National signing day: Updates on Iowa football's 2019 recruiting class
Iowa has 18 recruits lined up to sign their National Letter of Intent on Wednesday, the first day of the early signing period. There are a couple additional prospects who could wind up signing with the Hawkeyes, too. (Update: They did. It's up to 20 now. See below.)
Come back here throughout the day for updates regarding Iowa's 2019 class — when signings become official, updates on late flips and other potential signing day drama.
MORE LINKS TO FOLLOW TODAY
- The official list of (and quick facts on) Iowa's signees
- The next Akrum Wadley? Tyler Goodson is trending up
- New tight ends Lee and Miamen: Are they Hockenson-and-Fant 2.0?
10:49 a.m.: Iowa gets two signing-day pickups, reaches 20.
Matthew Bain has stories up now on the additions of Michigan cornerback Daraun McKinney and Alabama running back Shadrick Byrd. The Hawkeyes flipped McKinney from Northern Illinois; and no doubt new assistant Derrick Foster had a hand in luring Byrd up to Iowa.
And Phil Parker has done this before late in the recruiting process in the state of Michigan ... Desmond King ring a bell?
9:23: Iowa has all 18 expected letters in!
There it is. Quarterback Alex Padilla, the lone recruit in the Mountain time zone, has officially submitted his letter to the Hawkeyes.
9:18 a.m.: Still no Mark Emmert. But we do see 17 letters have arrived in Iowa City.
Time to put out an APB for Mark? Just kidding, I think he’s working on some Iowa basketball stuff right now. But we really did mislead you all with this triple byline. So far it’s been exclusively a Matt and Chad production.
By the way, that’s a good reminder that we’ll both be on Facebook Live at Noon today. (No Mark.) Come join us at this link and ask questions or whatever.
Meantime, the Hawkeyes picked up their 16th letter from tight end Josiah Miamen and a 17th from defensive back Sebastian Castro. And I (Chad) will go on record as saying that I think Castro one day will go down as one of the gems of this recruiting class.
When I talked with assistant coach Seth Wallace the other day, he mentioned that he liked some of his incoming recruits to fill that role (someday) of Amani Hooker as Iowa’s “cash” linebacker — which is basically a slot cornerback instead of an outside linebacker. Someone who can cover and play in run support.
Castro’s film looks perfect for that. Plus, he’s got the framework (5-foot-11, 190 pounds) to grow into a versatile player on Phil Parker’s defense.
8:45 a.m.: All of Iowa's OL letters are in.
Chad Leistikow here again. Earlier this morning, Ezra Miller became Iowa’s first signee. Fitting, because the massive offensive lineman from northwest Iowa was the first commitment to this Class of 2018. And, as the program mentioned, set a school record for campus visits (at least in the Kirk Ferentz era).
Now, New Hampton offensive linemen Noah Fenske and Norwalk offensive lineman Tyler Endres have become the 13th and 14th signees, respectively. Also fitting, as they were among the first four commits to this class. Miller and Fenske were pledges back in the spring of 2017.
These in-state guys probably don’t get enough hype from us, frankly, in part because they’ve been in the fold for so long.
Miller, in particular, is especially intriguing as a possible true-freshman contributor. Already at 6-foot-6 and 310 pounds, he’ll be one of Iowa’s early enrollees, meaning he’ll participate in spring practice. I imagine if he had let the recruiting process play out more, he would have been attractive to almost any program in the country.
The 15th letter (of an expected 18-plus today) came in next, from Indianapolis' Justin Britt, a 282-pounder who had an impressive offer list and also plans to enroll early. He tore his ACL before the season, but will no doubt get prime-grade training and rehab this spring with Chris Doyle and Co.
On a BTN appearance Wednesday morning, Ferentz said Britt came to Iowa's camp a few years ago and "was maybe as impressive as any kid we've ever had."
Hello! And that's from a guy who has seen a lot of offensive linemen in his 63 years.
As much love as Iowa's linebackers will get in this recruiting class, Iowa's offensive line is certainly being restocked at a high level.
8:15 a.m.: You get a signee! And you get a signee! ...
As of 8:15 this morning, Iowa had received NLIs from 12 of its recruits.
The latest: Three-star in-state linebacker Jack Campbell, three-star in-state defensive end Chris Reames, three-star Illinois tight end Sam LaPorta, three-star Kansas City wide receiver Desmond Hutson, three-star Wisconsin defensive end Jake Karchinski and three-star Florida linebacker Yahweh Jeudy.
This is Matthew Bain writing this post, and I've probably annoyed a lot of people with how much I like Campbell's game. I put him all the way up at No. 4 in our 2019 in-state recruiting rankings. He's just a perfect fit — in play and personality — for Iowa.
Reames is a 6-foot-7, 220-pounder who looks a lot like Anthony Nelson did when he was a high school senior. He's at No. 9 on our 2019 ranking, simply because he'll be a bit of a project.
LaPorta is a newer name in the Hawkeye mix. They offered him recently and he committed Tuesday night after taking an official visit over the weekend. He is Iowa's third three-star tight end from Illinois in this class.
Jeudy is another new name. The Hawkeyes flipped him from Kansas State after extending a late offer and hosting him for an official visit last weekend. He announced his commitment Tuesday night.
Karchinski and Hutson have both been committed to Iowa since May. The Hawkeyes are still looking for another defensive end and another receiver.
8:04 a.m.: Hello, Iowa’s next star running back?
Tyler Goodson had his photo taken with Jim Harbaugh by his Christmas tree in Georgia just four days ago. Sorry, Michigan. He’s a Hawkeye. Goodson’s letter just came into the university’s compliance office.
A great story from Matthew Bain (who keeps hogging this file!) on Tyler shows that he might be ready-made to make an instant contribution in Iowa’s backfield. The Hawkeyes got some nice things from Mekhi Sargent, Ivory Kelly-Martin in Toren Young in 2018, but they could use more punch in the running game. Goodson certainly will be given every opportunity to bring some in 2019.
7:55 a.m.: Did you know? Jestin Jacobs was ... an Oregon fan.
Chad Leistikow here. When I talked with Jestin Jacobs late last night, he told me pretty much everyone in Ohio is a Buckeyes fan … including in his family. Well, except maybe him. Jacobs actually liked Oregon more growing up. Because of the uniforms, he said.
Maybe that helped him to ultimately be more open to Iowa, which was his first major offer out of Northmont High School in Clayton. Hey, it worked out well the last time a home-state stud recruit spurned his home school. Right, Noah Fant?
Here’s some of the early stuff I wrote up about Jacobs. What a big deal it'll be to have him enroll early. He'll room with quarterback Alex Padilla here. I’ll have more coverage later today on this class after an interview with director of recruiting Tyler Barnes and head coach Kirk Ferentz.
7:45 a.m.: Quick thoughts on early signees
Ezra Miller is the highest-rated Hawkeye recruit, but Jestin Jacobs might be the crown jewell of Iowa's 2019 class. First, he's one the country's fastest-rising talents. Second, he's from Ohio — an hour from Ohio State — and Iowa held off a late effort from the Buckeyes to sign him.
Dane Belton is one of the country's more physical safeties, and Iowa beat out Michigan State and Missouri for Jalen Hunt.
7:23 a.m.: Early rush of signees
Four-star offensive lineman Ezra Miller's letter came in first, followed by four-star linebacker Jestin Jacobs, three-star defensive end Jalen Hunt, three-star safety Dane Belton and three-star tight end Logan Lee.