116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
IOWA CITY — Wednesday marks quite the day on Iowa’s football recruiting calendar.
The start of the early signing period will be a formality for some recruits who have verbally committed to the Hawkeyes. For others, it’ll be when they announce their college destination.
Here’s everything to know about this year’s recruiting class ahead of the signing period:
Who has committed
Xavier Nwankpa, a five-star safety from Southeast Polk High School, is one of the best recruits to ever come out of the state of Iowa, if not the best. He narrowed his list to Iowa, Ohio State and Notre Dame before picking the Hawkeyes last week.
Aaron Graves, a 6-foot-5 defensive end from Gowrie, was the first player in the class to verbally commit to the Hawkeyes. Rivals ranks him as the second-best player in Iowa, behind only Nwankpa.
Iowa’s quarterback in this year’s class is Carson May of Jones, Okla., 15th-best prostyle quarterback in Rivals’ rankings. May has largely gone under the radar. Rivals did not rank him until this month, and his other offers came from Western Michigan and Old Dominion.
Kaleb Johnson, a four-star running back from Hamilton, Ohio, was committed to California when he took an official visit to Iowa for the Penn State game. Four days later, he flipped his commitment to Iowa. So long, ocean sunsets. Hello, Big Ten football.
Cael Vanderbush initially committed to Western Michigan. He switched hats to Iowa, though, after visiting for the Colorado State game. Rivals and 247Sports both consider the 6-6 tight end from Plainfield, Ind., as a three-star recruit.
Iowa pried running back Jaziun Patterson out of the heart of SEC and ACC country. The Floridian chose the Hawkeyes over Alabama, Florida, Florida State, Auburn, Texas A&M and a plethora of other major college football programs in the region. Patterson is the 26th-best running back in the 2022 class, according to Rivals.
Jacob Bostick, a 6-2 wide receiver from Palatine, Ill., is the 76th-best wide receiver in Rivals’ rankings. Bostick also took official visits to Cincinnati, Illinois and Louisville before picking the Hawkeyes.
Jayden Montgomery, a linebacker from Green Bay, Wis., is not the first member of his family to commit to the Black and Gold. His father, Jerry Montgomery, played at Iowa and now is the defensive line coach for the Packers. The younger Montgomery, a two-star recruit according to Rivals and three-star recruit according to 247Sports, picked the Hawkeyes over several upper-tier FCS programs.
Kale Krogh, an offensive tackle from Huxley, is Rivals’ fifth-best recruit in the state of Iowa. He committed to the Hawkeyes in June. Earlier that month, he traveled to five college campuses for recruiting camps in a five-day period.
Addison Ostrenga, a three-star tight end from Sun Prairie, Wis., initially committed to Iowa to play baseball. Then he committed to play football instead on July 17, less than one week after the program offered him a scholarship.
Caden Crawford, a 6-5 defensive end who grew up about a half-hour outside of Kansas City, had offers from Minnesota, Nebraska, Kansas State and Oklahoma State before committing to the Hawkeyes in February. 247Sports’ composite rankings list Crawford as the second-best prospect in Kansas.
Pick a Big Ten school, and there’s a decent chance it offered offensive tackle Jack Dotzler. The Waunakee, Wis., native picked up offers from Iowa, Indiana, Michigan State, Purdue and Penn State. The three-star chose the Hawkeyes, though, last summer.
Where they are from
The 12 recruits come from eight different states.
Iowa and Wisconsin, each with three recruits, are the only states to have multiple commits. The other six states — Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Kansas, Oklahoma and Florida — each will send one recruit to Iowa City.
Who could soon join them
Koen Entringer, a three-star athlete from Walled Lake, Mich., will announce his college decision on Wednesday. He is choosing between Iowa, Wisconsin, Michigan and Boston College. He grew up about a half-hour from the Big House, but Rivals is predicting Iowa. 247Sports, meanwhile, is predicting Wisconsin.
Keyron Crawford, a defensive end with three stars from Rivals but none from 247Sports, will be choosing between Iowa and Arkansas State. He received a scholarship offer from Iowa on Dec. 6 and was in Iowa City for an official visit last weekend. Arkansas State offered him in September and gives him an option close to home; its campus is about 70 miles away from his hometown of Memphis.
Olando Trader committed to Central Michigan, but the 6-foot cornerback from Jackson, Mich., might end up elsewhere. Iowa hosted Trader for a visit last weekend, and other schools like Nebraska and Eastern Michigan have offered scholarships. Iowa and Central Michigan are his top two finalists, he told Rivals. He’ll make a final decision on Wednesday.
Cornerback T.J. Hall, who originally committed to Washington before reopening his recruitment last month, took an official visit to Iowa for the Penn State game. The three-star recruit from Fresno, Calif., has garnered offers from Arizona, Colorado and Oregon State, among other Power Five schools, but only took official visits to Washington and Iowa.
Landyn Van Kekerix has scholarship offers from South Dakota and South Dakota State, per Rivals and 247Sports. Eastern Iowans may be familiar with the 6-2 athlete from his role in Boyden-Hull/Rock Valley’s 42-0 win over Solon in this year’s Class 3A semifinals. Van Kekerix had a 45-yard rushing touchdown on a direct snap and two touchdown receptions before halftime.
How Iowa’s class compares to others
Rivals ranks Iowa’s 2022 recruiting class 42nd nationally and 10th in the Big Ten.
The Hawkeyes are just one of four teams in the Big Ten, though, to have a five-star recruit in the 2022 class.
Here’s how the rest of the conference ranks so far, with overall ranking in parentheses:
- Ohio State (4)
- Penn State (6)
- Michigan (9)
- Michigan State (14)
- Rutgers (22)
- Purdue (25)
- Indiana (27)
- Illinois (34)
- Minnesota (37)
- Iowa (42)
- Wisconsin (45)
- Northwestern (49)
- Maryland (54)
- Nebraska (73)
The Hawkeyes’ previous five classes have spanned in Rivals’ rankings from 24th in 2021 to 41st in 2019.
Should some or all of the 2022 targets making a decision Wednesday pick the Hawkeyes, that ranking will likely improve.
Recruiting rankings are far from an exact science, though. Rivals ranked this year’s Heisman runner-up, Michigan defensive end Aidan Hutchinson, 129th in the 2018 recruiting class.
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