Breaking down the priority targets taking official visits to Iowa this weekend
IOWA CITY, Ia. — Most of the big 2018 players in Iowa recruitment will be on campus this weekend for the Hawkeyes' first round of official visits. Their current pledges (including junior college transfer Daviyon Nixon) will be there.
So, too, will five of Iowa's 2018 remaining priority targets. Let's take a closer look at those five as we rapidly approach the Dec. 20-22 early signing period:
Note: An earlier version of this story listed Zach Petersen as an official visitor. But on Wednesday, he told HawkCentral he had cancelled his Hawkeye visit and instead will take an official to Iowa State this weekend.
Height/weight: 6-foot-1, 190 pounds
Hometown: Florissant, Missouri
Recruiting rating: Rivals — four stars, No. 28 safety; 247Sports Composite — three stars, No. 29 safety
Iowa's main competition: Illinois, Indiana and Wisconsin
Bottom line: Craddieth has made it known he wants to extend his recruitment past the Dec. 20-22 early signing period and sign Feb. 7. The Hawkeyes want to make quite the first impression this weekend before he heads to Illinois on Dec. 15 and Indiana on Jan. 19. The talented safety finished his senior season with 66 tackles, five interceptions, one forced fumble, one sack and three tackles for loss. His film reminds you of a certain Hawkeye cornerback who led the country in interceptions this year.
Height/weight: 6-5, 225
Hometown: Kentfield, Caliornia
Recruiting rating: Rivals — four stars, No. 11 pro-style quarterback; 247Sports Composite — three stars, No. 19 pro-style quarterback
Iowa's main competition: Petras is an Oregon State pledge
Bottom line: There is some serious mutual interest here, despite Petras' current commitment to the Beavers. Iowa offered Nov. 30 and got the official visit scheduled within days. Hailing from the same high school that produced Los Angeles Rams quarterback Jared Goff, Petras is a tried-and-true gunslinger who projects well in Iowa's pro-style offense. If he does officially reopen his recruitment, it looks like the Hawkeyes would be in good shape.
Position: Wide receiver
Height/weight: 6-2, 160
Hometown: Largo, Florida
Recruiting rating: Rivals — three stars, unranked; 247Sports — three stars, No. 134 wide receiver
Iowa's main competition: Lockett told HawkCentral that Purdue was out of the picture, and that he was also considering South Florida and FIU. He said he was planning to take his second official visit to FIU next weekend.
Bottom line: Lockett draws a comparison to Ihmir Smith-Marsette. Tall and lanky with plus speed and great hands, he boasts a 4.7 second 40-yard dash and a 31.7-inch vertical, according to his Hudl profile. He was a lethal deep ball threat for Largo High, averaging 21.8 yards per catch this season. Iowa certainly has the edge over USF and FIU in program prestige. It also helps that Lockett's coach is former Hawkeye safety Marcus Paschal. But USF and FIU have the closer-to-home edge. Lockett has said he wants to sign during the early signing period. Keep a close eye on FIU — they're making a late push here.
Height/weight: 6-2, 215
Hometown: Wichita, Kansas
Recruiting rating: 247Sports — three stars, No. 1 juco inside linebacker; Rivals — three stars
Iowa's main competition: Kansas State, Ole Miss, Pittsburgh and Nebraska
Bottom line: In terms of need, Honas is Iowa's top 2018 priority right now. They're selling him on the opportunity to earn early playing time at a position that loses all three starters next year — and he's told HawkCentral that message hits home. Ole Miss and Pitt made late pushes with personal visits from their head coaches last week, and Scott Frost offered just about as soon as he was officially announced as Nebraska's coach. Honas, who was recently named to the NJCAA All-American first team, took an official to Kansas State on Dec. 1. He told HawkCentral he wants to take at least one more official visit after this weekend. He racked up 96 tackles, 10 tackles for loss and two interceptions this season. Honas has said he wants to sign during the early signing period.
Position: Wide receiver
Height/weight: 5-11, 175
Hometown: Norman, Oklahoma
Recruiting rating: Rivals — three stars, unranked; 247Sports Composite — three stars, No. 237 wide receiver
Iowa's main competition: Ohio and Memphis
Bottom line: Stoops' recruitment with Iowa is moving pretty fast right now. He just picked up the offer Dec. 3 and is already heading to town for an official. That kind of momentum means a lot in the recruiting world. But Memphis, its Oct. 21 offer and its pass-happy offense are still in the picture. As is Ohio, which hosted Stoops for an official visit Oct. 6. The son of former Oklahoma head coach and Iowa assistant Bob Stoops enjoyed a prolific senior year, piling up 66 catches for 1,093 yards and 15 touchdowns. He projects as a productive slot target, much like Nick Easley.
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 email@example.com and follow him on Twitter @MatthewBain_.