lot in Matt Hankins of Texas that they landed on Monday. I think they look to add two more. Camron Harrell is also a commit in the class that couple play corner, but his future could end up being safety.
But let's use two more as the discussion point. Who are the top targets? They are easily four-star Russ Yeast, Texas commit Kobe Boyce, and the top corner in Texas in Chevin Calloway. I like where they are positioned for Yeast and would probably have the Hawkeyes as the favorite at this time. He mentions Iowa a ton, has visited twice, and is attempting to visit the campus for a third time in July.
Boyce seems to be leaning back to the Longhorns and I think he's long gone for Iowa if he makes the weekend visit to Austin. RIght now it appears as if he will. They're in the discussion for Calloway but that is one you can not bank on. Regardless, there will always be a spot for Calloway if he wants in but they're battling Notre Dame, Texas, and Alabama for his services. The word is that Calloway likely makes a decision before his senior season but I see a scenario where he takes multiple official visits in the Fall no matter what, and Iowa City could be one of those trips.
Four other prospects are in the mix; Josiah Scott of Ohio, Zamari Maxwell and Randall Haynie and Joshua Turner who are all from Florida. Haynie has taken a handful of trips lately and none have been to the Hawkeyes so he's probably the least likely of the four. Scott canceled his visit to Iowa and has yet to reschedule. If he does not reschedule that trip before July ends, he's likely off the board as well. Maxwell and Turner are names to know and keep an eye on as both have Iowa in their top list of schools. Maxwell still needs to visit but Turner was on campus last weekend. Of the four, it's probably most serious with Turner at this stage.
Iowa already hit a home run at safety with the commitment of Djimon Colbert, a four-star prospect from Kansas City. Some have him slotted at cornerback, but from seeing him in person several times, he's a safety through and through and the Hawkeye staff believes so as well.
I think they have added one more in Camron Harrell. He's listed at corner and being told he'll be a cornerback but at the end of the day, it's hard not to see him as a safety at some point.
They lost Jordan Lomax and now Lance Billings won't enroll. Because of this, Iowa will only have three scholarship seniors after the 2016 season; Miles Taylor, Brandon Snyder, and Amani Hooker. So is two more safeties enough? Perhaps. But they may keep their options open here and see what opens up. Three corners and two safeties could be enough. But if they really do see Harrell as a corner, they'll likely add another.
They could circle back on Ben Stewart, who is committed to Boston College, or Jordan Rowell, who is committed to Northern Illinois. Two that I do not believe they would turn away are Keontae Jones of Cincinnati and Scott Nelson of Detroit. Both have visited, Nelson most recently this past weekend. Keontae likely will lean to Iowa State with his brother there already and Nelson's eventual visit to Michigan State likely will be good news for the Spartans.
WR: One more (or two if it's the right two)
DE: Done (or one if it's the right one)
DT: One more.
LB: One more if it's the right one.
CB: Two more.
S: One if it's the right one.