Iowa adds their first receiver in the class of 2018 with the commitment from Indianapolis (Ind.) Decatur Central wideout Tyrone Tracy. His pledge comes less than a week following the addition of Wisconsin running back Henry Geil.
The Hawkeyes did take four receivers in the 2017 group; Ihmir Smith-Marsette, Henry Marchese, Brandon Smith and Max Cooper. Despite that, they could add at least three more in the 2018 cycle just because of how thin they are. For example, spring football has commenced but Iowa only had two wideouts on scholarship available due to injuries, attrition, graduation, and academic issues.
Because of that, Tracy is the first wide receiver pick-up but he won't be the last.
He explained to Scout why Iowa was his choice.
"I love the atmosphere when I'm there," Tracy said. "You are the team there because there is no NFL team. I love the competitive atmosphere. There's no starters there. Every day you have to compete for your job."
The Hawkeyes do see Tracy as a slot receiver when he arrives in Iowa City, but they have even more plans for him.
"They want to use me in multiple ways and in multiple situations," he shared about Iowa's vision for him. "They said I can be in the backfield and be a slot guy. I can be a jet-motion type athlete. They said I remind them of Tavon Austin and how he was used."
Iowa hasn't ever really needed the skill-set of someone similar to Tavon Austin. That is not a style of player that has ever fit their offense, typically. So will the offense look a bit different now with Brian Ferentz at the controls? They dove into some of it with Tracy on his past visit.
"They told me that the new offense would be a play-action offense, but more passing," Tracy pointed out about his conversations with the Hawkeye staff. "Last year they had two 1,000 yard rushers, so they ran the ball a lot. This year will probably be the same thing because they have no outstanding receivers. But they want to do it 50/50 and I believe that because I've seen some of their practices. That's what they've been doing."
Without the addition of Kelton Copeland to the coaching staff, Iowa would have never landed Tracy. They trailed substantially for his services before Copeland arrived due to his hesitation about how the offense could utilize his talents. It took barely any time with the new Iowa assistant before that concern evaporated.
"We're both really social people so we clicked right away," Tracy explained about his relationship with wide receivers coach Kelton Copeland. "He came to me first and that made a huge impact on me. It showed me that he wanted me. He took the job and he reached out to me and I didn't have to do it myself. He came after me as soon as he was hired and made me a priority."
"I'm his number one guy, he says," Tracy added. "He's always showing me that, and not just telling me. Iowa shows me a lot of love. Every time I go there they treat me like I'm a player there already. I wanted to feel accepted so I love that. I don't want to just feel like just another recruit. I want to feel like they want me as a part of their team and they do that."