Quarterback is already figured out with Peyton Mansell. The staff hasn't been out seeking any more offensive linemen so they are content with the haul of Tristan Wirfs and Mark Kallenberger. Those are the positions finished with this class on the offensive side of the ball unless a late in-state offer was thrown to an in-state prospect though we do not expect that at this point in time.
Folks may not see running back as a position of need in this class but it definitely is when you look at the sheer numbers. There's only four current backs on the roster in Akrum Wadley, Marcel Joly, Toks Akinribade and Toren Young. Young hasn't played a snap yet since he redshirted and was injured enough to where he was not practicing during bowl prep in Tampa. Joly has showed no signs of rising up the depth chart. That only leaves Wadley and Akinribade. It's a thin group however way you slice it and Ivory Kelly-Martin isn't enough.
That's why two backs will be taking an official visit this weekend in Kyshaun Bryan of Florida and Davion Johnson of Michigan. I don't know for a fact that they would take both but I think they would since both have been offered and are being brought in this weekend.
Kirk Ferentz and Seth Wallace were in Florida yesterday meeting with Bryan. Pat Narduzzi and two Pittsburgh assistants will be in to see him Thursday. The Panther staff will try to lock him in on that in-home visit Thursday night and get him to cancel his official to Iowa scheduled for this upcoming weekend. If they do not succeed in doing so and Bryan still flies to Iowa City, I like the Hawkeyes' chances.
Davion Johnson is a back from West Bloomfield, Michigan that is committed to Miami (Ohio) and I think there's a very good chance he enters the class before the weekend is over. I do not think they would hold him off to wait on Bryan but we'll see how it unfolds.
Wide receiver has been an emphasis this cycle and I believe they know the four they will be signing. Max Cooper and Brandon Smith are already in. I think Ihmir Marsette will jump in tonight. I think those three will be joined by Henry Marchese this weekend. That should wrap it up as I still see them striking out for Oliver Martin unless something crazy were to happen.
Tight end is not a real position of need. I think they saw an opening with someone interested that was too good to pass up. They also could be expecting some additional attrition here. Kurt Rafdal of Carmel, Indiana decommitted from Indiana and narrowed his choices to Nebraska, Iowa and LSU. After this weekend's trip to Baton Rouge, he will have seen all three of those schools. The buzz I'm hearing right now suggests the Hawkeyes could win. I think they hold the edge over the Huskers at this point. LSU is a big-time program but proximity could work in Iowa's favor.
I thought they could use another defensive tackle here to pair with Coy Kirkpatrick but they have yet to pull the trigger on anyone since the dead period ended. Daviyon Nixon of Kenosha, Wisconsin is committed to Northern Illinois but has gotten multiple looks from Iowa and perhaps could still grab an offer but time is running out. The ends in the class are Levi Duwa and A.J. Epenesa and they're just fine at that spot.
They missed on a gem of a linebacker in Thomas Johnston who chose UAB over Iowa, Arkansas, Ole Miss and Auburn so that he could play with his brother. The Hawkeyes don't have to sign a linebacker this year though after signing five a year ago. There's 11 linebackers on the roster currently on scholarship and you don't want to over-saturate a position anyways. Even with losing three after next season, they're in good shape and just need to sign two or three in 2018.
Defensive back is where they really needed to hit with this class the most on defense and they did just that. Cornerback and safety are very, very thin at Iowa right now and they are fixing that with quantity and quality. Camron Harrell and Joshua Turner are committed and expected to sign and give them some flexibility between corner and safety. Djimon Colbert is a four-star safety that could compete for playing time right away. Matt Hankins is a big-time talent at cornerback that a lot of big-time programs would have taken at various points of his recruitment.
They're also not done. They should add at least one more defensive back to this group and I believe they will. The most likely one to sign with Iowa is Minnesota commit Trey Creamer. He and Minnesota both did not have favorable first impressions of one another. We are told Creamer did not appreciate the way he was treated in his first meeting with P.J. Fleck while the Gophers are not appreciative of the fact that he lied about his visit to Iowa. I think that is too much to overcome for both sides in a short amount of time. That leads me to believe he will sign with the Hawkeyes.
I'm less confident in Iowa's chances with Raheem Layne, who just decommitted from Minnesota. He took a visit to Wake Forest last weekend where Jay Sawvel is now the defensive coordinator and was Layne's recruiter at Minnesota. The Hawkeyes are pushing hard for a visit, though.
Iowa added a walk-on kicker in Cole Hahn of West Des Moines (Iowa) Valley and he has a strong leg and should compete for playing time. Keith Duncan was the kicker for most of all last season while Miguel Recinos still handled the field goals of the deeper variety while Ron Coluzzi handled the kickoff duties.
The Hawkeyes will add a punter by Signing Day, I believe. Coluzzi graduated so the likely replacements at this time are Colten Rastetter and Jackson Terry. They'll bring in more competition for them, however, and a few of the options are Ryan Stonehouse of California, Joe Doyle of Tennessee, and Brad Robbins of Ohio though new names could likely enter the mix still. Iowa would likely have to offer to get any of those three to visit this weekend.