Hawkeye recruiting mailbag: Does Kyshaun Bryan leaving affect Iowa's 2019 RB recruitment?

Matthew Bain
Hawk Central

OK ... I've decided not to trade Patrick Mahomes in my fantasy football league. For now. I wanted to see if he was a defense-proof quarterback — meaning he'll get you quality production even against a top-notch defense, such as Denver's.

And he did.

Congratulations, Kansas City Chiefs fans: You've got yourself a franchise guy.

Now, welcome, once again, to the Hawkeye recruiting mailbag. Perfect segue, right?

... Let's get to it.

With the new (Kyshaun Bryan) departure from Iowa, does Iowa push to fill that spot in this recruiting class? — @Hawkfan7314

In case you missed it: Redshirt freshman running back Kyshaun Bryan announced he was transferring on Tuesday. This move was expected, as Bryan hadn't been with the team since fall camp. 

But does Bryan actually formalizing his departure change things for 2019 running back recruitment?

At this juncture, no. 

Iowa's coaching staff knew Bryan wasn't a guarantee for the future this summer, and by that point the team had already wrapped up running back recruitment for 2019 with Georgia three-star Tyler Goodson. 

Iowa football running back Kyshaun Bryan runs with the ball during a spring football practice on Wednesday, March 28, 2018, at the Iowa football performance center in Iowa City.

On paper, Iowa could be considered low on running backs. Counting walk-on freshman Kordell Stillmunkes, the Hawkeyes have five running backs on their roster. By comparison, a handful of local rivals — Iowa State, Wisconsin and Minnesota — all have eight. 

But here's more: Last year, the Hawkeyes had six running backs; they had seven in 2016 and four in 2015. So it's not unusual for them to have lower numbers, relatively speaking. Barring any additional attrition, Iowa will have six running backs next year with Goodson. That total sounds about right.

If a junior college star emerges on Iowa's radar over the next few months, it's not out of the question that coaches send out a feeler. But I'd think the Hawkeyes are comfortable turning their focus to the 2020 running backs. 

Is (Jadin Johnson) the next big point guard out of Iowa? — Mark Family

Mark is referring to the 2021 point guard from Council Bluffs Abraham Lincoln. He's a long, 6-foot-3 guy who I got to watch a lot this summer in Milwaukee with Marin Bros.

He's a defense-first, playmaking floor general with an offensive game that shows potential. His loaded Martin Bros. 2021 team — with guys such as Cedar Falls forward Chase Courbat and Dubuque Hempstead guard Michael Duax — is going to be good

So, yeah, Johnson looks like he'll be a strong prospect. I talked with him the other day. He recently visited Iowa and said he has a good relationship with Kirk Speraw, and he's got a November visit lined up for Wisconsin. He also wants to visit Northern Iowa and South Dakota State, as both those schools have been in to see him this fall. Nebraska, Wake Forest, Creighton and Colorado State have also shown early interest.

Jadin Johnson watches a shot attempt during an AAU event this summer in Milwaukee.

Johnson recently played at the John Lucas Elite Invitational, and he'll play at the Pangos All-Midwest Frosh/Soph camp later this month.

"Biggest key is that I am getting a lot of feedback on what I need to do to become great," said Johnson, who's always struck me as a level-headed kid. "In the last two months, I have busted my butt in gym and am looking to really have a break-out season and summer."

Without a doubt, Johnson ranks among this state's very best 2021 prospects.

Is he the next big point guard, though? Only time will tell there.

He's got some competition. Iowa Falls-Alden's Karson Sharar already holds a Drake offer. Iowa City West's Marcus Morgan looks good, and he's got the Morgan family blood. Des Moines' Manny Austin and Malik Allen are talented, as well.


Iowa not interested in (Cameron) Baker as a LB anymore? — @BenFlaherty21

It has become clear that the Hawkeyes would like to add another high-quality linebacker if they can. But, at this point, they are no longer involved with Council Bluffs Thomas Jefferson three-star athlete Cameron Baker. 

Iowa offered Baker after a breakout junior year that saw him earn All-Iowa Elite Team honors as a running back. The Hawkeyes invited him to a junior day in February but have backed off since then.

Council Bluff, Thomas Jefferson's Cameron Baker (25) rushes during their football game at Des Moines North on Friday, Sept. 28, 2018 in Des Moines.

Baker was playing through a torn labrum in his right shoulder his freshman through junior seasons. He had surgery on it following last season.

