Ezra Miller/Twitter
Iowa 2019 offensive tackle commit Ezra Miller, left, is ranked No. 69 overall by 247Sports and may be Iowa's top recruit in the class.

Iowa recruiting mailbag: Predicting the top-rated 2019 commit

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 the 4- and 5-star recruits the Hawkeyes are after in the Class of 2019.

Go out on a limb… Who is the highest ranked recruit we nab?

— Jeff Schulz

How about this for a limb. He is already committed. I know, it’s not much of a ledge to go out on, but 4-star 2019 offensive tackle pledge Ezra Miller is already ranked No. 65 by 247Sports. It’s going to be hard to top that.

Five-star defensive end A.J. Epenesa is the only higher-ranked player to sign with Iowa in the last eight classes. Epenesa was No. 6 by 247Sports.

Miller is not the highest recruit Iowa is after, but we’ll get to that in a second.

Name the three highest-rated offers and three highest-rated guys Iowa is likely to land

— Jeff Schulz

For the record, Iowa has offered eight uncommitted Class 2019 top-100 players in the 247Sports Composite Index.

Three highest-ranked offers

Pos. Name State Stars Ranking
ILB Nakobe Dean Miss. 5 22
Ath. Isaiah Williams Mo. 5 25
WR Frank Ladson Fla. 4 43

Three highest-ranked players Iowa can potentially land

Pos. Name State Stars Ranking
WR David Bell Ind. 4 71
RB Jirel Brock Ill. 4 140
QB Max Dugan Iowa 4 264

There is a big difference in those lists. We’ll explain why that is in discussing the definition of chance coming up next.

Who are the top-ranked targets in the 2019 class?

— Joe Williams

I wrote on eight of Iowa’s top targets for 2019 last week. I included players I believed Iowa had a great shot at landing.

You’ll notice Bell isn’t on that list. The Hawkeyes are in a great position with wide receiver David Bell. They were the first to offer him, but his offer list now includes Ohio State and Michigan. The Hawkeyes will go after Bell hard on the recruiting trail, but seeing the Buckeyes and Wolverines there gives me pause.

Iowa is going to lose most head-to-head recruiting battles with bluebloods of the sport. It’s that way for most programs. The Hawkeyes landing Bell would go down as one of the bigger recruiting coups in their recent history.

I hesitate when I see an out-of-state Iowa prospect land an offer from someone like the Buckeyes. The Hawkeyes tend to recruit best at this high-end, 4- or 5-star level, when the recruiting stays at a regional level. Say a Nebraska, Minnesota or Michigan State offers. They can win a recruiting battle against the bigger fish when the prospect is from Iowa or has major ties to the Hawkeyes.

Running back Jahlil Brock is an example of a 4-star recruit whose offers are regional. It’s why he made the most likely to land list from the question about it

Four-star quarterback Max Duggan, 4-star linebacker Nick Henrich and 4-star defensive back Moses Douglas fall into the second category. Duggan is from Iowa. Henrich is from Nebraska and Douglas is from Ohio. Henrich is the son of a former Iowa tennis player and Douglas has an uncle who played football for the Hawkeyes.

Still, neither is a guarantee to put on the black and gold. Each can play virtually anywhere they want. Douglass is being recruited by Ohio State and Michigan. Henrich’s recent offers include Florida, Notre Dame, Texas A&M and Penn State.

There are several 4-star or 5-star out-of-state players Iowa is after with offers from traditional powers. Here are a few key ones:

Pos. Name State Stars Ranking Top offers
Ath. Isaiah Williams Mo. 5 25 Alabama, Oklahoma
Ath. Marquez Beason Texas 4 55 Oklahoma, Texas A&M
RB Sampson James Ind. 4 126 Ohio State, Michigan
OL Trevor Keegan Ill. 4 132 Oklahoma, Michigan

Gauging Iowa’s chances with these prospects requires some move to signal legitimate interest. It could be attending a junior day, visiting campus or taking part in a camp.

Without such an act, it’s hard to see how Iowa lands any of these prospects. This applies to Henrich and Douglas as well. It’s why it’s a good sign for Iowa that Bell is attending a junior day on March 4, according to Dylan Burn of 247Sports.

All three Iowa 2019 commits are 4-star prospects by 247Sports. Chances are good that number grows, but the situation must be right for the Hawkeyes to land another big fish.

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.