Iowa football recruiting: Hawkeyes add 19 on Wednesday's Signing Day

Dargan Southard
Hawk Central

Kirk Ferentz's Iowa football program added 22 new scholarship players on Wednesday, the first day of college football's early signing period. 

The class featured a heavy commitment on the defensive line, with five new additions, and Texas quarterback Deuce Hogan and Dowling Catholic All-Iowa running back Gavin Williams highlight the offensive recruits. 

Recruit Deontae Craig is expected to sign later this week. 

Here's a breakdown of the signees

Yahya Black

DE: 6-foot-6, 250 pounds, Marshall (Marshall, Minnesota)

Rivals: 3 stars; 247Sports Composite: 3 stars 

Quick facts: Black committed to the Hawkeyes during their strong run in June. Holds school record for sacks (17.5). The defensive end reportedly held offers from Kansas State, Minnesota, Buffalo, North Dakota State and others.   

Reggie Bracy

S: 6-foot, 190 pounds, St Paul's Episcopal (Mobile, Alabama)

Rivals: 3 stars; 247Sports Composite: 3 stars 

Quick facts: Iowa doesn't make a ton of southern splashes, but it did here with Bracy. The Alabama safety committed to the Hawkeyes in June during a big recruiting weekend.    

Isaiah Bruce

DT: 6-foot-1, 270 pounds, Lena-Winslow (Lena, Illinois)

Rivals: 3 stars; 247Sports Composite: 3 stars 

Quick facts: The Hawkeyes plucked Bruce from his small Illinois town. The defensive tackle is the first player in Lena-Winslow history to receive a Division I football scholarship offer.    

Brenden Deasfernandes

CB: 6-foot-1, 160 pounds, Belleville (Belleville, Michigan)

Rivals: 2 stars; 247Sports Composite: 3 stars 

Quick facts: Could this be another off-the-radar find that turns into gold? Deasfernandes didn't have another Division I offer when the Hawkeyes swooped in at the end of June. He committed shortly after the initial interest.     

Tyler Elsbury

OG: 6-foot-5.5, 292 pounds, Byron (Byron, Illinois)

Rivals: 3 stars; 247Sports Composite: 3 stars 

Quick facts: Elsbury spurned offers from Illinois, Purdue and Northern Illinois to join the Hawkeyes in March. The offensive guard made for a happy Iowa day, committing moments after Josh Volk did the same.

Jay Higgins of Brebeuf Jesuit, at Bishop Chatard High School, Indianapolis, Friday, Aug. 23, 2019. Bishop Chatard beat Brebeuf Jesuit Preparatory School 49-14 in week one of the high school football season.

Jay Higgins 

LB: 6-foot-2, 215 pounds, Brebeuf Jesuit (Indianapolis, Indiana)

Rivals: 3 stars; 247Sports Composite: 3 stars 

Quick facts: Iowa tends to do well recruiting the Indianapolis area, and it hopes to find another gem in Higgins. The linebacker committed in late June during a heavily populated recruiting weekend. He had a massive senior season — 151 tackles, five pass break-ups and three forced fumbles.

Deuce Hogan

QB: 6-foot-3.5, 197 pounds, Faith Christian (Grapevine, Texas)

Rivals: 4 stars;  247Sports Composite: 3 stars 

Quick facts: The social media star of this class, Hogan has made his Hawkeye affection known since committing in June 2018. He'll try to wiggle his way into a wide-open quarterback battle. Threw for 8,192 passing yards and 100 touchdowns in his prep career. 

Ethan Hurkett

LB: 6-foot-3, 230 pounds, Cedar Rapids Xavier, (Cedar Rapids, Iowa)

Rivals: 3 stars; 247Sports Composite: 3 stars 

Quick facts: A hard-hitting linebacker from right up the road, Hurkett had 53.5 tackles and 14.5 TFLs this season. His recruitment was non-dramatic, Iowa all the way. He'll join high school teammate Josh Volk in Iowa City. Had 14.5 tackles for loss as a senior. 

Logan Jones 

DE: 6-foot-3, 255 pounds, Lewis Central (Council Bluffs, Iowa)

Rivals: 3 stars; 247Sports Composite: 4 stars 

Quick facts: Jones makes up a fourth of Iowa's 2020 in-state signees. The Lewis Central product had 15.5 tackles for loss to help propel the Titans to the Class 3A semifinals. Jones has been committed since February.    

