116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
IOWA CITY — The long-awaited early signing period is finally here, and Iowa’s recruiting class is beginning to take shape.
To help you keep up with the new athletes coming to campus, The Gazette will keep a running list of verbal commitments and signings here.
RB Jaziun Patterson (Deerfield Beach, Fla.)
Running back Jaziun Patterson announced his commitment to Iowa on Aug. 17, just one month after receiving his offer from the Hawkeyes and less than a month after his unofficial visit on July 25. The 5-foot-10 1/2, 190-pound running back from south Florida is a three-star recruit according to the 247Sports composite.
Iowa’s new running backs coach Ladell Betts is already showing the strength of his pull in the state of Florida after coaching at Coral Springs Academy, Boca Raton and Pine Crest high schools there. Patterson is one of Iowa’s highest-touted recruits with offers from SEC schools such as Alabama, Arkansas, Auburn, Florida, Texas A&M and Ole Miss. He also fielded offers from neighboring Nebraska, Indiana, Michigan and other Big Ten opponents like Rutgers, Penn State and Maryland.
Patterson rushed for 511 yards on 63 carries for seven touchdowns through five games to lead Deerfield Beach High School to a South Florida 8A tri-county championship during the pandemic-shortened season. He was a Sun Sentinel All-Broward 8A-6A first-team selection. During his sophomore season, Patterson carried 53 times for 393 yards, averaging 7.4 yards per rush.
TE Addison Ostrenga (Sun Prairie, Wis.)
Less than a week after receiving a football scholarship offer from Iowa, tight end Addison Ostrenga announced his commitment to the Hawkeyes on Friday, July 16.
Ostrenga, from Sun Prairie High School in Wisconsin, was originally committed to Iowa to play baseball. He told Hawkeye Report he plans on sticking exclusively to football in college.
"There was talk of me doing both and the coaches were open to that idea, but after this past season I felt more confident in pursuing football," Ostrenga told Hawkeye Report.
Ostrenga is a 3-star recruit in the 247Sports composite, ranked 17th overall in Wisconsin and 97th among tight ends in the country.
WR Jacob Bostick (Palatine, Ill.)
Iowa added three-star wide receiver Jacob Bostick to its recruiting class on Thursday, July 1.
Bostick, a 6-foot-3, 170-pound athlete from Palatine, Ill., had 31 receptions for 451 yards and nine touchdowns during his junior season. Bostick was named to the Daily Herald's Northwest Suburbs All-Area team in 2021. He played his sophomore season at Palatine Fremd High School in 2019 before transferring to rival Palatine High School when his family moved across town.
“He started the Fremd game with a kickoff return for a touchdown, his competitive excellence was through the roof for that game,” Palatine head coach Corey Olson said. “There was a lot of pressure for a kid coming from the other side of the tracks.”
Both schools compete in Class 8A, which is the highest classification of football in Illinois. Palatine went 4-2 in its abbreviated spring season with Bostick on the team, which was second in its division and good enough for the playoffs if the state had held them.
Between his sophomore and junior years, Bostick grew 5 inches. He caught five passes for 121 yards in a victory over his former school this past April during the shortened Illinois high school football season. Olson said the transition to the new team was easy, through his hard work and competitiveness.
Bostick notably chose the Hawkeyes over Big Ten foe Illinois. He also had an offer from Louisville.
Olson said Bostick isn’t the type of player who was going to go to a school in pursuit of every possible big name; he wanted to be somewhere who looked at him holistically.
“There was a professionalism to the way Iowa recruited, (Kirk) Ferentz was the only head coach who called me,” Olson said.
QB Carson May (Jones, Okla.)
Carson May became the latest recruit to commit to the Hawkeyes on Tuesday, June 29.
May, a three-star recruit out of Jones High School in Jones, Okla., threw for 3,020 yards, averaging just over 250 yards passing per game to lead the Longhorns to a 9-3 season in Class 2A.
