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Not done yet: Remaining targets for Iowa football's surging 2021 class

Matthew Bain
Hawk Central

Despite receiving a decommitment this week for three-star Tampa cornerback Jordan Oladokun, Iowa football is on a roll with its 2021 recruiting class. The Hawkeyes' current group of 14 recruits ranks No. 6 overall in the country, according to the 247Sports Composite, and it has eight products from the loaded in-state class.

And there's still plenty of work to do.

Kirk Ferentz and his staff have their eyes on a handful of top-tier targets they hope to land this spring and summer. If they're able to get a few of these targets, Iowa's 2021 class has a chance to wind up among the country's top 20 come signing day.

Here's a breakdown of some of those targets.

Thomas Fidone

Position: Tight end

Height, weight: 6-foot-4, 220 pounds

School: Lewis Central

Ask any current Hawkeye recruit and they'll say the same thing: Thomas Fidone is target No. 1 right now. The Register's No. 2 in-state 2021 prospect and arguably the top tight end in the country, Fidone has narrowed his choices to Iowa, Nebraska, LSU, Notre Dame, Michigan and Penn State. Nebraska, who he grew up rooting for, has been thought to be the early favorite. But Iowa's track record with tight ends and the impressive 2021 class its building are both strong selling points. We'll see if the inability to take visits hurts out-of-area schools like LSU and Michigan.

Ricky Parks

Position: Running back

Height, weight: 5-10, 190

School: Gaither (Tampa, Florida)

Iowa has been the trendy pick for Parks, ranked the country's No. 22 running back by the 247Sports Composite, for the past several weeks. He released a top five of Iowa, Utah, Pittsburgh, Florida State and West Virginia in March. Utah and Florida State appear to be the two other schools mostly in the mix.

Parks is high school teammates with Oladokun, who committed to the Hawkeyes on April 14 but reopened things this week. Iowa has had a strong recruiting footprint in the Tampa area these past few recruiting cycles.

Mar'Keise Irving

Position: Running back

Height, weight: 5-10, 175

School: Hillcrest (Country Club Hills, Illinois)

If Ferentz can land either Parks or Irving, he'll be a happy man. Iowa landed a running back from the Chicago suburbs in 2020 (Leshon Williams) and it's looking to do it again. The Hawkeyes offered Irving in November and hosted him for an unofficial visit in January. Since then, Iowa has been considered one of the top contenders for the four-star prospect the 247Sports Composite considers 2021's No. 18 running back. Minnesota is among the schools also thought to be heavily in the mix.

Skyler Bell

Position: Receiver

Height, weight: 6-1, 185

School: The Taft School (Watertown, Connecticut)

Bell is slated to announce his commitment on May 20. It would be a surprise if he doesn't pick Iowa, which is where all the buzz has him leaning. He would round out Iowa's 2021 receiver class alongside Ankeny's Brody Brecht, Nebraska's Keagan Johnson and Kansas City's Arland Bruce IV. He announced a top six of Iowa, Georgia Tech, Northwestern, Virginia Tech, Rutgers and Wake Forest a month ago. Bell plays for the same high school as Hawkeye 2020 receiver signee Diante Vines.

Joe Alt

Position: Offensive line/tight end

Height, weight: 6-7, 235

School: Totino-Grace (Minneapolis, Minnesota)

This one feels like a very winnable recruitment for Iowa. Alt is the son of John Alt, who played offensive line at Iowa in the early 1980s before a two-time Pro Bowl career in the NFL. His son will likely play offensive line in college, although he can also play tight end. The Hawkeyes got involved early with the three-star Alt, and he's a legacy recruit.

Donaven McCulley

Position: Quarterback

Height, weight: 6-5, 195

School: Lawrence North (Indianapolis, Indiana)

McCulley included Iowa in his top five last month alongside Purdue, Indiana, Ole Miss and Missouri. The Hawkeyes haven't used a dual-threat quarterback in recent years, but McCulley is one of the country's best athletes behind center. The 247Sports Composite gives him four stars and ranks him No. 12 among dual-threat quarterbacks in 2021. He is the only quarterback Iowa has offered that is still available. Iowa has a strong recruiting footprint in Indianapolis.

Lawrence North High School junior Donaven McCulley (1) scrambles in the backfield during the first half of action. Lawrence North and Lawrence Central high schools competed Friday, Sept. 6, 2019 in IHSAA varsity football action at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.

Michael Myslinski

Position: Center

Height, weight: 6-3, 285

School: Bishop Kenny (Jacksonville, Florida)

A high school center who actually projects at center in college, too? You'd better believe Iowa is all over that. And it's thought to be in good shape with Myslinski, who the 247Sports Composite considers the No. 16 center in 2021. Duke just offered this week, and he also holds offers from Wake Forest, Florida State and Texas, among others.

Austin Booker

Position: Defensive end

Height, weight: 6-5, 235

School: Center Grove (Greenwood, Indiana)

One of the Midwest's most athletic defensive ends, Booker has a laundry list of offers, including Iowa, Indiana, Michigan State, Minnesota and Oregon. The Hawkeyes have been involved for a while, though. He camped at Iowa last summer, and Ferentz gave him his first Power Five offer last December. Since then, 17 more Power Five programs have offered the three-star prospect.

Center Grove High School junior Austin Booker (94) reacts after sacking Carmel’s quarterback during the first half of action in the 47th annual IHSAA class 6A football state finals at Lucas Oil Stadium, Saturday, Nov. 30, 2019.

Rayshaun Benny

Position: Defensive line/offensive line

Height, weight: 6-5, 275

School: Oak Park (Oak Park, Michigan)

One of the country's top two-way linemen, Benny had planned to visit Iowa this spring or summer before the coronavirus derailed those plans. A consensus four-star prospect, Benny is also considering the likes of Michigan, Auburn, Georgia, Tennessee, Clemson and Ohio State, among others. In other words: There's steep competition here. 

Birmingham Seaholm's O-line had their hands full trying to contain players like Rayshaun Benny (55) who seemed to appear in their backfields at the snap of the ball.

Other areas of need

Quarterback: If McCulley doesn't pick Iowa, the Hawkeyes will need to extend a new offer to at least one quarterback out there. Alabama product Riley Leonard is a name starting to generate some steam. He could play Division I football or basketball, but he recently said he's leaning toward football as Nebraska, Duke and Syracuse have all offered. 

Secondary: With Oladokun no longer committed, Iowa needs another cornerback. OABCIG safety Cooper DeJean is the Hawkeyes' only defensive back in 2021.

Kicker: Iowa has a scholarship offer out to Illinois kicker Ian Wagner, a 6-2, 180-pound athlete considered the country's No. 28 kicker by Kohl's Kicking. Another name to watch could be Logan Seibert, a fellow Illinois product who Kohl's ranks No. 26 in 2021; he holds offers from South Dakota and Eastern Illinois. His older brother is Austin Seibert, who was drafted by the Cleveland Browns in 2019 after kicking at Oklahoma.

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

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