Kuemper Catholic defensive end Blaise Gunnerson says he's focusing on Iowa State and Nebraska, although he's considering Iowa, as well. Matthew Bain, email@example.com
It's been a couple weeks, so we've got a jam-packed mailbag today. No need to dilly dally. Let's get to it.
Thoughts on Blaise (Gunnerson) opening the door back up for an Iowa visit? — @Hawkfan7314
Over the weekend, Kuemper Catholic defensive end Blaise Gunnerson, the state's top remaining 2020 prospect, told me he is focusing on Iowa State and Nebraska — but that he also hasn't eliminated Iowa from consideration.
In fact, while he has official visits already scheduled to Iowa State on June 21-23 and to Nebraska on June 14-16, he said he is also in talks with Iowa for a potential official visit.
Gunnerson's main Hawkeye recruiter was Reese Morgan. So, his retirement caused a bit of a "question mark," Gunnerson said. But he added that he has a great relationship with recruiting coordination/defensive line coach Kelvin Bell, and that Iowa has a strong track record of sending guys to the NFL.
"I’m talking to Iowa, because I’m also interested in them — I’m not just going to block them out," Gunnerson told me.
Iowa is working hard to compete here. Offensive lineman recruit Josh Volk, one of Gunnerson's friends, told me he's also working hard.
With all that said ... I'd still imagine Iowa State and Nebraska are the two favorites. I don't think it's insignificant that Gunnerson says he's focusing on those two. Let's see if Iowa locks in an official.
If you want to read more of what he told me about each school this week, go here.
I feel Iowa will take a chance on a lower ranked in-state kid in 2020 and offer him to fill a scholarship. Who fits that description and doesn’t have an offer that could get one? — @iowafanwilliams
This is pretty common for Hawkeye recruiting. And it makes sense: They and Iowa State, as the two Power 5 programs in Iowa, get the best sense of how Iowa kids develop and if their senior seasons warrant a late offer.
We saw it in the 2019 class with Van Meter defensive end Chris Reames.
In 2018, it was South Hamilton linebacker Logan Klemp.
There's a good chance we'll see an in-state target emerge for Iowa late in the 2020 recruiting cycle, too. And I'll get to some of those names in a bit.
But, for now, the main in-state name to watch is Ankeny Centennial offensive lineman Brady Petersen. His stock is surging, and he's hauled in 12 offers since January. He will camp this weekend at Nebraska, Iowa State and Iowa.
I wouldn't be at all shocked if he comes away at least one offer.
Iowa, Iowa State and Kansas State are among just a few of the schools looking at Ankeny Centennial offensive lineman Brady Petersen. Matthew Bain, firstname.lastname@example.org
Power 5 programs couldn't really jump in right after his junior year because Centennial rarely passes, so his film didn't have much pass protection. If he can show that ability in a camp setting, I'd imagine he'll be close to an offer.
Iowa is in regular contact with Petersen, with both offensive line coach Tim Polasek and new assistant defensive line coach Jay Niemann involved.
Now, as for in-state 2020 guys who could land a late Hawkeye offer?
I'd put Fort Dodge receiver Tysen Kershaw in that discussion. Solon athlete/receiver Jace Andregg could also be in the mix if he has a great senior season.
Centerville defensive end Cade Moore has offers from Northern Iowa, South Dakota State, South Dakota and Illinois State. Bettendorf tight end Noah Abbott is a big, athletic kid with offers from Southern Illinois and Indiana State — he could turn more heads with a strong senior year.
Is Iowa State's main target for 2020 Kaden Johnson? — @isu4life23
Kaden Johnson is a four-star linebacker out of Minnehaha Academy in Minneapolis. He has long been a major target for the Cyclones. He's been on campus and is teammates with current Iowa State safety recruit Craig McDonald.
I actually caught up with Johnson in Kansas City during the first college basketball live period in April. He plays his AAU ball with five-star point guard and Iowa State football/basketball target Jalen Suggs.
"It's amazing," Johnson told me of his connection with the Cyclones. "Being able to have that relationship with Coach Campbell is amazing. I went down there with one of my friends that's a commit, Craig McDonald. It was great to be able to go down there, see what they're doing, see how I could be played there."
So, yes, Johnson is certainly one of Iowa State's main targets for 2020.
A handful of other top targets that come to mind ...
- Kansas City three-star defensive end Johnny Wilson, whose high school coach, Josh Hood, is from Indianola and still has friends and family in central Iowa.
- Kansas City four-star receiver Daniel Jackson. According to his 247Sports profile, Jackson has an official visit lined up to Ames in late June.
- Minnesota three-star defensive end Aaron Witt decommitted from Minnesota in mid-May and Iowa and Iowa State are strong contenders.
- Iowa State recently made the top eight for Chicago three-star offensive lineman Kevo Wesley.
