A look at Iowa football's top 13 targets for the 2023 recruiting class
Wednesday was the start of the February signing period, and the Hawkeyes are adding just one more addition to their 2022 class in Michigan three-star cornerback Deshaun Lee, who announced his commitment on Sunday.
With the Hawkeyes' 2022 class wrapped up, it's time to look ahead at Iowa's 2023 class. The next early signing period is months away, but that doesn't mean the work stops.
Here are some of the Hawkeyes' top targets for the 2023 class.
Kadyn Proctor, OL (Des Moines, Iowa)
This one comes as no surprise.
Proctor is an undisputed five-star offensive tackle out of Southeast Polk and the Register's No. 1 player in the 2023 class. He’s the No. 1 offensive tackle and No. 6 overall player nationwide, according to the 247Sports Composite.
Proctor helped the Rams to a state championship this past season and he can flatten pretty much any opponent that comes his way. Plus, the 6-foot-8, 335-pound tackle is built for the college game already.
The Hawkeyes won over fellow five-star teammate Xavier Nwankpa, who's already enrolled and working out with the team, which means Iowa has an in with one of the country’s best football players.
But Proctor is getting a lot of attention from some of the strongest programs in college football. Alabama, Georgia, LSU, Notre Dame, Ohio State, USC — and so many others — want a piece of the Proctor pie. Iowa can’t afford to back off now, not when Proctor is one of the country's hottest commodities in high school football.
Kyler Kasper, WR (Gilbert, Arizona)
The four-star wide receiver out of Arizona is the No. 19 wide receiver and No. 122 player in the country, per the 247Sports Composite. He’s a huge target for Iowa and, luckily, the Hawkeyes have an in. Kasper’s father, Kevin, was a wide receiver for Iowa in the late 1990s. Kyler Kasper was also 7-on-7 football teammates on the Tuscon Turf with Nwankpa this past offseason.
At 6-5 and 185 pounds, Kasper is taller than his father and he has the play to back up his four-star status. He finished last season at Williams Field with 51 catches for 943 yards and nine touchdowns.
Other high-level programs have offered Kasper, including recent offers from Miami and Georgia, so Iowa isn’t without stiff competition. But in his many visits to Iowa City, Kasper has already developed friendships with players like Nwankpa. That, coupled with his family connections, could work in Iowa’s favor.
Cayden Green, OL (Lees Summit, Missouri)
Green, a four-star product out of Missouri, is the No. 7 offensive tackle and No. 68 player nationwide, per the 247Sports Composite. Thanks to his skill and size — Green is 6-5, 310 pounds — a lot of schools want Green on their team. Duh. Oklahoma has positive buzz, but programs like Iowa and Michigan are very much in the mix. He also visited Cincinnati last month, plus Michigan. Green was in the crowd for Iowa’s electric win over Penn State last October, and anything can happen between now and earlier signing day in December.
Cameron Upshaw, DB (Havana, Florida)
Iowa's recent string of offers in Florida suggest it's trying to make a splash in the Sunshine State in 2023, and three-star safety Cameron Upshaw has mutual interest. The Hawkeyes offered Jan. 19 and he plans to attend the March junior day in Iowa City. Other programs high on the 6-1 athlete's list include South Carolina and Florida State.
Tyler Grant, DL (St. Louis, Missouri)
The Hawkeyes have some familiar competition for Grant, a three-star, top-400 defensive lineman out of St. Louis. Their main competition includes Iowa State, Wisconsin and Illinois, as well as Kentucky and Arkansas. He is expected at Iowa's March junior day.
Mac Markway, TE (St. Louis, Missouri)
A four-star, top-100 tight end out of Missouri, Markway was previously committed to Florida before reopening his recruitment in December. Now, Iowa is one of the teams trying to win Markway over. Iowa was one of his first unofficial visits back in 2019, and he visited Iowa City two weekends ago — the same weekend he visited Miami.