“Iowa is a tradition-rich program with a pro-style offense that I was looking for,” May said over text message on July 6. “When I looked at the Iowa roster and watched game film, I was blown away by the athletes they have and knew I wanted to be a part of that.”
In addition to his 26 passing touchdowns, the 6-foot-5, 210-pounder added 14 rushing touchdowns, averaging 5 yards per carry, with his longest run being 20 yards.
“One of the things that he's been able to improve so much in is his foot speed,” Jones High School head football coach Dave Martin said. “He can pull down the ball and make plays. It's just more of what he is, is that pocket-type player. So much recruiting is going on down here in this region is that dual-threat quarterback, guys kind of put Carson a little bit different category, he's not Kyler Murray, running a 4.4 or 4.5, of course, but at 6-5, 200-pound kid a 4.67 is pretty good.”
May added that while at camp, he practiced some of the same drills that the Iowa quarterbacks are doing, getting comfortable under center. He said the coaches were impressed with his size, arm strength, footwork, mechanics and ability to make throws in the Iowa offense.
Getting that camp exposure was key to May securing the offer. Martin said that in Oklahoma, Class 2A does have a lot of FBS talent, but many players have to go to 7-on-7 tournaments and extra camps to prove they can compete with the best players from higher classifications. May is currently the No. 1 quarterback in the state of Oklahoma.
“It’s a highly-competitive brand of football like anything else, the numbers just aren’t as large as a bigger school,” Martin said. “We just got back from 7-on-7 against Edmond Santa Fe High School, who was in the Class 6A state finals last year. Everything that we do outside of preseason itself is competing with the largest classification state. The No. 2 quarterback was on the field against Carson today, and I'll be honest with you, an innocent bystander could tell who was better.”
May said his current high school team is made up of athletes he’s played with since third grade and hopes to lead them to a state title this fall. He also plays basketball and averaged 13 points and seven rebounds per game. His brother, Dalton May, played tight end one year at the University of Tulsa.
“I think that outside of the football side I mean, he's going to embrace all of the tradition at Iowa,” Martin said. “We talked about how neat it is that there’s a children's hospital right there by the stadium. I think he's going to embrace a lot of those things.”
K Drew Stevens (North Augusta, S.C.)
South Carolina kicker Drew Stevens will join the Hawkeyes as a preferred walk-on in the Class of 2022. Stevens trained with Dan Orner, the same kicking coach as former Iowa kicker Keith Duncan. Orner, a former kicker for the Minnesota Vikings, has trained kickers from all over the NFL and across college football.
“Drew is the Keith Duncan 2.5,” Orner said. “The makeup of both guys, they're both pretty laid back off the field, but on the field, they just have this laser focus. It's one of the intangibles that as a coach is really tough to beat some of these guys just have it.”
Stevens grew up a Hawkeye fan, with family in Spirit Lake. Like a lot of kickers, he got his start playing soccer, but with a naturally powerful leg, was asked to try kicking for the football team. He worked his way on to the varsity roster at North Augusta during his sophomore year. Last season, his longest in-game field goal was 40 yards, but he’s been able to knock one from 60 yards out in practice.
Stevens already had a relationship with Duncan, but enjoyed his time on his Iowa visit hanging out with the other kickers. During the kicking competition at camp, Stevens said he made the final two, but believes his composure is what ultimately earned him the offer.
“They saw me and I kind of was just like no emotion showing,” Stevens said. “I love the competitive aspect of it.”
OT Kale Krogh (Huxley)
Ballard High School offensive tackle Kale Krogh became the fifth verbal commitment in Iowa’s 2022 class on Tuesday, June 15.
According to 247Sports, Krogh is the No. 7-ranked recruit out of the state of Iowa and No. 71 offensive tackle nationally at 6 feet, 6 inches and 265 pounds.
