Iowa has enjoyed success at quarterback throughout the 21 years of head coach Kirk Ferentz. Most of those signal callers have come from out of state.
Keokuk’s James Vandenberg was the only one raised in Iowa brought in on scholarship during that time. He was a member of the 2008 recruiting class.
Others, like Kyle Orton and Max Duggan, held Hawkeye opportunities. They took their talents elsewhere.
Perhaps Jaxson Dailey joins Vandenberg in the select company. The ’22 Pleasant Hill (IA) Southeast Polk High product already reports scholarship offers from Michigan and Iowa State. Iowa is evaluating him closely.
“I would say things are going pretty good with (the Hawkeyes),” he told HN. “I get in touch with them about once a month or so. When we speak, it’s mostly updates about how things are going to look as we get out of this tough time for things like visits and how to make up for missed camps.”
Dailey and other prospects have missed out on a key period of their recruitment during the COVID-19 pandemic. A dead period, which prohibited face-to-face contact with coaches and campus visits, began in mid-March and has been extended through July. Normally athletes welcome colleges into their schools, stop on campuses and attended camps during this time.
Schools are meeting with prospects virtually. Iowa assistant Jay Niemann is leading the program’s recruitment of Dailey.
“I speak to coach Niemann at this point. I had gotten the chance to speak with (quarterback) coach (Ken) O’Keefe last year at football camp, but have not spoken to him since then,” Dailey said.
He visited Iowa for a game last September after taking part in a June prospect camp there.
“I really enjoyed the atmosphere in Kinnick Stadium and the facilities. Being around a prestigious program and seeing how they run it is always a cool thing to be able to witness,” he said.
The Hawkeyes are deliberate in the evaluation process, particularly at the quarterback position. O’Keefe is hands on and likes to meet with prospects. That’s missing in the current climate of the pandemic.
Iowa has not offered any quarterbacks in the ’22 cycle.
“I would say that this year is an important one as far as evaluation goes, especially because I am missing out on camps that I would typically be going to at this time. So, my evaluation will have to rely more on my game film. So, I am continuing to work and get better to make myself game ready to reach my peak,” Dailey said.
Dailey (6-3, 195) has lived in Iowa since he was one. He did not grow up rooting for a specific college program, however.
“I like to consider myself a fan of football in general. Iowa is one of the teams that I do enjoy watching on Saturdays,” he said.
The Wolverines and Cyclones have Dailey’s attention having offered scholarships.
“Iowa State and Michigan are also two programs that I highly respect and enjoy watching play. I get the chance to talk to both team’s quarterback coaches once a week and the head coaches a handful of times. I have really enjoyed building relationships with them,” he said.
The left-hander completed 98 of 183 passes for 1,297 yards and 14 touchdowns against four interceptions as a sophomore. He rushed 30 times for 144 yards and a score.
The 247 network ranks Dailey as a three-star prospect and the No. 22 pro-style quarterback nationally in the ’22 class.
Here’s a look at Dailey’s sophomore highlights: