Hawkeye recruiting mailbag: What happened with Jirehl Brock and Iowa?

Matthew Bain
Hawk Central

Summers are always better when the FIFA World Cup is on.

I'm still trying to decide which team to root for. Mexico is probably in the lead right now. How can you not be impressed with its win over Germany? And how in the world can you not like Chicharito? 

Iowa and Iowa State running back target Jirehl Brock (21) is the No. 10 RB in 2019, according to the 247Sports Composite.

I'd love to know who you all are cheering on — I'll root for those squads, too.

Now, to your Iowa recruiting questions. It was a busy week. 

What happened with Jirehl Brock and Iowa? — @NoCurmudgeon

If you didn't hear, Illinois four-star running back Jirehl Brock is no longer taking his official visit to Iowa this weekend.

This came as quite a shock, as the general consensus was that Iowa stood a great chance to land Brock, one of the Midwest's best running backs. Brock's affection for Iowa was clear from my conversations with him, and he was known to be a priority Hawkeye target for much of the winter, spring and early summer.

All signs point to Iowa cancelling the visit — including this tweet from Brock's mother:

The early signing period speeds everything up. And with limited scholarships for the 2019 class, the Hawkeyes must have decided they didn't have any more room for running backs.

They're all but guaranteed to land Georgia three-star Tyler Goodson, who will make his commitment public on July 3. They also just got Iowa Western transfer Mekhi Sargent on campus, and he has three years of eligibility.

It sounds like Iowa was satisfied with Sargent and Goodson. And as much as it likes Brock, it wants to fill other needs with its remaining scholarships.

Stuff like this happens in every recruiting cycle. Scholarship slots begin to run out, and coaches have to make tough decisions when allotments for certain positions are filled. This also must mean Iowa coaches really like Goodson, because they wouldn't have turned a prospect like Brock away if they didn't view Goodson in a similar light.

What's the percentage of landing Tyler Goodson now? And is he a Wadley type with a bigger build than Akrum was in high school? — @Lethaihawk

Iowa's chances of landing Goodson are close to 100 percent. They have to be. Otherwise, parting ways with Brock could turn out to be a bad decision. 

As I said in the previous answer, the only way I see Iowa cutting ties with Brock is if it knows for certain that Goodson will pick the Hawkeyes on July 3. Odds are the North Gwinnett running back has already given Iowa coaches a silent verbal commitment, and he's simply waiting until his commitment date to make the decision public.

The Akrum Wadley comparison is good. Both are smaller, shifty runners who can change direction without losing speed. Both are born playmakers with the hands to produce in the passing game.

Goodson (5-foot-10, 190 pounds) is slightly bigger than Wadley was entering college (5-10, 175 pounds).

So, yes, he is a Wadley-type back with a bigger build than Wadley in high school. That's a positive sign for Goodson's potential production at Iowa, and that's likely a big reason Iowa was so high on him.

Only time will tell if Goodson turns into a Wadley-type back at the college level, though.

Is the limited number of scholarships going to cause Iowa to back off some recruits? — @Iowafanwilliams

Yes. You just saw it with Brock.

If we're assuming Iowa gets Goodson, its 2019 class is up to 11 recruits. Given the 11 scholarship seniors on this year's team (plus the annual attrition of college football), Iowa will probably hand out around 16-18 scholarships for 2019. For comparison, its 2018 class had 23 guys.

So, you figure Kirk Ferentz has 5-7 scholarships left to work with.

Cherry Creek (Colorado) QB Alex Padilla committed to the Iowa Hawkeyes on Thursday.

He's got his 2019 quarterback in Alex Padilla — no more quarterback pursuit. He has his running backs — no more running back pursuit. I'd imagine he's all set with Jestin Jacobs and Jack Campbell at linebacker, too. 

Iowa is likely looking to get one more receiver. It could use one or two more defensive ends. It needs another defensive back and offensive lineman, too.

Were you surprised Brock pulled away from Iowa? — @MPSchwenk

Yes. Brock liked Iowa City and the Hawkeyes very much.

And I think the feelings were mutual. I still believe Brock was at or near the top of Iowa's big board for much of winter, spring and summer. But the brutal world of recruiting requires difficult, razor-edged decisions every year. 

Iowa closing the door on Brock was one of those decisions.

Seems like having the PTL available this year might have been a good way to get Carton and Foster on the court with Hawkeye players and maybe the familiarity could give UI an edge... Now, that's gone. Thoughts? — @kcsports4me

The Prime Time League ending won't have any effect on D.J. Carton or Xavier Foster's recruitments.

For one thing, if Foster was going to play in a summer league, it'd be the Des Moines area's Cap City League. And he isn't doing that.

I also would have been surprised to see Carton in the PTL. His summer schedule is far too busy with visits and everything associated with a five-star prospect's recruitment. Maybe if he was an Iowa City kid. But Bettendorf is an hour from North Liberty and two-and-a-half hours from Waterloo.

Not worth it.

That being said, I'll miss the PTL. Like the Cap City League, it's a great way for young fans to get up close and personal with their favorite players. It's also a great way for a reporter like me to catch up with and evaluate the state's top prospects as they play guys three, four, five years older than them.

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 mbain@dmreg.com and follow him on Twitter @MatthewBain_.