Krogh had a crazy camp schedule this June, traveling to five camps in five days, with his visit to Iowa City being his last. He returned last Friday on an unofficial visit, met with current players Mason Richman, Cody Ince and Tyler Linderbaum and knew Iowa was the place for him, but took the weekend to sit on the decision before committing.
He had been in conversations with Iowa since his freshman year, and was even offered by offensive line coach George Barnett while he was at Tulane, but he did not receive an offer from Iowa until he went to camp on June 5. Going into his week of camps, Krogh had one Power Five offer, from Minnesota.
“(Barnett) offered me a couple into his job at Tulane, and then when he came to Iowa, I thought this is the best situation for me because this guy thinks really highly of me I really like him.”
As a multisport athlete in football, basketball and track and field, Krogh plans to also wrestle his senior year. He’s already started the training and loves it. On May 26, Krogh said he had maxed out on bench at 280 pounds and 415 pounds on his back squat. He's even played basketball against fellow member of Iowa’s Class of 2022, Aaron Graves of Southeast Valley, and had the chance to battle him one-on-one at Iowa's camp.
“The camp itself was super physical, by far the most physical camp I've been at,” Krogh said. “That was good to see because I believe in physical football, and that's the best way to see it: with all that context.”
Krogh is also a good student, which attracted many Ivy League schools. His dream is to play in the NFL, but if not, he plans to pursue an area of medicine that deals with athletes.
“I was joking with my friends about the physical aspect of it, I can hit somebody as hard as I can I don’t get in trouble for it,” Krogh said in May. “Normally, I’m a nice, gentle person but in football, I can just like turn on a switch and if you’re across the line from me, you're in trouble.”
LB Jayden Montgomery (Green Bay, Wis.)
Three-star linebacker Jayden Montgomery became the Hawkeyes’ fourth addition to their 2022 recruiting class on Tuesday, June 8, which will keep a nearly lifelong tradition of his alive.
“I've never went a year without going to an Iowa game since I was probably 1 or 2,” Montgomery said.
Standing at 5-foot-11, 205 pounds, the Bay Port High School athlete is the son of current Green Bay Packers defensive line coach and former Hawkeye player and graduate assistant coach, Jerry Montgomery. Montgomery had seven offers, including Troy, North Dakota State and Northern Iowa, according to 247Sports. He said the three reasons he committed were because of his history of being a Hawkeye fan, the winning tradition at Iowa and the academic support he would get as a college athlete hoping to pursue business or sports management.
Growing up as the son of a college football coach, Montgomery said that for the first 11 years of his life, they moved to 10 different houses, never staying anywhere more than two years. But he wouldn’t trade his upbringing. He’s fortunately been around college and professional football his whole life.
According to Wisconsin Sports Network, Montgomery had 51 tackles, including 30 solo, 10 for loss and two sacks through four games played in the spring 2020 season. As a sophomore in 2019, Montgomery had 80 total tackles, including 33 solo, 11 for loss and two sacks.
“I almost had half as many tackles as I did in my sophomore year and I only played four games,” Montgomery said. “The goal is always to win conference and state championships, but personally, I’d like to break my tackle goal that I set last year.”
OT Jack Dotzler (Waunakee, Wis.)
On June 2, Dotzler became the third commitment in Iowa’s 2022 class.
The 6-foot-7, 265-pound three-star offensive tackle from Wisconsin grew up bleeding black and gold since his dad attended Iowa, so it was only a matter of time before he declared Iowa his home. He is also high school teammates with three-star tight end Andrew Keller, who is on Iowa’s watch list. Waunakee High School went 7-0 in the 2020 season.
Dotzler is the No. 9 offensive tackle product out of the state of Wisconsin and ranks No. 63 nationally at the position. Dotzler also played basketball for Waunakee High School.
DL Aaron Graves (Gowrie)
Southeast Valley’s Aaron Graves was the first of Iowa’s verbal commitments back in June of 2019, according to 247Sports.
