Hawkeye recruiting mailbag: What's the latest on Iowa TE target Josiah Miamen?
Crowded mailbag today. If I didn't answer your question this week, I will try to in future weeks.
Let's get right to it.
Does winner of IA/Wisky game get the bull and Josiah Miamen? — @TheeJustinM
This weekend certainly does provide an interesting parallel off-the-field battle, doesn't it? Iowa hosts Wisconsin to decide who's got the early edge in the Big Ten West.
Meanwhile, three-star tight end Josiah Miamen (Dunlap, Illinois) is considering both schools. He told me Tuesday night that he's done looking at programs and that Iowa and Wisconsin are his final two. While he said he doesn't have a commitment timetable in mind, his high school coach told 247Sports that he anticipated Miamen would announce his decision within this week.
Is it a coincidence that his two finalist schools are also playing each other this week?
Yes. Of course. I would be shocked if Miamen made a college decision based on who won a game in 2018.
Miamen took an official visit to Wisconsin last weekend and one to Iowa the week prior.
"The thing about Iowa that appeals to me," Miamen told me, "is the success that coach (Kirk) Ferentz has had with the (tight end) position and how he’s consistently sustained that success over the course of his career.
"Iowa’s message to me has been that if I do all the right things, I could be an impactful player for them."
During his official to Iowa, Miamen's host player was Noah Fant. That's not a bad Iowa spokesperson for success at the tight end position.
"A lot of the things Noah Fant has to say about the program speak through his success," Miamen said, "so when I spoke with him, he just told me the things to focus on in recruitment and told me some of the things that went into him making his decision."
It sounds about 50/50 right now for Miamen.
247Sports ranks him the No. 35 tight end in the 2019 class. It ranks current Iowa recruit Logan lee the No. 16 tight end in the class. If the Hawkeyes land Miamen, they would be one of six programs in the country to have two tight end recruits in 247Sports' positional top 40.
Any Tomari Fox update? — @Dial54
Iowa is still hoping to land Tomari Fox, a three-star defensive end from outside Atlanta.
The last I heard from Fox was on Sunday. He told me he still plans on taking visits this fall (although he didn't specify where), and that "if nothing new pops up my commitment should come soon." That second part is more significant to me. It suggests he might have his mind already close to made up.
In August, Fox told 247Sports he was considering taking officials to Georgia Tech and North Carolina, and maybe another unofficial to Iowa. He took an official to Iowa in July.
No real clear crystal ball here, although North Carolina is trending well.
What do you think the odds are of David Bell committing to Iowa, and if he’s not coming to Iowa where do you think he will go? — @J_Voss66
The odds aren't paper-thin, as Bell does have ties to Iowa in Justin Britt and Julius Brents. He continues to show clear interest, too, evidenced by his upcoming visit for the Wisconsin game.
But I wouldn't hold your breath.
The Hawkeyes are thought to be on the outside looking in here, while Purdue and Penn State are trending at the top of his leaderboard.
Both schools certainly present attractive options for a receiver as talented as Bell. He visited Purdue unofficially last weekend for its game against Missouri. The Boilermakers piled up 572 passing yards in that game, and freshman receiver Rondale Moore caught 11 passes for the second time in his first three games.
Over at Penn State, three receivers already have 100 or more receiving yards.
Iowa just can't boast that kind of production at receiver. Of course, the Hawkeyes could be trying to sell Bell on the idea that he could buck that trend, start immediately and become a focal point of the offense. But that's going to be a harder sell than if you've got recent proof of big-time success at the position.
Iowa does have three pass-catchers with more than 100 yards — two of those are Noah Fant and T.J. Hockenson. Nick Easley is the lone receiver in that category.
There's nothing wrong with building your passing offense around tight ends. But, logically, that means you're going to be better suited to recruit elite tight ends than elite receivers.
Recent cases in point: Noah Fant and Logan Lee at tight end; Oliver Martin at receiver.
