Iowa Offer Means a Lot to Ohio TE Justin Stephens

May 3, 2018

Written by Rob Howe

Hawkeye Nation

Iowa’s Noah Fant led the nation in touchdowns by a tight end last season with 11. He’s being talked about as a potential first-round NFL Draft pick when he’s eligible for it after the 2018 campaign.

The attention he’s receiving only helps on the recruiting trail. Prospects can dream about taking his place in an offense that caters to the position.

Justin Stephens is one of them. He has a Hawkeye opportunity after receiving a scholarship offer on Wednesday. Iowa assistant Seth Wallace visited the school earlier in the day and then gave him the good news.

“It meant a lot,” he told HN. “I know Iowa is a school who relies heavily on tight ends and it felt good to know that I can be one of them.”

Boston College, Cincinnati, Duke, Kentucky, LSU, Purdue and Rutgers are among the other schools to have offered Stephens (6-7, 240). Michigan and others have been showing interest in the Trotwood (OH)-Madison High standout, who also excels in basketball.

Stephens missed the first four games of the ’17 season. Working with a talented group of receivers, he caught 12 passes for 184 yards and three touchdowns.

The 247 network ranks him as a three-star recruit and the No. 66 tight end nationally in ’19. He’s not yet been ranked by Rivals.

Stephens looks forward to leaning more about Iowa. He hopes to visit the school sometime in June or July.

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“I don’t know a lot about Iowa, but my relationship is great with them. A lot of their coaches know a lot about me and my area,” he said.

Distance from Dayton is not a real consideration when choosing a school.

“I’m fine with playing far from home. I know my family will support me through anything,” he said.

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More important is what a college can do for his future.

“I am looking for development from a program educationally, mentally, and physically,” he said.

Stephens plans on majoring in Cybersecurity. That’s an important factor in his recruitment.

“Schools that are standing out to me are the ones with my major,” he said.

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He has an idea when he’d like to end his recruitment.

“I don’t know when I want to commit. I’ve been advised to do so close to the end of June and early July,” he said.

Here’s a look at Stephens’ junior highlights:

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