Ranking the top 15 football prospects in Iowa's 2020 recruiting class
Iowa's class of 2020 football prospects features some familiar names at the top, as well as a handful of guys whose regional recruiting stock is picking up steam.
The Register ranked the top 15 in-state 2020 prospects. Based on observations and conversations with recruiting and coaching contacts throughout the year, here's what we came up with.
1. Gavin Williams, Southeast Polk
RB: 6 feet, 195 pounds
College choice: Offers from Iowa, Iowa State, Michigan and Nebraska
After a somewhat underwhelming regular season, Williams' tremendous postseason reminded everyone why he's a Power Five prospect. He's a powerful north-south runner with great balance and 100-meter sprinter speed. Both Iowa and Iowa State will do everything they can to land Williams.
2. Josh Volk, Cedar Rapids Xavier
OL: 6-4, 310
College choice: Offers from Iowa and Iowa State
Volk is currently rehabbing from surgery on a torn ACL and he's still No. 2 in this ranking. He is just built so darn well. His 310-pound frame has tons of muscle mass, and his technique grew significantly as a junior. Before his injury, essentially the entire Midwest was looking at Volk. We'll see if anyone backs off. Either way, Iowa and Iowa State are making him a 2020 priority.
2019 RANKINGS: The top 20 in this year's class about to sign
3. Logan Jones, Lewis Central
DL: 6-3, 240
College choice: Offers from Iowa, Iowa State and Minnesota
Jones is a high-motor, smash-mouth lineman who can play defensive end, defensive tackle or offensive guard. He's just a plug-and-play stud. It's not unfair to say there are shades of Iowa defensive tackle Tyler Linderbaum in Jones' game. Most schools are recruiting him on the defensive line.
IOWA'S CURRENT CLASS: The Hawkeyes projected to sign on this week
4. Blaise Gunnerson, Kuemper Catholic
DE: 6-5, 245
College choice: Offers from Iowa, Iowa State, Minnesota, Nebraska and South Dakota State
A torn labrum in his hip kept Gunnerson from playing his junior season. And he still tacked on offers from Nebraska and Minnesota during unofficial visits because he's just so impressive in person. His sophomore year film is just that good, too. There are a lot of college coaches excited to see Gunnerson return to the field.
5. Tyler Miller, Greene County
OL: 6-9, 285
College choice: Committed to Iowa State
In college, Miller's height could be a double-edged sword. His gaping strides and yawning wingspan cover a lot of ground. But to avoid edge rushers bending around the corner underneath him, he'll need to continue to build his flexibility and hand punch. Still, with that size, his upside is considerable and he has done well at college camps.
IOWA STATE'S CURRENT CLASS: The Cyclones projected to sign on this week
6. Cole Pedersen, Central Decatur
LB/ATH: 6-4, 190
College choice: Committed to Iowa State
Pedersen plays all over the field in high school, including quarterback. But he projects as an outside linebacker with the Cyclones. He's also a star basketball player, and it's hard to imagine his length and speed not making things happen in Ames. Just a well-rounded athlete.
7. Jaylen DeVries, Clear Lake
QB: 6-2, 200
College choice: Interest from Iowa, Iowa State, Minnesota and FCS programs
This will tell you a lot of what you need to know about DeVries: He threw for 22 touchdowns ... and zero interceptions over a nine-game junior season. He's smart with the ball, and he's got the size and arm strength to be a Division I quarterback. He is a pass-first, pro-style passer, but he is nimble in the pocket and can scramble when needed.
8. Ethan Hurkett, Cedar Rapids Xavier
LB: 6-3, 230
College choice: Interest from Iowa, Iowa State, Notre Dame and FCS programs
Hurkett, who had 10 solo tackles for loss as a junior, is a highly productive linebacker whose instincts especially shine on rush defense. There were even times when Xavier would line him up as a pseudo-defensive tackle, and he'd burst through the line for a tackle for loss. With his frame, Hurkett could also project as a defensive end.
9. Caleb Siech, Waverly-Shell Rock
OL: 6-5, 285
College choice: Interest from Iowa, Iowa State, Nebraska and Northern Iowa
There is a lot to like about Siech. He's got Power Five size. He is a violent blocker who also plays the kickoff return unit. He is agile and effective when blocking multiple defenders in the second level. It'll be interesting to see how he fares against higher-level competition at camps this offseason. But Siech checks a lot of boxes.
10. Creighton Mitchell, West Des Moines Valley
APB: 5-8, 170
College choice: Interest from Iowa, Iowa State, Minnesota and Northwestern, among others
Mitchell also checks a lot of boxes. He is quick and shifty. He accelerates well, and his top-level speed is impressive. He can line up in the slot. He can catch passes out of the backfield. He shows good vision as a kick and punt returner. The question is, and will be, Mitchell's size. His stock would benefit from some added bulk.
11. Jace Andregg, Cedar Rapids Prairie
WR/ATH: 6-3, 185
College choice: Interest from Iowa, Iowa State, Northern Illinois and FCS programs
Andregg emerged on the Midwest recruiting map when he scored a 125.19 football rating (measuring a prospect's athleticism) at Nike's The Opening regional in Canton, Ohio, last spring. That was the best rating at the camp. He only played four games as a junior because of an injury, though. Andregg is listed as a receiver, but he doesn't get many opportunities to catch passes in Prairie's rush-heavy offense. With good size and athleticism, he could project at a multitude of positions, including linebacker.
12. Tysen Kershaw, Fort Dodge
WR: 6-3, 185
College choice: Interest from Iowa and Iowa State, among others
A well-built receiver who caught 71 passes for 1,206 yards and 12 touchdowns as a junior? Yeah, the in-state schools are going to notice that. Beyond his size, Kershaw impresses with sticky hands and good ball skills. His routes are usually quite simple, but that's not uncommon at the high school level.
13. Cade Moore, Centerville
DE/OL: 6-6, 220
College choice: Interest from Iowa, Iowa State and Northern Iowa
Moore has a massive frame that's a blank canvas for college coaches to work with. Plus, he's a strong athlete with a relentless motor who plays both sides of the line in high school. He likely projects as a defensive end in college. But he's also a four-star long-snapper, according to Kohl's Kicking.
14. Zack Lasek, Highland Riverside
DL/OL: 6-8, 230
College choice: Interest from Iowa, Iowa State and Nebraska
Lasek has D-I potential in football and basketball. On the gridiron, he is an explosive, albeit raw, pass-rusher. He also has a daunting frame that a college strength coach could mold into a valuable college player. That size makes him an option for left or right tackle, too. He is a Division II/low-major-level power forward, and his inside footwork and agility translate well to the football field.
15. Brady Petersen, Ankeny Centennial
OL: 6-5, 260
College choice: Interest from Iowa and Iowa State
Petersen's footwork stands out the most. Like a running back fighting for extra yards, Petersen keeps his feet churning while engaged in blocks, which helps him maintain control and balance. Put it this way: It has been very difficult for Petersen's high school competition to beat him one-on-one.
Matthew Bain covers college football and basketball recruiting for the Des Moines Register. He also helps out with Iowa and Iowa State football and basketball coverage for HawkCentral and Cyclone Insider. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @MatthewBain_.