IOWA CITY, Iowa — In the 20th Iowa signing class for coach Kirk Ferentz, the Hawkeyes have secured several key signees and shored up a few problem areas in the process.
Iowa signed five defensive backs, four wide receivers and four linebackers in an effort to get more talented and add depth at those key positions. Rivals graded defensive backs Julius Brents (Indianapolis) and Dallas Craddieth (St. Louis) as 4-star pickups, while fellow defensive back D.J. Johnson (Indianapolis) was a high 3-star.
Iowa almost must replace its top four linebackers for this year so there’s opportunity for playing time at that position.
The Hawkeyes ranked 93rd in passing offense in 2017, so they dedicated four scholarships to wide receivers. The top-rated signee was Tyrone Tracy (Indianapolis), who just missed a 4-star ranking by Rivals.
Other Rivals’ 4-star prospects for Iowa include quarterback Spencer Petras (Marin, Calif.) and defensive end John Waggoner (West Des Moines, Iowa). Both players signed in December.
— Hawkeye Football (@HawkeyeFootball) February 7, 2018
Where Iowa’s 2018 recruiting class ranks nationally
- 247Sports rank: 39
- Rivals rank: 37
Where Iowa’s 2018 recruiting class ranks in the Big Ten
- 247Sports rank: 8
- Rivals rank: 7
Where Iowa’s 2018 recruiting class ranks historically
These rankings are pulled from 247Sports’ Composite team rankings as well as Rivals and date 10 years to the 2009 recruiting class. All of the numbers include the three Big Ten newcomers Nebraska, Maryland and Rutgers — even when the schools were in different conferences.
|247Sports composite national||Rivals national||247 Big Ten||Rivals Big Ten|
By the numbers, Iowa quietly has put together its best recruiting ranking since 2011. The Hawkeyes have signed four 4-star recruits from Rivals and won head-to-head battles with Power 5 blue bloods to do it.
The 2017 class fell apart in late fall of 2016 after Iowa refused to allow its commits to make visits other Division I programs. Several players de-committed, which chopped Iowa’s ranking from about 25 to past 40. That’s despite 5-star defensive end A.J. Epenesa and 4-star tackle Tristan Wirfs remaining in the class.
The last two years have shown a recruiting surge for Iowa. The coaching staff seems to have found the right touch in finding high-caliber players who fit the team’s on-field profile and match the work ethic.