How the Iowa Hawkeyes have addressed their needs in the 2020 class

Matthew Bain
Hawk Central

With three-star defensive end Deontae Craig signing with Iowa on Thursday, the Hawkeyes officially inked 20 new scholarship players for their 2020 class.

Now ... are they done in 2020? Odds say, probably not.

While the vast majority of Iowa's 2020 class is likely filled, there's still another signing day — the original signing day — on Feb. 5, and it's common for schools to add another handful of players on that date. There are also transfers to consider, and sometimes they don't pick a school until the spring or even right before summer.

Offseason attrition also strikes every program, so needs may emerge over the coming months that Iowa isn't anticipating right now.

Iowa head football coach Kirk Ferentz leads the Hawkeyes down the tunnel to the field prior to kickoff against Nebraska during their Big 10 final season game on Friday, Nov. 29, 2019, at Memorial Stadium in Lincoln, Neb.

So, with that in mind, here's a breakdown of Iowa's current areas of need and how those were addressed in the 2020 class:


Losing one ... adding one

Barring unexpected attrition, Iowa is set at quarterback in 2020. It loses Nate Stanley, and it adds Dallas three-star quarterback Deuce Hogan. Easy.

Tight end

Losing two ... adding two

This is another position where Iowa is set in 2020. It will lose Nate Wieting and Drew Cook to graduation, and it adds a pair of high-three-star newcomers in Luke Lachey and Elijah Yelverton.

Offensive line

Losing three ... adding three

The Hawkeyes are set with offensive linemen, too — unless Alaric Jackson's plans change and he opts to enter the NFL Draft.

But, for now, Iowa is only anticipating losing Tristan Wirfs and Levi and Landan Paulsen.

In the 2020 class, it has signed in-state offensive lineman Josh Volk, Kansas product Mason Richman and Illinois product Tyler Elsbury.

Defensive line

Losing four ... adding six (for now)

The Hawkeyes' need could jump one spot here if Chauncey Golston changes his mind and goes pro, but as of right now, they're only expected to lose A.J. Epenesa, Amani Jones, Cedrick Lattimore and Brady Reiff.

Meanwhile, they've already signed six defensive linemen: in-state products Logan Jones and Ethan Hurkett (who played linebacker in high school) and Illinois three-star Isaiah Bruce, who will likely play defensive tackle; and Illinois product Lukas Van Ness, Indiana product Deontae Craig and Minnesota product Yahya Black at defensive end.

Iowa also has a verbal commitment from Wisconsin product Michael Lois, but he didn't sign during the early signing period.


Losing one ... adding one 

Iowa is set to lose Kristian Welch, and it's adding Indianapolis three-star linebacker Jay Higgins. There's a depth of linebacker talent on Iowa's roster, so this wasn't a huge position of need in 2020.

Defensive back

Losing three (probably) ... adding three (for now)

Michael Ojemudia and Devonte Young are graduating, and Geno Stone may leave for the NFL Draft. So, Iowa has signed three defensive backs in 2020: Alabama safety Reggie Bracy, Illinois safety A.J. Lawson and Michigan cornerback Brenden Deasfernandes. Iowa also has a verbal commitment from Florida cornerback Keylen Gulley, but he didn't sign during the early signing period.


Losing one ... none added

Iowa is likely still looking for a punter in 2020. Michael Sleep-Dalton graduates, and Ryan Gersonde is coming off a knee injury. The main name to watch is probably Gavin Meyers, a five-star punter from Wisconsin who Kohl's Kicking ranks No. 17 in the class.

The Hawkeyes and North Dakota State have both extended preferred walk-on offers.

Long snapper

Losing two ... none added

With Nate Vejvoda and Jackson Subbert (Iowa's starter) leaving, Iowa may also be looking for a long snapper in 2020. It does have one returning in junior Austin Spiewak, but he doesn't have any game experience.

Illinois product Liam Reardon visited Iowa in September.

Matthew Bain covers recruiting, Iowa/Iowa State athletics and Drake basketball for the Des Moines Register and USA TODAY Network. Contact him at and follow him on Twitter @MatthewBain_.

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