Catching Up with Some Hawkeye Targets in Class of ’19

December 4, 2018

Written by Rob Howe

IOWA CITY, Iowa – The Iowa coaches are crisscrossing the country in an effort to fill out their 2019 recruiting class. There aren’t many seats left open on the bus.

The Hawkeyes have secured 16 known verbal commitments. All were expected to sign during the early period that runs from Dec. 19-21.

“We have some specific positions that we’re really trying to hone in on right now because we’ve got the majority of our class finished, but there’s still some things that we think we can do and hopefully help this class. We really want to make sure we do a good job putting the last four, five, six pieces of the class together, while we make sure that the guys that are committed are firm and solid with us, and I think that looks pretty good right now, too,” Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz said on Sunday.

Based on the coaches’ travels, running back, tight end and defensive line are the positions Iowa is prioritizing. With that in mind, we’re trying to reach out to prospects the staff is visiting and recruiting.

Here are some updates:

Jestin Jacobs, LB, Ohio – The Hawkeye verbal commitment has received most of the attention among fans and media. It’s occurred because the home-state school, Ohio State, offered a scholarship and have been pushing hard to flip him.

The Buckeyes conducted an in-home visit with him on Monday after Iowa dropped in last week. Hawkeye linebacker coach Seth Wallace was scheduled to visit him on Wednesday, he told HN. Coaches from both schools have been contacting him.

Jacobs told us last week that he remains committed to Iowa. That was still the case as of Tuesday.

Is this tug of war stressful?

“It is. It weighs on my mind all day. It’s a life-changing decision,” he told HN on Tuesday.

Shadrick Byrd, RB, Alabama – The Hawkeyes are searching for another ball carrier to add to Georgia’s Tyler Goodson in this cycle. Byrd could be on the brink of an offer. Position coach Derrick Foster and offensive coordinator Brian Ferentz are scheduled to visit him on Thursday.

“I’ve been talking with coach Foster for awhile. He’s been contacting me. I could possibly get an offer and we will go from there,” Byrd told HN.

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He likes what he’s learning about Iowa.

“I feel good (about the Hawkeyes). I’ll go on my official visit there next week if I get the offer. My options are open right now since I’ll be an early enrollee,” he said.

Vanderbilt, Troy and Wake Forest are the other schools in the running for Byrd. He holds offers from all of them.

Byrd is planning on majoring in Sports Medicine.

Jacardia Wright, RB, Illinois – Iowa has been involved with Wright since offering him a scholarship when he was a sophomore. He has visited the school.

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“I really like Iowa. When I visited, it was great, and me and the coaches connected well,” he told HN.

Wright is working on scheduling an official visit with the Hawkeyes. He’s plans on signing in February so he has time.

Assistant LeVar Woods is leading Iowa’s recruitment of Wright.

In addition to Iowa, Wright is looking to officially visit Michigan State, Purdue, Western Michigan and Missouri.

“All the teams are pretty even right now until I get out and see the colleges and see which one I like the best,” he said.

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Joshua DeBerry, CB, Michigan – DeBerry visited Iowa back in March. He told HN he loved what he saw and heard.

DeBerry told HN on Tuesday that defensive coordinator and secondary coach Phil Parker will be visiting him on Wednesday.

“I like Iowa a lot. They are on top of my list,” he told us on Tuesday.

He’s looking to sign with a school this month.

Justin Stephens, TE, Ohio – Another guy with whom the Hawkeyes have enjoyed a long relationship. They offered him back in early May.

The coaches have visited him recently. He’s been trying to set up an official visit.

“I’ll possibly get out there next week,” Stephens told HN.

We wrote about Stephens when he Iowa offered.

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