IOWA CITY, Iowa — Iowa football’s biggest position of need is no longer a concern for 2019.
Noah Fenske committed to the Hawkeyes on March 2, joining fellow in-state offensive linemen Ezra Miller and Tyler Endres as Iowa pledges. All three give Iowa a strong foundation toward eventually replacing five upperclassmen currently on scholarship.
The commitments reconfigure the Hawkeyes’ recruiting needs for 2019. Here are six positions that will get Iowa’s focus going forward.
The current depth is great, but teams must look to the future. Class of 2018 signee John Waggoner is the only player entering his first season with the program or coming off a redshirt.
Iowa needs younger ends to replace starters Parker Hesse and Anthony Nelson down the road, and 3-star in-state prospect Mosai Newsom is a playerto watch. Don’t be surprised if Iowa takes multiple defensive ends in 2019.
This is a priority in every class. The dream is to land 4-star in-state quarterback Max Duggan, but reality is this recruitment seems like a dogfight. His recruitment went national, and Nebraska also is one of the favorites to land his signature.
Iowa has extended a series of offers to 2019 quarterbacks in the last few months. The top option not named Duggan is Connecticut 4-star quarterback Taisun Phommachanh.
But as with Duggan, his recruiting is starting to pick up.
Depth at the position is a concern. The only way to alleviate it is to bring more running backs, and that’s what Iowa plans to do in 2019. The Hawkeyes already have offered nine running backs. The name to watch is Illinois 4-star running back Jirehl Brock. He has visited Iowa City multiple times, and the Hawkeyes are in good position with him.
Until the production level increases, wide receiver will be a concern. Iowa did a nice job of bringing in high-upside prospects in the last two recruiting cycles. The only thing the team lacks is a top-end wide receiver.
Indiana 4-star David Bell fills that void, but landing him is Iowa’s biggest recruiting challenge in this class. It’s hard to sign out-of-state players when Ohio State, Michigan and Penn State are the main competition.
Iowa signed four linebackers in 2018. Adding multiple players at the position in 2019 is a possibility. The Hawkeyes have offered 11 linebackers, and the most interesting is 3-star in-state prospect Jack Campbell. He is expected to commit before his senior season.
No, this isn’t a trick. Expect Iowa to bring in at least one more offensive lineman. With the position group off to such a good start — Miller and Endres are 4-star prospects — Iowa can afford to be patient and go big-game hunting to round out the class.
Another top-shelf prospect, such as Indiana 3-star prospect Justin Britt, could ensure this is one of Iowa’s best offensive line classes in recent memory. He ranks as the No. 14 guard in the class, according to the 247Sports composite.