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Previewing Hawkeye Recruiting Tailgate

July 25, 2019

Written by Rob Howe

Hawkeye Nation

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

Offers: Iowa.

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.

Highlights: None.

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.

Highlights: LINK

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.

Highlights: LINK

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.

Interest: Missouri.

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.

Highlights: LINK

Gennings Dunker, ’21, OL, Lena-Winslow (IL) High

Size: 6-5, 265

Offers: Iowa.

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.

Highlights: LINK

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.

Highlights: LINK

Aaron Graves, ’22, DL, Gowrie (IA) Southeast Valley

Size: 6-5, 235

Offers: Iowa.

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.

Highlights: LINK

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.

Highlights: LINK

Griffin Liddle, ’21, DL, Bettendorf (IA) High

Size: 6-4, 255

Offers: Iowa, Iowa State, Michigan State, Minnesota, Nebraska.

Continue reading below

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.

Highlights: LINK

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.

Highlights: LINK

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.

Interest: Others.

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.

Highlights: LINK

Willie Shaw, ’21, RB, Chicago Brother Rice

Size: 5-11, 180

Offers: Illinois, Iowa, Virginia.

Continue reading below

Interest: Others.

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.

Highlights: LINK

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.

Highlights: LINK

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.

Highlights: LINK

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.

Highlights: LINK

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.

Highlights: LINK

Jordan Young, ’21, DB, Tampa (FL) Jesuit High

Size: 6-0, 185

Offers: Alabama, Florida, Florida State, Iowa, Miami, Pitt.

Interest: Others.

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.

Highlights: LINK

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