Previewing Hawkeye Recruiting Tailgate
IOWA CITY, Iowa – The added early signing day and continuously sped-up recruiting calendar has changed how schools conduct business. Iowa’s annual recruiting tailgate fell under that umbrella.
The Hawkeyes mid-summer event used to feature prospects heading into their senior seasons. It’s become an underclassmen gathering these days.
The program will hold the bonding and get-to-know-you better session this weekend at the football performance center. The group includes some verbal commitments, undecided targets holding scholarship offers and a few guys hoping to land an opportunity.
Here’s a rundown of who’s expected in town:
Braelon Allen, ’22, LB, Fond Du Lac (WI) High
Size: 6-1, 200
Interest: Notre Dame, Wisconsin.
Skinny: Allen returns to Iowa’s campus after stopping by in June. He’s an accomplished wrestler, competes in track and plays quarterback in football. He’s only heading into his sophomore year, so expect his stock to keep rising.
Jeff Bowie, ’21, DL, West Branch (IA) High
Size: 6-5, 240
Offers: Iowa, Iowa State, Minnesota, Nebraska, Northern Illinois, Vanderbilt, Virginia Tech.
Interest: Notre Dame.
Skinny: Bowie’s stock has been rising since the end of his sophomore season. He’s visited Iowa multiple times and has a good relationship with the staff. He’s from a Hawkeye household.
Brody Brecht ’21, WR, Ankeny (IA) High
Size: 6-4, 195
Offers: Iowa, Iowa State.
Interest: Nebraska, Virginia Tech.
Skinny: Brecht comes back to Iowa City after stopping for a junior day back in March and making another visit last month. This could come down to a battle between the two in-state, Power 5 schools.
Connor Colby, ’21, OL, Cedar Rapids (IA) Kennedy High
Size: 6-6, 275
Offers: Iowa, Iowa State, Michigan, Michigan State, Minnesota, Nebraska, Ohio State, Virginia Tech.
Skinny: Colby hit the camp circuit this summer and impressed enough to land offers from Michigan, Ohio State and others. Then he came home and committed to the Hawkeyes. The ceiling here is very high.
Gennings Dunker, ’21, OL, Lena-Winslow (IL) High
Size: 6-5, 265
Interest: Northwestern, Illinois.
Skinny: The first verbal commitment in Iowa’s ’21 class, Dunker plays high school ball with ’20 Hawkeye pledge Isaiah Bruce. Dunker earned his offer with a strong campus performance last month.
Jameson Geers, ’21, TE, New Lenox (IL) Providence Catholic
Size: 6-5, 225
Offers: Ball State, Illinois, Iowa, Iowa State, Kansas, Louisville, Minnesota, Northern Illinois, Northwestern, Temple, Toledo, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin.
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Interest: Western Michigan.
Skinny: Long, physical and athletic, Geers fits the mold of what the Hawkeye covet in their tight ends. Geers visited campus twice in June, including a camp at which his performance brought an offer. He likes Iowa’s tradition at his position.
Aaron Graves, ’22, DL, Gowrie (IA) Southeast Valley
Size: 6-5, 235
Interest: Iowa State, Northern Iowa.
Skinny: Graves became the first pledge in Iowa’s ’22 class when he jumped in after receiving an offer following camp last month. He already impacted his team as a freshman and has three more years of high school to add to his athletic frame.
Jaden Harrell, ’21, LB, Urbandale (IA) High
Size: 6-2, 215
Offers: Iowa, Nebraska.
Interest: Iowa State, Kansas State.
Skinny: Harrell has been a frequent visitor, attending two junior days during the winter and coming back for the Hawkeyes’ final spring practice. Iowa has made a good impression here but Nebraska also is a player.
Griffin Liddle, ’21, DL, Bettendorf (IA) High
Size: 6-4, 255
Offers: Iowa, Iowa State, Michigan State, Minnesota, Nebraska.
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Interest: Northwestern, Notre Dame, Stanford, Wisconsin.
Skinny: Liddle, the son of a former Iowa wrestler, has held a Hawkeye offer for more than a year. He’s visited campus on a number of occasions. Not one to relax, he camped at Iowa this summer to work with coaches and improve.
Kyran Montgomery, ’21, DL, Indianapolis Pike High
Size: 6-5, 215
Offers: Bowling Green, Cincinnati, Indiana, Iowa, Purdue.
Interest: Michigan State, Notre Dame.
Skinny: Iowa became the first school to offer Montgomery following his campus visit for a junior day in February. His stock has risen since then but it’s a good sign he’s headed back to town for a key event in the recruiting cycle.
Ricky Parks, ’21, RB, Tampa (FL) Jesuit High
Size: 5-11, 202
Offers: Central Michigan, Iowa, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisville, Penn State, Pittsburgh, Purdue, South Carolina, UCF, Virginia.
Skinny: A glance at Parks’ offer list reveals a group of schools known for success at his position. He’s back at Iowa after visiting campus last season. His former teammate, Dane Belton, is a Hawkeye freshman. Penn State could be Iowa’s top competition here.
Willie Shaw, ’21, RB, Chicago Brother Rice
Size: 5-11, 180
Offers: Illinois, Iowa, Virginia.
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Skinny: Like Parks, Shaw is already impressing schools only midway through his prep career. In fact, he’s yet to play a varsity game. He earned his offer while camping with the Hawkeyes last month.
Beau Stephens, ’21, OL, Blue Spring (MO) High
Size: 6-6, 320
Offers: Iowa State, Kansas State, Kansas, Missouri.
Interest: Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, Wisconsin.
Skinny: The first player in our rundown yet to be offered by the Hawkeyes, that could change this weekend. Stephens performed for the coaches last month at a prospect camp.
Zach Twedt, ’21, LB, Story City (IA) Roland-Story High
Size: 6-3, 205
Offers: Iowa, Iowa State.
Interest: Nebraska, Notre Dame.
Skinny: This one should excite Iowa fans. Twedt is an Iowa State verbal commitment. He pledged back in January but obviously is still listening to the Hawkeyes. Iowa likes him at linebacker but other programs view him as a tight end.
Justin Walters, ’21, DB, Bolingbrook (IL) High
Size: 6-1, 170
Offers: Army, Boston College, Bowling Green, Cincinnati, Iowa, Iowa State, Michigan State, Minnesota, Northern Illinois, Temple, Western Michigan, Wisconsin.
Interest: Kansas State, Northwestern.
Skinny: Walters checked out Iowa in February when he attended a junior day. The Hawkeyes had offered him a month earlier, his second Power 5 offer. Iowa State was the first.
Tyson Watson, ’21, DL, Warren (MI) Mott High
Size: 6-5, 245
Offers: Central Michigan, Kentucky, Toledo, Youngstown State.
Interest: Penn State, Pitt, West Virginia, Cincinnati, Louisville.
Skinny: Watson is hoping to secure his first Big Ten offer this weekend when he stops at Iowa. Kentucky was the first Power 5 school to extend an opportunity. A prospect who’s poised to rise with a big junior year, the Hawkeyes could get in early.
Jordan Young, ’21, DB, Tampa (FL) Jesuit High
Size: 6-0, 185
Offers: Alabama, Florida, Florida State, Iowa, Miami, Pitt.
Skinny: Iowa is up against it trying to pull a prospect from the South with big options close to home. But the Hawkeyes are getting him on campus and have a strong history to sell defensive backs.