Dallas TE Elijah Yelverton Commits to Hawkeyes

April 12, 2019

Written by Rob Howe

Some people were wondering when the national attention being paid to outgoing Iowa tight ends Noah Fant and T.J. Hockenson would pay off in recruiting.

They received their answer Friday morning.

Dallas Bishop Dunne junior Elijah Yelverton announced his commitment to the Hawkeyes. He held more than 35 scholarship offers, including Arkansas, Auburn, Florida, LSU, Michigan, Ole Miss, Oregon, Penn State and Texas A&M.

“It’s a home-town feel like where I’m from,” Yelverton told HN about choosing Iowa. “The coaches have been there a long time. We have a great relationship with each other. Then, definitely the success at the tight end position was big.”

Fant and Hockenson are projected as first-round picks in this month’s NFL Draft. That would be the first time two teammates were selected in Round 1.

“That’s definitely got to catch your attention. That’s awesome,” Yelverton said. “They only thing that makes me think is I hope I’m next.”

He and his family watched the Hawkeyes a lot season when Hockenson and Fant served as focal points for the offense.

“I love how they use the tight end. I can block or flex out. They both had success doing the same thing. I feel like it’s a place where I fit in,” Yelverton said.

Monday, he posted a Top 5 of Iowa, Penn State, Arkansas, Ole Miss and LSU. He wasted little time cutting that group down to one.

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“It was a short time but even before I posted the Top 5 I knew I wanted to go to Iowa. I was like, you know what, let’s get this thing going and get ready for it,” Yelverton said.

Despite the gaudy offer list, Rivals and 247 both only show Yelverton (6-5, 225) as a three-star recruit. Rivals ranks him as the No. 11 tight end nationally in the 2020 Class, while 247 puts him at No. 15.

During the last two seasons, Yelverton has caught 52 passes for 661 yards and nine touchdowns.

Iowa worked hard on securing a commitment from Yelverton. It joined Nebraska and Indiana as the first schools to offer him a scholarship when it did so on Jan. 25, 2018.

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Assistant LeVar Woods led the Hawkeyes’ pursuit after building a strong relationship with Bishop Dunne through the years. Offensive coordinator and tight end coach Brian Ferentz also impressed Yelverton, who visited campus for junior day last March.

“Coach Woods, we talk all the time. We’ve been talking since they offered me. I tried to talk to Coach Brian Ferentz about once every week for the last few months. We’ve been building up our relationship,” Yelverton said.

Iowa also enjoyed an ally working on the home front in ’20 quarterback pledge Deuce Hogan, who plays at Grapevine (TX) Faith Christian. Hogan helped recruit Yelverton.

“We are getting a stud,” Hogan told HN on Friday. “He’s a freak athlete that can help exponentially in the run game. It’s a huge get.”

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Said Yelverton about Hogan: “We talk all the time. We’ve been in contact with each other for a long time. He’s always been saying it’s the place to be for tight ends and that’s obvious. We have a good relationship.”

Yelverton plans on graduating high school in December and enrolling at Iowa for the spring semester. He’s leaning toward majoring in Business.

Yelverton became the Hawkeyes’ ninth known verbal commitment in the ’20 cycle. He joined Hogan, defensive linemen Logan Jones, Michael Lois and Isaiah Bruce, offensive linemen Josh Volk and Tyler Elsbury, linebacker Ethan Hurkett, and running back Gavin Williams.

Rivals currently ranks Iowa’s class 11th in the country, while 247 puts it at eighth overall and second in the Big Ten.

Here’s a look at Yelverton’s junior highlights:

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