Five 2019 Iowa Hawkeyes recruiting targets to watch

Matthew Bain
Hawk Central

IOWA CITY, Ia. — Hawkeye coaches will probably celebrate their early signing day class for, say, 12 minutes. Then their focus immediately turns to remaining 2018 needs, as well as 2019 targets and prospects.

Recruiting for 2019 will offer brand new twists, as juniors are allowed to take official visits from April to June for the first time. And, obviously, the Hawkeyes will be gunning to get in as many spring officials as possible.

RELATED:Meet the Hawkeyes' December Class of 2018 recruiting signees

Here are five 2019 Iowa targets to keep your eyes on:

Cedar Falls' Jack Campbell gathers with teammates before their gamea t West High on Friday, Nov. 3, 2017.

Jack Campbell

LB: 6-foot-4, 210 pounds

Cedar Falls

Rivals: 3 stars; 247Sports Composite: 3 stars

Iowa's current competition: Iowa State and Northern Iowa

Bottom line: Campbell, one of the Register's Iowa Eight selections this fall, will very likely be the state's best linebacker next year. He racked up 92.5 tackles, 11 solo tackles for loss and five solo sacks at middle linebacker to earn a spot on the Register's All-Iowa Elite Team. He projects at outside linebacker in college. He's a long, physical tackler with tremendous hands and solid sideline-to-sideline speed. He's very good at containing a mobile quarterback, as he showed this season against Iowa Gatorade Player of the Year Evan Flitz.  The 247Sports Composite ranks him the No. 6 2019 prospect in the state.

Avon High School junior Sampson James (2) rushes the ball upfield during the first half of an IHSAA high school semi-state football game at Ben Davis High School, Friday, November 17, 2017. Ben Davis leads Avon at halftime, 29-13.

Sampson James

RB: 6-1, 200

Avon (Avon, Indiana)

Rivals: 4 stars; 247Sports Composite: 4 stars

Iowa's current competition: Ohio State, Michigan, Indiana, Cincinnati, Minnesota and Purdue

Bottom line: James projects as a highly productive Power Five running back. He piled up 1,782 rushing yards and 20 touchdowns on 243 carries this season. He was more of a pure, north-south runner as a sophomore. But he added weight and better cutting ability in the offseason to become a true blue-chip prospect as a junior. The Hawkeyes offered him in October. He will rank among Iowa's top 2019 priorities this spring.

Waverly-Shell Rock's Mosai Newsom runs drills during practice on Wednesday, Aug. 9, 2017.

Mosai Newsom

DE: 6-5, 245

Waverly-Shell Rock

Rivals: 3 stars; 247Sports Composite: 3 stars

Iowa's current competition: Minnesota and South Dakota

Bottom line: Newsom is just starting to tap into his potential. After logging just six tackles as a sophomore, he amassed 38.5 with seven solo tackles for loss and three solo sacks this season. He's already picking up interest from Notre Dame, Iowa State, Michigan State and Northwestern. Newsom was one of 600 underclassmen invited to the National Combine at the U.S. Army All-American Bowl on Jan. 4. There, he’ll get to show off in front of top evaluators and Iowa will try to hold on as his recruitment jumps. Newsom really gets off the ball well and plays with high motor. He's a great athlete, too, playing basketball and competing in track and field for Waverly-Shell Rock. The 247Sports Composite ranks him the state's No. 4 2019 prospect.

Lewis Central quarterback Max Duggan throws a pass against Ankeny Centennial at Ankeny Stadium.

Max Duggan

QB: 6-2, 185

Lewis Central

Rivals: 4 stars; 247Sports Composite: 4 stars

Iowa's current competition: Georgia, Iowa State, Nebraska, Ohio State, Penn State, Ole Miss, North Carolina, Minnesota and more

Bottom line: This might not be Iowa's most realistic goal, as Duggan probably doesn't want to join a team that just picked up a four-star incoming freshman. But when there's a blue-chip quarterback in your state, you've got to pursue 100 percent. As you can see in the list above, Duggan will have his choice among Power Five programs. Injuries derailed his junior season, but he still accumulated 748 yards and eight touchdowns on 54-for-95 passing. He's got everything you're looking for in a modern quarterback: size, arm, plus mobility, highly intelligent, great leadership skills.

Thomas Jefferson (of Council Bluffs) junior running back Cameron Baker (25) heads for a first down as the Yellowjackets of Thomas Jefferson (Council Bluffs) challenge the Ankeny Hawks in the first half of play during the Homecoming game at Ankeny Stadium.

Cameron Baker

ATH: 6-2, 210

Council Bluffs Thomas Jefferson

Rivals: 2 stars; 247Sports Composite: 3 stars

Iowa's current competition: Iowa is his only offer right now

Bottom line: One of the Register's All-Iowa Elite Team running backs, Baker is being mostly recruited as a linebacker. That's how Iowa sees him. Same with Iowa State, Wisconsin, Minnesota and Kansas State, who have all expressed interest. Only Wyoming is looking at him as a potential running back. Baker racked up 1,852 rushing yards and 20 rushing touchdowns on only 196 attempts this season (9.4 yards per carry). He also led the team with 44.5 tackles. But here's the thing with Baker: He hasn't been fully healthy for the past two seasons, playing with a partially torn labrum. Scouts still haven't seen him at 100 percent strength. Expect more to come on Baker's recruiting horizon. The 247Sports Composite ranks him the No. 10 2019 prospect in the state.

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_.