Hawkeye recruiting mailbag: Will Iowa extend more offers before early signing period?

Matthew Bain
Hawk Central
Bettendorf quarterback Carter Bell (11) rushes during a 4A varsity football game on Friday, Aug. 31, 2018, at TouVelle Stadium in Bettendorf.

I made a very wise, adult decision the other day.

My dog chewed through a lamp's cord and I went to Walmart for a replacement. If you've been to Walmart in October, you know you've got to walk past walls of candy before getting to the checkout lines.

There I was — stopped in my tracks in front of the candy. Caught in Walmart's devious trap. Starburst and Skittles are two major weaknesses for me, and lo and behold, there was a 70-piece bag of both right in front of me, begging to be bought.

But I didn't buy it. Remember, I made a very wise, adult decision.

I bought the 110-piece bag instead.

So, if this week's Hawkeye recruiting mailbag seems jittery, blame the sugar.

Do you expect any more Hawkeye football 2019 offers before the early signing period or just after to get some late adds/flips? — @iowafanwilliams

This year's early signing period is Dec. 19-21. Whether or not Iowa extends any additional offers before then depends on a couple factors.

First: Will the Hawkeyes hit on their current targets? It's clear they're looking to add another defensive end and linebacker, and they're also all-in on four-star receiver David Bell. They've got defensive end offers out to Illinois three-star Keith Randolph, Georgia three-star Tomari Fox and Iowa Western three-star Malcolm Lee. For linebackers, Iowa has offers out to Iowa Western four-star Chester Graves (who can also play defensive end) and Independence (Kansas) four-star Kuony Deng.

Second: If Iowa misses on its current targets, are there any prospects it deems worthy to offer before re-evaluating the field after the early signing period? It has eyes on other defensive ends and linebackers, and I'll get to the receiver options later. Iowa is also looking at Iowa Western defensive tackle and former Dowling Catholic standout Atlias Bell.

Iowa Western defensive tackle Atlias Bell (98) is receiving recruiting interest from Iowa and Iowa State, among others.

Bottom line: There are two months between now and the early signing period. I would be surprised if we don't see at least one more offer — especially since the Hawkeyes could also be keeping tabs on prospects whose senior film they want to review before sending out an offer.

The offer may come late — like Iowa's December offer to linebacker Seth Benson last year. We also could see a spot open up due to a decommitment, like when Ben VanSumeren flipped to Michigan last December.

And then, no matter what happens before Dec. 19, I'd expect more offers and additions before or during the Feb. 6-April 1 regular signing period. Iowa will get a better sense of its 2019 roster during spring ball, and the spring junior college market will be clearer, too.

I know 4-star ‘19 LB Cameron Williams has taken a game day visit to Kinnick. I don’t believe he’s been offered yet though. Any buzz on where things stand with IA and is an offer coming? — @SydStardust

Iowa hosted Cameron Williams, an Indiana four-star product, for an unofficial visit during the Wisconsin game.

Williams recently announced a top five of Arizona, Kentucky, Purdue, Indiana and Cincinnati. Although, he did also say his recruitment was still open. So, if Iowa still wanted to offer and jump into the mix, it could.

The Hawkeyes have hosted game-day visits with Illinois two-star linebacker/defensive end Zane Heemsoth and fellow Illinois linebacker product Chase Graham recently. They're also keeping tabs on in-state linebackers Caleb Lomica (North Polk) and Matt Barnett (Alburnett), the latter of whom is committed to South Dakota State.

Does Iowa have a back up plan if David Bell doesn’t work out? — @JonnyHawkeye

We'll see.

There are other options within this state and region if Iowa truly needs a second receiver in its 2019 class. Or, this could be a case where the Hawkeyes are in the running for one of the country's best prospects and it doesn't matter if there's a need at his position.

This is a bit of a D.J. Carton situation. In other words: Iowa cannot openly recruit other receivers while it's in the top five for one as elite as Bell. If the Indianapolis star picks another school, we'll see which direction Iowa goes.

If we're looking at in-state options ...

I've been on the Carter Bell train for a while. He's Bettendorf's quarterback, but at 5-foot-10, he's being recruited as a slot receiver. South Dakota has offered and likes him a lot, but Iowa is keeping tabs on him. Western Illinois has offered and is in the mix, too.

Bettendorf quarterback Carter Bell rolls out of the pocket during a 4A varsity football game on Friday, Aug. 31, 2018, at TouVelle Stadium in Bettendorf.