Will Iowa offer Zion Carter? How has he looked so far this season? — @crandall_tyson
I'd say this depends on what happens at the top of Iowa's tight end big board. Miamen is clearly No. 1. If things don't pan out with him, Zion Carter out of Tampa could get more of a look. But it depends on where Carter sits on Iowa's board.
He told me on Tuesday that Iowa is still in contact with him "some" and that Derrick Foster has been his main recruiter. I'd be curious to see how things change if Miamen picks Wisconsin.
Carter camped at Iowa in late June. He's just starting his football career as a senior this year, but his size (6-foot-6, 235 pounds) and football pedigree (father is former longtime NFL defensive end Kevin Carter) has been enough to earn offers from Florida Atlantic, Dartmouth and Cornell.
Before this year, Carter was focused on basketball. He would be a bit of a gamble, but his upside is considerable.
Here's some video from this year. He's clearly raw, but you can't teach that size.
How does the Iowa football 2019 class stand now? Does any position stand out of more or less of a need after seeing 3 games? — @iowafanwilliams
Iowa is in great shape with its 2019 class. Most pressing needs have been filled, and now the coaches are focused on addressing those last few holes.
While it can provide some clues, I wouldn't say on-the-field performance from this year's team is the best indicator of need in the 2019 class. More likely than not, most of these 2019 freshman won't be significant contributors in their first year.
One remaining hole is tight end. The Hawkeyes want to add one more, and Miamen is their guy right now.
They're also looking at a few guys on the defensive line. Fox is certainly someone to monitor. Iowa Western defensive end Malcolm Lee is also a target to watch. Former Dowling Catholic star and Iowa Western defensive tackle Atlias Bell is ripping the faces off opponents this season, and he told me Iowa, Iowa State, West Virginia, North Carolina State, Washington State and Kentucky have expressed interest.
Linebacker isn't necessarily a pressing need, but if a guy like Iowa Western linebacker Chester Graves (the No. 1 juco 2019 prospect in the country) wants in, the Hawkeyes aren't going to say no. Same story with Omaha linebacker Nick Henrich; if he'd wanted a spot in Iowa City, the Hawkeyes weren't going to decline.
Wide receiver is obviously another spot Iowa wants to address. It hopes to land the four-star Bell. If Iowa doesn't get him, though, and it still wants to add another 2019 receiver, there are certainly local options.
Iowa Western has a few nice receivers. JaVonte Richardson is a four-star big guy — 6-4, 215 — with 12 catches for 152 yards this year. There are also two slot targets — Nick Singleton (21 catches for 225 yards) and former Dowling standout Michael Zachary (11 catches for 201 yards) — who look good enough for the FBS.
There are also a handful of uncommitted fringe-FBS receiver prospects in the Midwest. Iowa could take a flyer on an in-state guy — like Bettendorf athlete Carter Bell, who plays quarterback but is being recruited at receiver. He's got a South Dakota offer, and the Coyotes like him a lot.
When a lot of the reporters talk about commits, they say “known” commits. Is this to cover themselves or do they know more than they are letting on? — @Hawkfan7314
This is a great question. The answer: It can be both.
Most often, it depends on what information reporters have on the record ... and what information we have off the record. On the record means we can publish it and attribute the information to the source who provided it. Off the record means we cannot publish the info or attribute it. But off-the-record information is still helpful because it can direct us to look for sources who could provide the info on the record. Or, in the case of recruiting, it could prompt us to have a story pre-written and ready to go.
That happens a lot with commitments. For instance, when Waverly-Shell Rock defensive end Mosai Newsom announced his commitment to Nebraska on July 23, he had actually already committed to the Huskers and become their 13th 2019 recruit. But, at the time, he gave us that information off the record because he wanted to wait until July 23 to announce.
So, if somebody had asked on July 22 how many 2019 recruits Nebraska had, I might've pulled the "known commits" card.
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_.