Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz looks out to the Northern Illinois opener after the Aug. 11 scrimmage at Kinnick Stadium. Chad Leistikow, Hawk Central
Some thoughts on the state of Iowa football recruiting entering the Hawkeyes' 2018 season ...
Gem of the class
Logan Lee, TE, Orion (Illinois): Lee committed to Iowa before playing one snap of junior-year football. Because it was so long ago, some forget just how coveted a recruit he was. Lee held additional offers from Michigan, Michigan State, Missouri, Wisconsin, Ole Miss, Minnesota and Northwestern. The 6-foot-5, 240-pounder — who's the first-ever Division I football recruit from Orion High — showed other schools what they were missing when he won the WR/TE MVP at the Rivals 3-stripe Camp in Chicago in May. Bottom line: This kid has some Noah Fant in him.
Potential diamond in the rough
Desmond Hutson, WR, Kansas City: Iowa was Hutson's lone offer when he committed in May. He's rated as a mid-tier three-star kid, and 247Sports ranks him the No. 127 receiver in 2019. Numbers that don't jump off the page, right? But while he isn't the most refined prospect, he boasts nice speed, ball skills and, most importantly, something you can't teach: The kid is 6-4. He isn't rail-thin at 190 pounds, and he's got a frame that'll carry weight well. He's comparable to Brandon Smith when he was coming out of high school. And, oh yeah: Smith was 247Sports' No. 127 receiver in his class, too. When you're tall and talented, you've always got a chance to shine as a receiver.
Tyler Goodson will get snaps as a freshman. I don't care what position they are: Kids who play large-class football in the Atlanta area might be more prepared for the college game than anyone else. And Goodson, Iowa's three-star running back commit who plays for state powerhouse North Gwinnett, has proven to be one of the very best in that area. But he doesn't wow you with lightning speed. Goodson wins because he's a patient, powerful and smart back who knows how to run behind his blockers and carve up defenses. He might just be too talented and too battle-tested to keep off the field in some capacity in 2019.
2019 target to watch
David Bell, WR, Indianapolis: It's got to be Bell. While the Hawkeyes are thought to be on the outside looking in, they are among the final five schools for one of the country's very best wide receivers. They're competing with Ohio State, Penn State, Indiana and Purdue. Bell already has his official visits scheduled to Penn State (Sept. 29) and Purdue (Nov. 3). He's planning to take all five officials. Regarding the Urban Meyer situation at Ohio State, Bell told Rivals: "The situation as a whole is a sad one, but I'm glad he is still the head coach." Bell's current teammate at Warren Central, offensive guard Justin Britt, is an Iowa recruit. And his former high school teammate, defensive back Julius Brents, is an Iowa freshman.
2020 target to watch
Josh Volk, OG, Cedar Rapids Xavier: Iowa is one of the country's top destinations for offensive linemen. It usually wins battles with the in-state crop. And Volk, a 6-4, 295-pounder verging on four stars, looks like the best in-state offensive lineman in 2020 — and one of the best in the Midwest. The Hawkeyes should have no problem prioritizing him, as he's just a 30-minute drive from Kinnick Stadium. They'll have stout competition. Iowa State has also already offered, but this Iowa Eight honoree is fielding interest from Notre Dame, Northwestern, Nebraska, Minnesota, Michigan State and Vanderbilt.
Should Iowa be happy so far?
Yes. Iowa has done what it normally does — land solid guys all around. The Hawkeyes got the bulk of their 2019 recruiting done before the season. They won most in-state recruiting battles they entered. They landed an Atlanta-area prospect. Their class of four offensive linemen rivals anybody else's in the country. They're off to a great start in 2020 with Texas quarterback Deuce Hogan. On the other side of the spectrum, you're still looking for Iowa's efforts pay off with a big-time receiver — something fans have been craving for a while now.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @MatthewBain_.