Tony Morano/247Sports
Iowa offensive tackle Tristian Wirfs played in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl and is one of the top in-state recruits in the last two years.

Iowa recruiting mailbag: Hawkeyes vs. Cyclones — who’s winning in-state recruiting battle?

Have Iowa football recruiting questions? We’ve got answers. Join us every Wednesday for the Land of 10 Iowa recruiting mailbag to discuss Hawkeyes recruiting. This week, we’ll discuss in-state recruiting and how recruiting sites come up with their rankings.

Who is winning the in-state recruiting battle?

— Joe Williams

Let’s look at the last two recruiting classes. Iowa State hired coach Matt Campbell in November 2015. Including his first class in 2016 isn’t fair because he only had a few months to fill it out and most in-state prospects were already committed at that point.

Class of 2017 Top 10 prospects

Name Pos. 247Sports State Ranking School
Mark Kallenberger OL 2 Iowa
Tristian Wirfs OL 3 Iowa
O’Rien Vance LB 4 ISU
Levi Duwa C 7 Iowa
Devon Moore QB 8 ISU
Jacob Coons TE 9 Iowa
Colin Newell OL 10 ISU

Both schools missed out on the top ranked in-state prospect, 4-star wide receiver Oliver Martin. He signed with Michigan. Iowa landed the next two players: 4-star offensive linemen Mark Kallenberger and Tristan Wirfs. Those three separated themselves as prospects from everyone else in the state.

Next is a large group of 3-star prospects with whom the beauty is in the eye of the beholder. These are developmental players and which ones best progress the next few years will dictate which program ended up in the better spot.

For Iowa, this list includes center Levi Duwa and tight end Jacob Coons. Iowa State landed more of these 3-star prospects than Iowa, bringing in six total, including several outside the top 10. Linebacker O’Rien Vance and quarterback Devon Moore are worth noting. Each is from the eastern half of the state, typically a tough spot for the Cyclones to recruit in.

Class of 2018 Top 10 Prospects

Name Pos. 247Sports State Ranking School
John Waggoner DE 1 Iowa
Tyler Linderbaum DT 2 Iowa
Trevor Downing OL 3 ISU
Dillon Doyle LB 4 Iowa
Zach Petersen DE 5 ISU
Zach Ross OL 9 ISU

The Class of 2018 is a lot like the Class of 2017. The Hawkeyes landed the top two prospects, defensive linemen John Waggoner and Tyler Linderbaum. Waggoner, carrying a 4-star rating Rivals, held offers from the top teams across the country. Linderbaum, rated a 4-star prospect by 247Sports, is a U.S. Army Bowl All-American.

The teams split up the same 3-star developmental prospects just as the year before. The third-ranked player in the state by 247Sports, offensive lineman Trevor Downing selected the Cyclones. The fourth best in-state prospect, linebacker Dillon Doyle, went with the Hawkeyes.

The best talent is consistently picking Iowa over Iowa State. It’s that way again with the Class of 2019. Iowa holds commitments from the top two players, 4-star offensive linemen Ezra Miller and Tyler Endres.

The Hawkeyes have won seven of the last 10 games in the series, but this isn’t a one-sided rivalry anymore. The 2017 contest showed Iowa State is a program on the rise and Campbell is Iowa State’s best recruiter ever.

But Iowa still holds the upper hand with in-state recruiting because the top-tier talent keeps picking the Hawkeyes.

When will Max Duggan commit?

— @Jeberhardt37

We covered Max Duggan and his decision in the last mailbag. Didn’t write much on his time frame for making a decision. The general belief is he may commit this spring. Expect him to make a decision by the end of the summer. Most players want to have their decision made before starting their season.

Odds are he commits to a program in the next four or five months.

How do recruiting websites come up with rankings?

I’ve received this question a few times and now is a good time to go over it because some of Iowa’s top prospects are expected to start making decisions in the coming weeks.

Let’s take 247Sports. This story explains how it puts together its composite rankings. It’s interesting to note that all the major recruiting services, such as Rivals and ESPN, share equal weight in the composite.

After gathering all the player rankings, 247Sports uses a proprietary algorithm to compute the final rankings. The 247Sports composite star rankings is an approximate average based on star rankings across the recruiting industry.

Rivals uses a points system to designate stars. Everything is explained here. The higher the number the better with 6.1 being the highest ranking possible to designate, a 5-star, franchise-type player.

A player with a 4-star grade comes in with a 5.8-6.0 rating. Rivals sees a 4-star player as someone with All-American caliber talent.

ESPN is a lot like Rivals. It uses a numerical scale, though it tops out at 100. ESPN rates a 4-star prospect with an 80-89 designation.

Have a question about Iowa recruiting? Tweet us @Landof10Iowa and we’ll try to answer it in a future mailbag. Check to see if your issue already was addressed by reading previous Iowa recruiting mailbags here.