With athleticism and a 6-2, 225-pound frame, Baker will play Division I football somewhere. He's got good options. He said Northern Iowa, Wyoming and Nebraska are talking to him the most. UNI has offered, and Wyoming and Nebraska want to see more film.

Colleges like him at linebacker, but I think he'd been a dang good fullback/h-back too.

If you could swap first names, but not last names, with any player on the Hawkeyes who would you choose? — @davidscrivner

This question is from my dude David Scrivner — the former Iowa City Press-Citizen/Des Moines Register photographer who now works for University of Iowa.

He probably wanted me to think long and hard about this. Sift through Iowa's roster and find some hilarious combination to go with Bain.

So, my answer: Matt Nelson. 


(Just kidding, David.)

I'll go with Barrington Wade here. If my name was Barrington Bain, I could definitely command any nautical vessel on the planet. 

Besides (David) Bell are there any other WRs Iowa is looking at that with speed that can get separation? — @crandall_tyson

If you're asking whether Iowa is recruiting another 2019 receiver with the speed and separation ability of David Bell, the answer is no. That's not a knock on any other potential receivers Iowa might get. It's just a compliment to Bell and his unique skills. 

Bell is considering Iowa alongside Purdue, Penn State, Ohio State and Indiana. He will take his official visit to Iowa the weekend of Dec. 15 and he will announce his decision Jan. 5 at the U.S. Army All-American Bowl in San Antonio. 

I'm curious to see what shakes out if Iowa misses on Bell. If the Hawkeyes truly want one more receiver, even if it isn't Bell, they're in a bit of a D.J. Carton situation. In other words: Iowa can't show too much interest in other receivers, because they're in deep with one of the country's very best and they've got to show him all their love. 

David Bell after hauling in a first-half touchdown for Warren Central High School, during a 58-27 romp for WCHS as they defeat North Central High School at home, Indianapolis, Friday, Aug. 31, 2018.

So, what happens if Bell commits elsewhere? There are a handful of Group of Five/fringe Power Five receivers still available in the Midwest. Iowa could also take a flyer on an in-state kid. I've said if before and I'll say it again: I like Carter Bell, the athlete out of Bettendorf. He plays quarterback right now, but at 5-10, he's being recruited as a slot receiver. South Dakota has offered and really likes him.

Iowa could also look at the junior college route. Iowa Western has several enticing options. JaVonte Richardson is a four-star big guy — 6-4, 215. There are also two slot targets — Nick Singleton and former Dowling standout Michael Zachary — who look good enough for the FBS.

Any inkling where TJ Bollers is leaning? — @snyquist1

Bollers, the 2021 defensive end from Clear Creek Amana, doesn't have a lean right now.

We're talking about a sophomore who's just at the beginning of his development and recruitment. He holds offers from Iowa, Iowa State, Minnesota and Nebraska, but he also has interest from Notre Dame, Northwestern, Michigan State, Michigan, Penn State, Stanford, Army, Mississippi State, Vanderbilt and a couple other SEC schools that know who he is.

Bollers, and his super supportive family, are open to everything right now. With this much interest this early in the recruitment process, it wouldn't behoove Bollers, who is looking like a national prospect, to narrow his focus to one school or a few schools yet.

With Trayce Jackson-Davis making more recruiting trips how is Iowa sitting with him? — @Dial54

Same answer as it was a couple weeks ago: This seems like a battle between Indiana and Michigan State. I'd throw UCLA in there at No. 3 and Iowa at No. 4.

Jackson-Davis just took his official visit to Indiana this past weekend, and he'll take his official to Michigan State this weekend. Then, it's close to decision time.

Our partners at the Indianapolis Star recently caught up with the five-star power forward. 

Who ranks higher, Jackson or the kid from NY that Iowa signed? — @BrendanUnkrich

Brendan is referring to Tre Jackson, the South Carolina point guard who recently committed to Iowa State, and Joe Toussaint, the New York point guard who committed to Iowa in early September.

They are both consensus three-star recruits. 247Sports ranks Toussaint the No. 193 overall prospect and the No. 20 point guard in 2019; it ranks Jackson No. 304 overall and No. 36 among point guards.

But don't go counting this as a little victory just yet, Hawkeye fans. The only time college coaches care about recruiting rankings is when they can be used to drum up excitement in the fan base. Coaches do not look at these rankings to find prospects; they use their eyes to do that.

To me, Jackson and Toussaint's rankings — and the fact that they're now high-major recruits — only say that both were probably a bit underrated and unknown heading into their final AAU seasons.

I've also just seen Toussaint in person, so I can't give you a fair comparison of the two.

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_.