College Football

Hawkeyes nab commit No. 2 for 2018

Illinois offensive lineman picks Iowa, which is in the home stretch for 2017 class

Illinois offensive lineman Jeff Jenkins and Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz pose for a picture on Sunday. Jenkins, who'll b
Illinois offensive lineman Jeff Jenkins and Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz pose for a picture on Sunday. Jenkins, who'll be a senior at Prairie Ridge (Ill.) High School next season, committed to play football at Iowa on Sunday. (via Twitter/@Jeffjenkins77)

While trying to put the finishing touches on the 2017 recruiting class last weekend, Iowa picked up a second commitment for 2018.

Prairie Ridge (Crystal Lake, Ill.) offensive lineman Jeff Jenkins announced on Twitter that he has committed to play football for the Hawkeyes. Jenkins (6-4, 260) is the second commitment for Iowa’s 2018 class, joining Wisconsin (Mequon) linebacker Mike Bruner.

Jenkins thanked his family and Prairie Ridge coaches before the key sentence in his note Sunday. “I am very proud to say I’ve committed to play Division I football at the University of Iowa!” Jenkins wrote.

After his junior season, Jenkins collected seven offers, six of which came from Mid-American Conference schools (Northern Illinois, Bowling Green, Ball State, Central Michigan and Toledo). The Iowa offer was the only one from a Power 5 conference school, but, as a 2018 prospect, Jenkins hasn’t played his senior season and won’t sign a letter of intent for more than a year. More offers likely will come.

“I just kind of knew,” Jenkins told “When I first met the coaches, I kind of knew that I wanted to be a Hawkeye, and then I got on campus and I knew 100 percent that Iowa felt like home to me. I didn’t want to wait and possibly lose the opportunity, so I wanted to jump on it right away.”

Prairie Ridge won the Illinois Class 6A state championship last fall with a 48-17 victory over Sacred Heart-Griffin.


As for Iowa’s 2017 class, Iowa remains at 14 known oral commitments, with Wisconsin (Waukesha Catholic Memorial) wide receiver Max Cooper being the last to commit (Dec. 14, 2016).

Iowa coaches were all over the country on Monday, with stops in Florida, Mississippi, Chicago and St. Louis.

Some of the names the Hawkeyes are still involved with include Alabama linebacker Thomas Johnston, Florida running back Kyshaun Bryan, Illinois wide receiver Henry Marchese, Indiana tight end Kurt Rafdal, cornerback Trey Creamer, Iowa City West wide receiver Oliver Martin and New Jersey athletes John Lovett and Ihmir Smith-Marsette.

A few weeks ago, Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz said the Hawkeye were looking at a class of 20 to 22. The national signing period begins Feb. 1.

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