The four-star athlete stands at 6 feet, 5.5 inches and 260 pounds and is the No. 2 prospect out of the state of Iowa. He is No. 14 nationally in the defensive line position group.
As a junior at Class 1A Southeast Valley, Graves recorded 50.5 total tackles, including 36 solo, 8.5 sacks and 18.5 tackles for loss through 10 games, aiding in his team’s journey to the state quarterfinals. He plans to attend Iowa’s camp on Saturday, June 5, while also participating in the official visit weekend on June 25.
“I'm already committed, so I’m not trying to pick up an offer, it's basically like an organized practice,” Graves said. “Just excited to be coached by them firsthand and meet some of the recruits.”
Graves’ dad, Mark Graves, played football for Northwestern, but Graves has grown up a fan of the Hawkeyes. His dad was the defensive line coach at Southeast Valley during his freshman and sophomore years before moving up to defensive coordinator for Aaron’s junior year.
What attracted Aaron to Iowa was his relationships with the coaches and the strength and conditioning program. Coach Kelvin Bell, who he said connected him with fellow recruit Caden Crawford, sends Aaron videos of drills his dad can also incorporate into his high school practices.
ATH/DL Caden Crawford (Lansing, Kansas)
Caden Crawford, a 6-foot-5, 239 pound-athlete has played linebacker and quarterback during his high school career, but was recruited as a potential defensive line product for Iowa.
“I really liked Coach (Kelvin) Bell, he’d watch my film and tell me what I needed to work on,” Crawford said. “With dead period getting pushed back, I was ready to make my decision.”
Crawford visited campus unofficially for one of the spring games in April alongside other recruits, but wasn’t able to talk to coaches because of the dead period. He said it was the first time he had seen the school in person. It was the relationships with the coaches and with fellow Hawkeye recruit Aaron Graves that sold him on the school.
He’s currently the No. 2 prospect out of the state of Kansas and is the No. 72 defensive lineman nationally, according to 247Sports. During his junior season at Class 4A Lansing High School in Kansas, Crawford threw for 1,089 yards, including 12 touchdowns through nine games played. He saw himself pursuing football at the next level as a quarterback until he was pulled up to varsity to play defense during his sophomore year, then he fell in love with the physicality of the game. During his junior year, he took on the starting position as quarterback, playing both sides of the ball.
At linebacker, he tallied 60 tackles, including 38 solo and one sack.
Crawford said he doesn’t have plans to visit Iowa this summer yet, but is working on defensive line drills to prepare for more reps at the position this fall.
“We run a four-man front usually, but we’re going to switch it up this year,” Crawford said. “Instead of me being exclusively outside linebacker, we’ll switch it and depending on what the team needs I’ll slide down, put my hand in the dirt. I’m pretty much a hybrid right now.”
RB Kaleb Johnson (Hamilton, Ohio)
Kaleb Johnson, a 6-foot-1, 210-pound running back, initially committed to California.
Johnson is the 21st-best running back in the class, according to Rivals.
Running backs coach Ladell Betts said Johnson “should be a great addition to an already talented group” in a social media graphic announcing Johnson’s signing.
“Kaleb brings a physical presence to the RB room with his size and speed,” Betts said in the graphic. “A couple things that stand out with Kaleb are his willingness to be challenged and his desire to compete against the best.”
He took an official visit to Iowa then the then-No.2 Hawkeyes beat then-No. 3 Penn State. Less than a week after witnessing that moment, he changed his commitment from California to Iowa.
TE Cael Vanderbush (Plainfield, Ind.)
Cael Vanderbush, a 6-foot-5, 205-pound tight end, was another recruit to initially pick another school before donning black and gold instead.
The former Western Michigan commit is the 38th-best tight end in his class, according to 247Sports’ composite rankings.
“Cael is a long and explosive player that has had a productive high school career in multiple sports,” said Brian Ferentz, Iowa’s offensive coordinator and tight ends coach, in a social media graphic. “He has demonstrated leadership and competitiveness in that time, and we are excited to see him develop as a TE over the coming years.”
