Howe: Five Incoming Iowa Football Freshmen I’m Excited to See

July 16, 2020

Written by Rob Howe

Hawkeye Nation

IOWA CITY, Iowa – Major college football’s fall season remains up in the air as coronavirus numbers surge upward across the country. We anxiously await a final decision.

The Ivy League pushed its fall sports to the spring. That’s been talked about as a possibility for Power 5 conferences.

The budgetary impact of football on athletic departments tells us that schools will pull out all stops to play a season before the fiscal year ends on June 30, 2021. At some point, we will see the Hawkeyes again.

When we do, a new group of student-athletes will be lining up. The 2020 recruiting class is on campus working towards beginning their college careers.

Here are five newcomers I’m excited to see:

Logan Jones, Defensive Tackle, Council Bluffs, Iowa – Head coach Kirk Ferentz compared Jones to starting center Tyler Linderbaum, who started his college career as a defensive tackle. Assistant defensive line coach Jay Niemann said Jones (6-3, 260) was physically mature beyond his years.

“He’s a rocked-up looking dude, and he plays like he looks,” Niemann said. “When Logan hits the pile, the pile moves. He’s just a real physical guy.”

The Hawkeyes have lost seven starters on their defensive line after the last two seasons. That’s opened up opportunities for guys like Jones.

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Deontae Craig, Defensive End, Fort Wayne, Ind. – A Rivals four-star, Craig (6-3, 240) chose Iowa over offers from Ohio State, Michigan, Notre Dame, Tennessee and many others. Like Jones, the departures on the defensive front created openings for Craig to play early.

Ferentz said Craig could help during his first season.

“We’re really excited about him,” the coach said.

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Reggie Bracy, Safety, Mobile, Ala. – Geno Stone’s early exit to the NFL opens up the starting strong safety spot. Bracy could fit in there. If Dane Belton slides back there from the Cash position, Bracy might jump into the hybrid.

At 6-0, 190, the Alabama product offers versatility, physicality and a refined skill set that could put him on the field early at Iowa. The competition in the secondary is expected to be stiff, and Bracy is talented enough to jump over some veterans.

Elijah Yelverton, Tight End, Royse City, Texas – Like in the secondary, the competition should be heated at tight end. Sam LaPorta leads the way at the position, and senior Shaun Beyer is seasoned, but the coaches will be looking beyond that top two.

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Yelverton, who enrolled at Iowa in January, has a head start on fellow incoming freshman Luke Lachey. The latter could catch up, however, with no spring ball and altered summer workouts due to the pandemic.

Yelverton (6-4, 220) chose the Hawkeyes ahead of offers from Auburn, Baylor, Florida, Georgia, LSU, Michigan, Oregon, Penn State and many others.

Tory Taylor, Punter, Australia – Taylor is trying to find his way to campus amidst travel restrictions brought on by COVID-19. Upon arrival, he’s expected to compete with Ryan Gersonde and Nick Phelps for the starting job.

Taylor (6-4, 225) is looking to replace fellow Australian Michael Sleep-Dalton, who solidified the position for the Hawkeyes last fall after graduate transferring from Arizona State. There’s a saying at Iowa that punting is winning, and the next man from down under could help the cause right away. He turns 23 in October.

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