Iowa’s early success with the Class of 2019 continued on Saturday. In-state 3-star linebacker Jack Campbell committed to the Hawkeyes while attending a spring practice scrimmage.
Campbell’s commitment is the latest example of why the Hawkeyes are off to such a good start with their next recruiting class. They’re locking up local talent.
Four of Iowa’s five commitments are from Iowa. Campbell is the latest from Cedar Falls High School in northeastern Iowa. The fifth, tight end Logan Lee, lives just across the Illinois border and has a shorter trip to Kinnick Stadium than 4-star offensive tackle Ezra Miller from western Iowa.
— jack campbell (@jackcampbell133) March 31, 2018
A strong in-state 2019 class
Locking up local prospects is always a priority, but it matters more when dealing with those in the Class of 2019.
Tackles Tyler Endres and Miller are 4-star prospects. 247Sports views Lee as a 4-star recruit. Offensive lineman Noah Fenske, like Campbell, is a 3-star recruit.
In-state talent is the reason Iowa will sit 19th in the nation in the 247Sports 2019 recruiting class rankings once Campbell’s commitment is logged.
It’s also the reason Iowa’s recruiting is on the upswing. The Hawkeyes are doing a good job of locking up the top-shelf talent in state.
The top 2017 in-state prospect, wide receiver Oliver Martin, went to Michigan, but Iowa landed 4-star tackles Tristan Wirfs and Mark Kallenberger, ranked second and third in the state in that class. 247Sports rated 2018 defensive tackle Tyler Linderbaum a 4-star prospect and Rivals did the same with defensive end John Waggoner.
Iowa’s in-state success isn’t just limited to recruits headed to the U.S. Army All-American Bowl such as Wirfs and Linderbaum.
It’s winning the head-to-head in-state battles with Iowa State as well. The Hawkeyes and Cyclones each offered Endres in the winter of 2017. He visited both multiple times and chose Iowa.
Campbell’s recruitment was as even of a battle as there could be between the schools. Each was a finalist. He visited Iowa nine times and Iowa State eight times. In the end, Iowa prevailed.
Before committing, he told the Des Moines Register’s Matthew Bain the strength staff and the ability to develop players was key to his decision-making process.
Iowa tries to sell every recruit it’s after about the developmental nature of the program. It worked with Campbell.
Iowa vs. Iowa State recruiting
Unless in-state 4-star quarterback Max Duggan picks either program, Endres and Campbell are the two biggest names choosing between the Hawkeyes and the Cyclones in 2019.
Iowa didn’t offer 3-star wide receiver Darien Porter or 3-star offensive lineman Jake Remsburg, Iowa State’s two in-state 2019 commits. The Cyclones didn’t offer Fenske. They offered Miller about a month before he committed to Iowa, but that wasn’t a true recruiting battle.
In-state recruiting isn’t the end-all of recruiting. There isn’t enough talent for either Iowa or Iowa State to field an entire team. Both are excelling at identifying and signing regional talent.
But the local kids know both programs. They don’t need to be sold on them. In most cases, they want to play in Iowa and are key pieces of each team year after year.
In-state players are the backbone of both programs. Campbell could become the next in-state linebacker to make a name at Iowa. He is athletic, smart and physical. The Hawkeyes cherish all three traits at linebacker.
Campbell’s commitment helps Iowa at a position of importance in the class. The fact an in-state kid did so isn’t a surprise.
It’s how things keep going for the Class of 2019.