Josey Jewell provides his answer.
Iowa’s offense is planning ahead.
Saturday showed just how far: Norwalk offensive lineman Tyler Endres and tight end Logan Lee from Orion, Ill., both announced afternoon commitments to the Hawkeyes with two years left in their high school careers.
Endres and Lee were visiting Iowa City for the annual “Hawkeye Tailgater” recruiting event and are rated as four-star prospects by 247 Sports. Both are inside the top 200 overall in the national Class of 2019.
“This is already the best start they’ve had in six or seven years,” said Derek Young, publisher of Scout site Hawkeye Insider, “and I think the numbers will eventually show it goes well beyond that.
“Talent attracts talent and this is a great start.”
Endres is a 6-foot-6, 290-pound offensive tackle who has been a two-year starter during a successful stretch for Norwalk in Class 3A. His other scholarship offers were from Iowa State, Minnesota, and Wisconsin.
Endres is slotted No. 131 nationally by 247 Sports, only behind Iowa’s first 2019 commit, Ezra Miller, on the in-state ratings.
“He’s kind of already decided that he’s going to wind up in-state,” Norwalk head coach Paul Patterson said last week. “Iowa has done a great job of spending time with him and getting him on campus.”
Joining his early commitment from the rising junior class was Lee, a 6-5, 225-pound athlete from Orion, a small town south of the Quad Cities. Lee was ranked No. 10 at tight end and No. 195 overall by 247 Sports. His offer list: Illinois, Michigan, Michigan State, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Northwestern and Wisconsin.
The Hawkeyes extended his first offer, and he’s been a frequent visitor.
“Tight ends are hard to come by,” Young said. “Not necessarily for Iowa, but on the national scene; there are not usually a lot of highly touted tight end recruits to choose from.
“Lee is gifted athletically and has the length and frame that you know what his body can look like in a couple years. He’s definitely just scratching the surface.”
Lee was also a state champion wrestler in Illinois at 220 pounds last winter.
“He’s a kid that can play on either side of the ball, really,” said Blair Sanderson, editor at Rivals site Hawkeye Report. “But I know he was definitely enamored with Iowa’s success at tight end.”
The quick afternoon commitments put Iowa in an elite group with verbals from 2019 prospects. Only Florida, LSU, Florida State, Georgia, Alabama and Tennessee can also count three four-star recruits among their commits.
“Iowa is probably going to have to fend schools off,” Young said. “Guys this highly regarded this far out from signing day will definitely attract more interest.”