Meet the Iowa Hawkeye recruiting class of 2017

Chris Cuellar

Iowa signed 22 football recruits Wednesday. There were 20 known scholarship commitments to the class entering the day, with defensive lineman Daviyon Nixon committing and sending in his National Letter of Intent in the morning and athlete Ihmir Smith-Marsette added in the afternoon. The Hawkeyes announced 21 of their letters were received before 10 a.m.

Five-star defensive lineman A.J. Epenesa is expected to sign with Iowa on Wednesday.

Here is a breakdown of the signees.


RB, 5-10, 200

Fort Lauderdale, Fla. (St. Thomas Aquinas High School)

Rivals: 3 stars; Scout: 3 stars; 247Sports: 3 stars

Quick facts: Former South Carolina commit was his prep team’s second-leading rusher as a senior. St. Thomas Aquinas finished 2016 as the No. 5 team in the nation, according to USA Today, and is former Iowa quarterback Jake Rudock’s alma mater.

Outlook on 2018 talent in Iowa: 'Looks like a good class'


DB, 6-1, 215

Shawnee Mission, Kan. (Bishop Miege High School)

Rivals: 3 stars; Scout: 3 stars; 247Sports: 3 stars

Quick facts: Used to attend same high school as Iowa linebacker Aaron Mends and received his first offer from Hawkeyes. Played mostly safety and receiver as a senior. Bishop Miege won third straight Kansas Class 4A Division I title last fall.


TE, 6-3, 215

Solon (Solon High School)

Rivals: 3 stars; Scout: 3 stars; 247Sports: 3 stars

Quick facts: Committed since December 2015, Coons picked up his other offer from Iowa State. Projected as an athlete. Leading receiver for Solon last season with 29 catches for 479 yards and five scores, adding 20 tackles and six sacks on other side of the ball.


WR, 6-0, 175

Waukesha, Wis. (Catholic Memorial High School)

Rivals: 2 stars; Scout: 3 stars; 247Sports: N/A

Quick facts: Former Central Michigan commit considered the No. 1 receiver in Wisconsin by Scout. Cooper caught four passes for 78 yards and a touchdown in Wisconsin Division 3 championship game last fall. Was Iowa’s first commit in four months with verbal in December.

PODCAST: Breaking down Iowa's signing day


ATH, 6-0, 170

Cartersville, Ga. (Cartersville High School)

Rivals: 3 stars; Scout: 3 stars; 247Sports: 3 stars

Quick facts: Picked up an Iowa offer three days after Minnesota hired new head coach P.J. Fleck and completed the flip Monday. Projected as a defensive back, Creamer was the top rusher in Cartersville’s second straight unbeaten state title season in Georgia’s Class 4A.

Mid-Prairie standout and future Hawkeye Levi Duwa warms up during practice in Wellman on Thursday, Sept. 1, 2016.


DE, 6-3, 240

Wellman (Mid-Prairie High School)

Rivals: 3 stars; Scout: 3 stars; 247Sports: 3 stars

Quick facts: Senior season ended early with a foot injury in September that has since required two surgeries. Led Class 2A in sacks as a junior, recording 56 tackles and 14.5 sacks in 11 games. State wrestling runner-up at 220 pounds in 2016.


DE, 6-5, 270

Edwardsville, Ill. (Edwardsville High School)

Rivals: 5 stars; Scout: 5 stars; 247Sports: 5 stars

Quick facts: Iowa’s first five-star recruit since 2005. Bona fide blue chip defensive lineman ranked No. 6 overall player in the nation by 247 Sports. Is ranked No. 29 nationally in the 247Sports' Composite, which weighs other scouting service rankings too. Son of former Iowa defensive tackle Eppy Epenesa. Credited with 59 tackles (14 for loss) and four sacks as senior. Also a proficient kick blocker.

TAKEAWAYS: A.J. Epenesa a perfect Iowa fit?


P, 6-4, 185

Milwaukee, Wis. (Marquette University High School)

Rivals: N/A; Scout: N/A; 247Sports: N/A

Quick facts: Committed Tuesday evening. Expected to be the only scholarship punter on Iowa’s 2017 roster. Visited Clemson, Michigan and Notre Dame, but held offers from Hawkeyes and Wyoming. Left-footed.


CB, 6-1, 175

Flower Mound, Texas (Marcus High School)

Rivals: 3 stars; Scout: 3 stars; 247Sports: 3 stars

Quick facts: Stuck with Iowa despite Michigan offer and visit, as well as Dallas-area decommits in the fall. Scout considers him the No. 7 cornerback in Texas. Had 13 pass breakups and two interceptions as a junior, with long reach and frame to add weight.


DB, 5-11, 180

Bradley, Ill. (Bradley-Bourbonnais High School)

Rivals: 3 stars; Scout: 3 stars; 247Sports: 3 stars

Quick facts: Safety whose sole Division I offer came from Iowa. Committed in June. Played safety and running back as a senior and owns school record for touchdowns, with 44. Picked off five passes in 10-1 season last fall.