Luke Lachey

TE: 6-foot-6, 220 pounds, Grandview Heights (Columbus, Ohio)  

Rivals: 3 stars; 247Sports Composite: 3 stars

Quick facts: Iowa hopes Lachey can continue the Hawkeyes' recent run of tight end success. The Ohio product committed to Iowa in July.   

AJ Lawson

WR: 6-foot-1, 177 pounds, MacArthur, (Decatur, Illinois)

Rivals: 3 stars; 247Sports Composite: 3 stars 

Quick facts: Lawson was the first Iowa commit during its big late-June weekend. The Illinois product could be an option at either wide receiver or defensive back, both of which he played well in high school.  

Quavon Matthews

WR: 5-foot-11, 165 pounds, Largo (Largo, Florida)

Rivals: 3 stars; 247Sports Composite: 3 stars 

Quick facts: The other half of Iowa's 2020 Florida tandem, Matthews committed to the Hawkeyes in mid-June. He was one of three 2020 commits in five days, joining Mason Richman and Yahya Black in that span. He had 39 catches for 681 yards and seven touchdowns as a senior. 

Mason Richman

OT: 6-foot-6, 252 pounds, Blue Valley (Stilwell, Kansas)

Rivals: 3 stars; 247Sports Composite: 3 stars 

Quick facts: Richman chose the Hawkeyes over offers from Kansas, Northern Illinois, Air Force, Akron, Ball State and others. Like many of the prospects in this class, the Kansas product committed during Iowa's June frenzy.   

Lukas Van Ness

DE: 6-foot-5, 240 pounds, Barrington, (Barrington, Illinois)

Rivals: 3 stars; 247Sports Composite: 3 stars 

Quick facts: Van Ness has a Big Ten frame with room for added bulk. He can get to the quarterback in a variety of ways, whether it's bull-rushing his man, shedding the blocker or controlling the tackle's outside shoulder thanks to a solid first step. Van Ness' speed does not jump out in his film, but he does show good ball pursuit and instincts in rush defense.   

Diante Vines

WR: 5-foot-11, 189 pounds, The Taft School (Watertown, Connecticut)

Rivals: 3 stars; 247Sports Composite: 3 stars 

Quick facts: Iowa went up north for this Connecticut speedster, who was also considering Syracuse, Boston College and Army. Vines moved quickly, committing in early July and an official visit in June and an offer in May.   

Josh Volk 

OG: 6-foot-4, 295 pounds, Cedar Rapids Xavier (Cedar Rapids, Iowa)

Rivals: 3 stars; 247Sports Composite: 3 stars 

Quick facts: ACL recovery limited Volk's senior contributions, but the Saints offensive lineman has long established himself as one of the best prospects in the class. Iowa made him a priority early. It paid off.  

Leshon Williams 

RB: 5-foot-10, 208 pounds, HL Richards (Oak Lawn, Illinois)

Rivals: 3 stars; 247Sports Composite: 3 stars 

Quick facts: Williams didn't wait around, committing to the Hawkeyes in mid-May one day after receiving his Iowa offer. Williams also  had offers from Kansas State, Cincinnati, Northern Illinois and Ball State, among others. Had 1,001 yards and 10 touchdowns at a senior. 

Dowling Catholic's Gavin Williams (21) rushes during their Class 4A state football championship game at the UNI Dome on Friday, Nov. 22, 2019, in Cedar Falls. Dowling Catholic would go on to defeat Valley 21-16 and win their seventh state title in a row.

Gavin Williams

RB: 6-foot, 195 pounds, Dowling Catholic (Des Moines, Iowa)

Rivals: 3 stars; 247Sports Composite: 3 stars 

Quick facts: Williams made waves last offseason when he transferred from Southeast Polk to Dowling Catholic. All Williams did was go off in his injury-shortened senior year for 1,263 yards and 18 touchdowns. He was an All-Iowa elite team selection and a state champion.   

Elijah Yelverton 

TE: 6-foot-5, 225 pounds, Trinity Christian School (Cedar Hill, Texas)

Rivals: 3 stars; 247Sports Composite: 3 stars 

Quick facts: Yelverton lined up from just about everywhere in his film package. Out wide, in the slot, as an H-back and, of course, with his hand in the dirt — although he appears to be most comfortable out wide or in the slot. He committed to Iowa over offers from LSU, Penn State, Ole Miss and Arkansas.  

Dargan Southard covers Iowa and UNI athletics, recruiting and preps for the Des Moines Register, and the Iowa City Press-Citizen. Email him at or follow him on Twitter at @Dargan_Southard.