DB Xavier Nwankpa (Pleasant Hill)
Name a dominant Power Five school, and there’s a pretty good chance it offered a scholarship to Xavier Nwankpa.
Alabama offered him in February. Georgia was the 30th school to offer him, and that was only in March. Ohio State and Notre Dame were two of his three finalists.
The 6-foot-2, 190-pound safety picked the Hawkeyes, though, on Dec. 8, becoming the highest-profile recruit to commit to Iowa in 2022.
Nwankpa, a five-star recruit, is widely considered the top safety in the 2022 recruiting class. He picked Iowa because of its “DB production, relationships and stability,” he told The Gazette.
“Xavier is a high-character individual and a very gifted athlete,” said Phil Parker, Iowa’s defensive coordinator and defensive backs coach, in a social media graphic. “He is a playmaker who has great length and physical tools. He always seems to have an impact on a game and come up with a play when needed.”
LB Landyn Van Kekerix (Inwood)
Landyn Van Kekerix, a 6-foot-2, 205-pound linebacker from Inwood, was one of five recruits to commit to Iowa on the first day of the early signing period.
Van Kekerix also had offers from South Dakota and South Dakota State, according to Rivals.
“Landyn has many qualities you look for in a linebacker,” Iowa linebackers coach Seth Wallace said in a social media graphic. “He shows toughness and is around the ball as a dynamic playmaker. He has the ability to change the game for his team.”
Eastern Iowans might already be familiar with Van Kekerix from what he did in this year’s Class 3A state semifinals. He had three touchdowns -- one rushing on a direct snap, two receiving -- in the first half alone against Solon.
DL Brian Allen Jr. (Lake in the Hills, Ill.)
Brian Allen, a defensive end who first committed to Illinois, switched to Iowa on the first day of the early signing period.
The 6-foot-4, 250-pounder is the 80th-best defensive lineman in his class, according to 247Sports’ composite rankings.
Iowa defensive line coach Kelvin Bell said Allen can play multiple positions on the line.
“Has a good motor and great length,” Bell said in a social media graphic. “Really liked what we saw on the camp circuit. Glad he’s a Hawkeye.”
DB Koen Entringer (Ypsilanti, Mich.)
Koen Entringer, a 6-foot-2, 195-pound defensive back, is relatively new to football.
Entringer “spent a lot of his time as a child growing up in Arizona as a really good soccer player,” Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz said on Signing Day.
“He's learned it real quickly and done very, very well at it,” Ferentz said. “He's got a world of potential.”
Iowa’s recruiting director Tyler Barnes said Entringer caught his eye when Colorado offered him a scholarship.
“I popped on the phone, and within six clips, I texted Phil, ‘You need to get down there and watch this kid,’” Barnes said.
Rivals ranks Entringer as the 17th-best prospect from Michigan in the 2022 class. He picked the Hawkeyes over Michigan, Wisconsin and Boston College.
DB Olando Trader (Jackson, Mich.)
Olando Trader flipped his commitment from Central Michigan to Iowa on Signing Day.
The 6-foot defensive back from Jackson, Mich., is the 64th-best cornerback in 247Sports’ composite rankings.
“Olando is a very talented player,” Phil Parker said in a social media graphic. “He is physical and plays with toughness. In addition, he has good ball skills and is a dynamic player on the field.”
Kirk Ferentz said the staff “watched him hard during his senior year, knowing that corner is a position of need for us.”
DB T.J. Hall Jr. (Fresno, Calif.)
T.J. Hall Jr., a three-star defensive back who previously committed to Washington, was the final recruit to sign with the Hawkeyes on the first day of the signing period.
The 6-foot, 170-pound prospect ranks 50th among cornerbacks, per Rivals.
“T.J. is an instinctive and smart football player,” Phil Parker said in a social media graphic. “He has great size and length for a cornerback. He has shown the ability to make plays in critical moments.”