LEISTIKOW: The amazing recruiting story of Iowa signee Brandon Smith


OT, 6-6, 260

Bettendorf (Bettendorf High School)

Rivals: 3 stars; Scout: 4 stars; 247Sports: 4 stars

Quick facts: The right tackle is considered the state’s No. 3 prospect in the class and 247Sports rates him as the No. 27 tackle in the nation. Picked up his first offer from Eastern Michigan but committed to Iowa last March. Older brother Jack plans to walk-on to Iowa’s defensive line as well.


RB, 5-11, 195

Plainfield, Ill. (Oswego East High School)

Rivals: 3 stars; Scout: 3 stars; 247Sports: 3 stars

Quick facts: Won a state title at two schools: Nazareth and Oswego East. Rushed for 2,036 yards as a junior earning all-state honors from the Chicago Tribune. Rushed for 1,360 yards and 22 touchdowns as a senior after committing to Iowa in April.


OL, 6-5, 275

Madrid (Madrid High School)

Rivals: 3 stars; Scout: 2 stars; 247Sports: 3 stars

Quick facts: Offensive and defensive anchor for Class 1A squad was originally recruited as a defensive end. Committed to Iowa in June 2015 with recruitment led by assistant Reese Morgan. State qualifier in discus and shot put.

Texas prep quarterback Peyton Mansell signed with Iowa on Wednesday.


QB, 6-3, 210

Belton, Texas (Belton High School)

Rivals: 3 stars; Scout: 3 stars; 247Sports: 3 stars

Quick facts: Lone quarterback in class completed 70 percent of his passes as a senior for 2,560 yards and 33 touchdowns in Texas’s Class 6A. Considered a dual-threat, he also rushed for 1,129 yards and 15 scores. Iowa was his only Power 5 offer.


WR, 6-3, 180

Vernon Hills, Ill. (Stevenson High School)

Rivals: 2 stars; Scout: 3 stars; 247Sports: 3 stars

Quick facts: Son of former Iowa walk-on John Marchese had 63 catches for 1,052 yards and 16 touchdowns as a senior. His other offers were from Army, Bowling Green and Central Michigan, and last weekend he visited Illinois, where his brother Jimmy is a walk-on.


DL, 6-5, 290

Kenosha, Wis. (Indian Trail Academy)

Rivals: 3 stars; Scout: 3 stars; 247Sports: 2 stars

Quick facts: A late bloomer and a late recruit, Nixon had scheduled a Wednesday afternoon announcement for his commitment, but opted to send in a morning letter to Iowa City. A Northern Illinois commit since July, Purdue was Nixon’s only other Power 5 offer.

Lake Cormorant wide receiver Brandon Smith signed Wednesday with Iowa.


WR, 6-3, 205

Lake Cormorant, Miss. (Lake Cormorant High School)

Rivals: 3 stars; Scout: 3 stars; 247Sports: 3 stars

Quick facts: Physical athlete averaged more than 100 yards per game receiving as a senior. 247Sports rates Smith as the No. 18 prospect in Mississippi, with interest coming from around the Southeast, including Vanderbilt.


WR, 6-2, 176

Newark, N.J. (Weequahic High School)

Rivals: 3 stars; Scout: 3 stars; 247Sports: 2 stars

Quick facts: Iowa’s last commitment of the 2017 class waited until Wednesday afternoon to flip. Originally a Rutgers recruit, reportedly pledged to Minnesota last weekend before backing out. Athlete with receiver and defensive back ability. Attends Iowa running back Akrum Wadley’s alma mater.


DB, 6-0, 195              

New Castle, Pa. (New Castle High School)

Rivals: 2 stars; Scout: 2 stars; 247Sports: 3 stars

Quick facts: Kent State commit for a month before picking up his first Power 5 offer from the Hawkeyes. Starred at quarterback and safety as a senior, leading his team to the Western Pennsylvania’s regional finals. Visited Iowa City last weekend and committed Tuesday afternoon.


DB, 6-0, 180

Delray Beach, Fla. (American Heritage High School)

Rivals: 3 stars; Scout: 3 stars; 247Sports: 3 stars

Quick facts: Picked Iowa out of more than 20 offers, including Central Florida and Wisconsin. Wore No. 4 at American Heritage in honor of alum and former Notre Dame and UAB running back Greg Bryant. Credited with 17 pass breakups as senior.

City High quarterback Nate Wieland (15) runs in the second quarter at City High on Friday, October 14, 2016.


LB, 6-1, 220

Iowa City (Iowa City High School)

Rivals: 2 stars; Scout: 3 stars; 247Sports: 2 stars

Quick facts: Northern Illinois commit flipped Monday after his hometown team offered. City High star at quarterback totaled 2,412 yards passing and rushing, with 20 touchdowns as a senior. Projects to defensive side of the ball.


OT, 6-5, 315

Mount Vernon (Mount Vernon High School)

Rivals: 4 stars; Scout: 3 stars; 247Sports: 4 stars

Quick facts: State champion thrower in discus and shot put became late riser in recruiting rankings. Four-sport athlete was up around 320 pounds during football season, playing both sides of line. First flight of his life was to the U.S. Army All-American Bowl.

APP USERS: Click here to view the Iowa recruiting database