Iowa Eight football: Dowling Catholic linebacker Jake Hummel

Chris Cuellar

Jake Hummel

School: Dowling Catholic

Class: 2017

Position: Outside linebacker

Height: 6-foot-2

Weight: 220 pounds

Key stats: The top returning tackler for the three-time defending Class 4A champion had 12.5 tackles for loss and four sacks as a junior. Hummel also had an interception return for a touchdown to go with his 65.5 stops and a fumble recovery. It was a gigantic step up from playing limited time as a sophomore. Dowling’s 40-1 record during his time in high school is a strong display for the depth coach Tom Wilson’s team has to work with, too.

Why he’s one of the Iowa Eight

A sure tackler and versatile pass defender, Hummel is a natural athlete who happens to excel at strong-side linebacker. His father, Perry, was a three-time all-American wrestler at Iowa State, and the young three-star prospect shows some of that toughness and agility at Dowling.

“All the way through the program, you could see Jake was pretty good, and you could probably go back to our youth league,” Wilson said. “Right away as a junior, he showed that he belonged and did things athletically that we thought were pretty special.”

An outstanding defensive line allowed Hummel the freedom to roam and make plays as necessary for the Maroons last season. He’s a team leader this fall and is expected to carry his unit back into contention. The 247 Sports Composite lists him as the No. 53 inside linebacker recruit in the country.

“He’s a rare talent,” Valley coach Gary Swenson said. “His combination of athleticism and instincts are special. A Division I player, for sure.”

Future prospects

Hummel decided to follow his father’s path to Iowa State, albeit on the football field. He chose the Cyclones in April before hitting the summer circuit, and before his offer list grew. Scout considers Hummel the top inside linebacker prospect in the state.

“I think I figured out I could really play against Valley last year, the first time,” Hummel said. “I finally got to the point where I didn’t have to focus on my assignments and could just play.”

Unsurprisingly, the rising senior models his playing style after former Iowa State standout Jake Knott. The Waukee grad was similarly sized as a two-star recruit back in the class of 2009. Hummel will get an opportunity to boost his stock even further with another strong season at Dowling.

Breaking down Dowling Catholic's football depth chart



“He’s a pretty quiet guy, but he’s a worker. All he’s done since making it on the varsity team and committing to Iowa State is continue to develop himself. I think his recruiting was about to go crazy, and there’s a reason they got on him early. He’s as good as we’ve had.”

— Dowling Catholic head coach Tom Wilson

Other Iowa Eight selections

About the Series

The Iowa Eight is the Register's preseason list of the eight best football players in the state of Iowa, weighing past performances and their projected futures. Incoming freshmen through seniors are eligible. The team is selected based on Register staff observations and consultation with high school and college contacts. The Register will have additional Iowa Eight lists for key boys' and girls' sports throughout the year.