IOWA CITY, Iowa — Iowa closed out its Class of 2018 in style, securing a commitment from Georgia 3-star linebacker Jayden McDonald on Monday night.
The Hawkeyes didn’t offer McDonald until late December. McDonald quickly jumped atop Iowa’s recruiting board with the Hawkeyes looking to add at least one more linebacker before the February signing period.
— Jayden McDonald (@AthKyngJ) February 6, 2018
The 6-foot-2, 201-pound McDonald is exactly what the Hawkeyes seek for its LEO position, where a prospect must be able to play in space and be physical enough to help out in run sport. McDonald certainly brings the athleticism Iowa covets.
The final players in a recruiting class, especially at Iowa, are often projects, players who are far from finished products and in need of a year or two of development before being in position to contribute.
McDonald isn’t that kind of prospect. Though he isn’t a 5-star commit, he could work his way onto the field as a freshman. Iowa is replacing all three starting linebackers and needs players at the position to also contribute on special teams.
The recruitment for McDonald was intense in recent weeks and he was far from a sure thing to pick the Hawkeyes. McDonald de-committed from Rutgers on Jan. 5.
He initially cut his list to Iowa, Kansas State and Mississippi. Purdue entered as a potential landing spot for McDonald late in the process. He officially visited Kansas State on Jan. 19, Iowa on Jan. 26, Purdue on Jan. 29 and Mississippi on Feb. 2.
McDonald is one of four linebackers in the class and the second to commit in the last four days. In-state linebacker Logan Klemp committed on Friday.
Iowa holds 21 commitments in the Class of 2018.