There's also Logan Wolf, who's staking an early claim as this state's best athlete. The 6-2 Cedar Falls product has 50 catches for 800 yards and 16 scores so far. He's committed to Northern Iowa and he's also slated to walk on to the basketball team.

Braeden Hoyer is another interesting name. The 6-4 Northeast Goose Lake product recently visited Iowa. He finished the season with 31 catches for 329 yards and a pair of touchdowns.

Iowa Western has another strong class of receivers, too. Slot targets Nick Singleton and former Dowling star Michael Zachary will be Division I guys. Singleton is set to graduate in May. Zachary, a December graduate, told me he holds offers from Lamar and Tennessee-Martin. JaVonte Richardson, bouncy and 6-4, is one of the country's most talented juco receivers. The hope is that he graduates in May. He told me Kentucky is the school highest on his radar.

In terms of out-of-state possibilities ... 

Treyton Welch has been on campus a couple times. He's a Minnesota product who's on the radar of Iowa and several other Midwest Power Five programs, including Nebraska. The 6-3, 200-pounder holds offers from UNI, Brown, Wyoming, North Dakota State and Western Illinois. 

Texas product Denver Holman and Moline product Javon Foy have also taken game-day visits this season. Both are slot guys. Foy holds an FCS offer from Southeast Missouri State.

Who are your top 5 unrecruited FB prospects from Iowa in this cycle? — @TheeJustinM

This state's 2019 class already has 15 players (I believe) committed to a Division I college football program. So, in other years, this might have been a really tough question to answer. 

Not this year.

I was actually talking with my boss about this on Monday. For some reason, the state of Iowa had way-above-average 2019 classes in both football and basketball. Who the heck knows why. Random chance coinciding to form a crop of tremendous athletes? Really talented Iowa couples getting busy in 2001? Who knows.

Here are six really good in-state prospects who have yet to decide their college future:

Chris Reames, DE, Van Meter

Reames is a 6-7, 220-pounder who Iowa compares to Anthony Nelson. He holds interest from the Hawkeyes, who would likely have to miss on a few more defensive end targets to offer Reames. Right now he's got 14 offers from FCS, Ivy League and Group of Five programs, including Air Force, Eastern Michigan, UNI, NDSU and Army, where he plans to visit officially. Reames has additional interest from Iowa State and Minnesota. Nebraska and UCLA recently reached out to him on Twitter, too. Entering the playoffs, he has 35.5 tackles and six solo tackles for loss.

Nick DeJong, DE, Pella

DeJong, a 6-6, 240-pounder, has recently taken game-day visits to Minnesota, Iowa State, Iowa and Kansas State. He's clearly on the Midwest Power Five radar, but those schools would likely need to miss on other targets for him to pick up an offer. DeJong holds 10 Group of Five or FCS offers, including from Air Force, UNI and NDSU. He's got 19.5 tackles and five solo tackles for loss entering Pella's playoff opener at Cedar Rapids Xavier.

Council Bluff, Thomas Jefferson's Cameron Baker (25) rushes during their football game at Des Moines North on Friday, Sept. 28, 2018 in Des Moines.

Cameron Baker, LB/ATH, Council Bluffs Thomas Jefferson

Last I checked with Baker, UNI was the main school still recruiting him that had offered. He said Nebraska and Wyoming were checking in, too. Baker is a sturdy 6-2, 225-pound athlete who played both running back and linebacker in high school. He's being primarily recruited at linebacker, although I think he'd make a solid fullback/h-back, too. He finished this season with 1,074 rushing yards and 35.5 tackles.

Jared Penning, OT, Clear Lake

Penning is a nimble big dude at 6-7 and 330 pounds. He holds eight offers, including from North Dakota, NDSU, UNI and Eastern Michigan. On Tuesday night, he told me UNI and NDSU were contacting him the most lately. Penning helped pave the way for a Clear Lake team that rushed for 2,012 yards this season.

Caleb Lomica, LB, North Polk

Lomica is a long 6-4, 205-pounder with offers from Central Michigan, South Dakota and UNI. But he told me on Tuesday that he shut down any further recruitment, except from Iowa and Iowa State, and that he was leaning heavily toward UNI. Lomica was seventh in Class 3A with 82 tackles this season.

Keegan Simmons, ATH, Cedar Rapids Prairie

Simmons is a prolific high school running back, and that's likely where he'll wind up in college. But at 6-2 and 205, he could also project as a linebacker or safety. He holds an offer from UNI and a Division II offer from Minnesota State. Beyond that, Simmons told me Iowa is the other school that is in contact with him. He's having a monster season with 1,910 rushing yards entering Prairie's first-round battle against Johnston. 

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_.