Hawkeye recruiting mailbag: How does Iowa fit into Joe Toussaint's recruiting plans?

Matthew Bain
Hawk Central

During the preseason, I picked Iowa State to win the Cy-Hawk game 34-31 and was pretty dang confident in that for a while.

Then, I saw Iowa's defensive line obliterate Northern Illinois last Saturday. And then Iowa State didn't get to work out its Week 1 kinks, thanks to a canceled game. 

Still, I'm sticking with Cyclones over Hawkeyes 34-31. But the confidence in that pick is a little more ... shaky. We'll see. Should be a fun one at Kinnick Stadium.

Iowa 2019 point guard target Joe Toussaint plays a game with PSA Cardinals at the Las Vegas Classic.


Onto the mailbag.

Huge recruiting weekend coming up for the Hawks! Do you think Joe Toussaint will commit on the visit this weekend? — @InsiderHawk

Good to have you back in the mailbag, @InsiderHawk!

Yes, this is a huge weekend for Iowa men's basketball recruiting. The Hawkeyes will host five-star 2019 forward Trayce Jackson-Davis, five-star 2020 forward Xavier Foster, four-star 2019 recruit Patrick McCaffery and three-star 2019 point guard Joe Toussaint.

Toussaint is one of three 2019 point guards taking official visits to Iowa City this September. Bryan Greenlee is set to be on campus Sept. 14-16, and Yuri Collins is set to be there Sept. 21-23.

My gut says Toussaint won't commit after this weekend. That isn't to say Iowa doesn't stand very well with him, because it does. But I got the sense from talking to him that he'd like to at least visit other schools before making a decision.

Iowa is his first official visit. He doesn't have any others on the schedule at the moment, but he has "stuff in the works."

"Dayton is coming up soon after Iowa," he told me Tuesday night, "and then probably it’ll be Wichita State, and then UNLV will be last."

Iowa, Dayton, Wichita State and UNLV are Toussaint's final four schools, which he released Tuesday on Instagram.

"UNLV is in a different environment — it’s all the way on the west side (of the country). I don’t mind going to the west side to play basketball, so it’s something new," Toussaint said. "Wichita State kind of reminds me of Iowa with the coaching. I’ve been watching the coaching. Two very good coaches, one at Iowa in Mr. (Fran) McCaffery and coach (Gregg) Marshall at Wichita State. Two good coaches. And Dayton has been recruiting me hard ever since Day 1."

Toussaint, who plans to major in sports management, said his college choice will come down to environment.

"It has to be a good environment," he said. "I have to be around people with the same goal as me."

Joe Toussaint named his top 4, do you know what his visit schedule is after the Iowa visit this weekend? — @Dial54

Again, nothing is officially scheduled. But Toussaint said official visits to Dayton, Wichita State and UNLV are in the process of being planned, with Dayton happening after Iowa and UNLV happening last.

What recruits that ISU and Iowa are both invested in are going to be in IC for the game? — @jrobs2003_josh

There will be plenty. Basically any in-state target that doesn't have other prior plans (like 2021 defensive end T.J. Bollers) will likely be in Kinnick this Saturday.

Three come to mind immediately:

Kuemper Catholic defensive end Blaise Gunnerson will be there. The three-star 2020 prospect holds Iowa and Iowa State offers, and he's also scheduled unofficial visits to Minnesota, Nebraska and Notre Dame this season. A torn labrum will keep Gunnerson from playing his junior year, but his film is good enough to continue to draw interest.

Cedar Rapids Xavier offensive lineman Josh Volk will be there, too. Another three-star guy with Iowa and Iowa State offers, Volk was an Iowa Eight selection and projects as the 2020 class' top in-state offensive lineman. He boasts a strong list of interested schools: Northwestern, Notre Dame, Michigan State, Minnesota, Nebraska, Vanderbilt. And Ohio State reached out on Sunday, Volk's trainer JC Moreau told me.

Southeast Polk running back Gavin Williams will attend, his mother, Kori Williams, told me. The quiet, four-star 2020 prospect holds offers from Iowa, Iowa State, Michigan and Nebraska, along with interest from Notre Dame, where he visited last weekend. 

Any word on if Iowa is getting involved with ISU commit Darien Porter? They could use a tall speedy wide receiver. — @clabarre

No. Darien Porter, the three-star receiver from Bettendorf, is a firm Iowa State recruit and has been since he committed there.

Just to be sure, I asked Porter on Tuesday.

"No," he texted. "I haven't heard from Iowa in a while."

Bettendorf wide receiver Darien Porter (10) runs onto the field with teammates during a 4A varsity football game on Friday, Aug. 31, 2018, at TouVelle Stadium in Bettendorf.

Porter is a 6-foot-4, 165-pound target who surged into the 247Sports' top 500 because of his track speed and big-time upside. Iowa was interested. We won't know if it ever would have offered, though, as Porter picked Iowa State over Nebraska and Minnesota very early in his recruitment — way back in December.

Update on David Bell? — @CaliScruff

Speaking of receivers ...

Nothing super new with Bell, Iowa's four-star receiver target out of Indianapolis — other than the fact that he's taking a sledgehammer to his high school competition this year.

Through three games with Warren Central, Bell has 20 catches for 410 yards and five touchdowns.

He's got two official visits scheduled to Penn State (Sept. 29) and Purdue (Nov. 3). I would be surprised if Iowa didn't get an official. 

Matthew Bain covers college football and basketball recruiting for the Des Moines Register. He also helps out with Iowa and Iowa State football and basketball coverage for HawkCentral and Cyclone Insider. Contact him at and follow him on Twitter @MatthewBain_.