Markway, who missed this past season with an injury, is another recruit with family ties to the Hawkeyes. His father, Matt Markway, played tight end for Iowa in the late 1990s. His uncle, Kyle, played tight end at South Carolina.
Kaden Feagin, ATH (Arthur, Illinois)
With offers from and visits to Iowa, Illinois, Notre Dame and Purdue, it certainly seems like Feagin wants to stay in the Midwest. The 6-3, 220-pounder was at Iowa's junior day Jan. 23 and has consistently spoken highly of the Hawkeyes.
He translates to several positions at the college level. He’s the No. 19 athlete and No. 225 player in the nation, per the 247Sports Composite.
Asa Newsom, LB (Waverly, Iowa)
Newsom, the Register's No. 9 in-state 2023 prospect, landed his Hawkeyes offer back in June and he was on campus last month for Iowa's junior day. Newsom's other offers include Nebraska, Kansas State, Minnesota and Missouri. His older brother, former Hawkeye target Mosai Newsom, is a defensive lineman at Nebraska, but it's thought Asa's recruitment is still relatively wide open.
He's an intriguing talent. At 6-4 and 210 pounds, he logically projects at linebacker or perhaps edge if he bulks up. But he's athletic enough to also play running back for Waverly-Shell Rock.
Kai Black, WR/TE (Urbandale, Iowa)
Black, the Register's No. 4 player in 2023, has been a college-sized prospect for some time now. The 6-4, 205-pounder was one of the state’s most physically dominant players last season, which is probably why he picked up even more Division I offers.
There are some out-of-state schools that want Black on their rosters, but the Hawkeyes' toughest competition will most likely be Iowa State, which was the first program to offer Black on June 9, 2021.
Jamison Patton, ATH (Des Moines, Iowa)
Iowa, Iowa State and Nebraska were the only schools that offered Patton, the Register's No. 7 player in the 2023 class, before the new year. But now more schools have seen what Patton is made of, and they want in. In the past two weeks, Missouri, Washington, South Dakota and Minnesota have offered.
This is another recruit whose final decision might be between Iowa and Iowa State. He plays quarterback and safety for Roosevelt, but he's being recruited at the Power Five level as a safety. Will Iowa State’s early offer sway Patton? Will his connection with players like Nwankpa play a role? Or will an out-of-state team swoop in?
Alex Mota, ATH, (Marion, Iowa)
Mota, the Register's No. 5 junior player, performs well on both sides of the ball. He plays quarterback and defensive back for Marion High, and he’s an accomplished track and field athlete as well. Schools are looking at Mota both at receiver and in the secondary.
A three-star athlete, Mota holds offers from Wisconsin, Nebraska, Miami (Ohio), Kanas and Kansas State. The Hawkeyes traditionally do well with talent in their backyard, and Marion is just 40 minutes from Iowa City. If Iowa can lock down a commitment from Mota, the Hawkeyes are guaranteed to get a versatile player on their roster.
Darius Taylor, RB (Walled Lake, Michigan)
Taylor won't be an unrated prospect for long. The agile Michigan athlete has become one of the hotter prospects in the Midwest lately, landing recent offers from Iowa, Maryland, Purdue, Minnesota, Vanderbilt, Boston College and Pitt, among others. It's thought the Hawkeyes are very high on his list right now.
Andrew DePaepe (Bettendorf, Iowa)
Update: DePaepe committed to Michigan State Wednesday afternoon. The Spartans were considered the favorites following his recent trip to East Lansing.
DePaepe, the four-star defensive lineman, is hot on Michigan State after his visit this past weekend. The Hawkeyes have their work cut out for them to turn DePaepe, the Register's No. 2 player in the 2023 class, back to the in-state program.
It's thought the 6-6, 245-pounder is mostly looking at out-of-state options, but any time you've got a local product as talented as DePaepe, you've got to shoot your shot.
Alyssa Hertel is a college sports recruiting reporter for the Des Moines Register. Contact Alyssa at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @AlyssaHertel.