- The Cyclones are in the the top four for three-star Chicagoland defensive tackle Willis Singleton, alongside Illinois, Cincinnati and Louisville.
- The Cyclones also made the top 10 this week for St. Louis three-star defensive end Noah Arinze.
- On May 17, Texas three-star tight end Drake Dabney included Iowa State in his top eight.
- Unrated Pennsylvania safety Teagan Wilk is also emerging as a name to watch.
Do you think this class will finish in the top 20? And out of the big names Iowa is in on which ones do you think they'll land? — @crandall_tyson
As of today, Iowa's 2020 recruiting class is ranked 18th in the country, according to the 247Sports Composite.
That's thanks to a couple things.
One, the Hawkeyes already have four top-500 kids in Lewis Central defensive tackle Logan Jones, Dallas quarterback Deuce Hogan, Dallas tight end Elijah Yelverton and Illinois offensive lineman Tyler Elsbury. And nine of their 10 recruits, overall, are ranked in the top 700.
Two, they've already got 10 recruits. If you look at the 247Sports Composite's rankings, most of the top classes already have double-digit pledges. The more recruits you have, the more points you get. The more points you have, the higher you're ranked.
While Iowa's 2020 class is shaping up to be quite strong, this question asks specifically if it'll finish in the top 20.
And I'm not sure about that.
A few teams currently ranked below Iowa? No. 26 Texas, with only five recruits — you figure the Longhorns will land multiple big dogs in the coming months; No. 20 Texas A&M, with six recruits; No. 23 Stanford, with six recruits; No. 28 Wisconsin, No. 29 Auburn and No. 30 Tennessee, each with six recruits.
So, in terms of the top 20, we'll just have to wait and see. (Bell says he couldn't care less about rankings, by the way.)
Some of Iowa's top remaining 2020 targets with whom they're positioned well ...
- Iowa recently made the top seven for four-star Canadian tight end Theo Johnson, who already took an unofficial visit to Iowa City. With the NFL Draft success of T.J. Hockenson and Noah Fant, the Hawkeyes' stock with tight end prospects is white hot. Three-star Massachusetts tight end Caleb Fauria is another name to watch.
- Four-star Tampa offensive lineman Connor McLaughlin and Chicago's Wesley are two of Iowa's biggest remaining targets at the position. The Hawkeyes just made Wesley's top eight.
- A few weeks ago, Iowa made the top six for three-star Georgia defensive back Rashad Battle. The Hawkeyes have increased their presence in Georgia and Alabama with Derrick Foster on staff.
- Receivers? Yes, receivers. It sounds like there's a lot of mutual interest with Indianapolis three-star product David Baker, who's expected to announce his commitment in late June.
- Iowa recently made the top 14 for four-star Alabama linebacker Cameron Riley, although it'll be tough to pry him from SEC country.
Hunter Dekkers recruiting update with his Elite 11 invite now in hand along with Indiana offer? — @blakefryar10
Because Iowa and Iowa State already have quarterback recruits in the class, they aren't really pursuing West Sioux 2020 quarterback Hunter Dekkers, and, thus, he may not get the attention he deserves in this state.
Checking in at 6-2 and about 225 pounds, Dekkers is one of 20 junior quarterbacks in the entire country who earned an invitation to the Elite 11 Finals on June 28.
Other guys who received the same invite? Clemson five-star recruit DJ Uiagalelei, four-star USC recruit Bryce Young, four-star Ohio State recruit Jack Miller, four-star Texas recruit Hudson Card and four-star Georgia recruit Carson Beck, to name a few.
Dekkers picked up his first Power 5 offer last week from Indiana. He'd already held offers from Central Michigan, UNI, South Dakota and South Dakota State.
Since his performance at April's Elite 11 regional in St. Louis, coaches from Indiana, Kansas State, Ohio State, UCLA and Michigan State have come to watch him throw.
Other than Indiana, Dekkers told me Purdue, Michigan State, Ohio State and Kansas State were the Power 5 programs showing the most interest right now. Ohio State is the only school in that group that currently has a 2020 quarterback recruit.
Dekkers completed 208 of 341 passes for 3,641 yards, 48 touchdowns and 10 interceptions while leading West Sioux to the Class 1A state title last season.
What are the notable names coming to camps this weekend? — @Cylights
Judging from your Twitter handle, I'm guessing you're asking about Iowa State's first summer camp on June 1.
Two names stand out ...
One is Petersen. The Cyclones have monitored the Centennial standout for a while. You'd be hard-pressed to find a more athletic 275-pounder, and he has significantly improved his pass protection this spring. If Petersen does what he's capable of this Saturday in Ames, I'd guess there's an offer on the table.
The second is Jeff Bowie, the fast-rising 2021 defensive end out of West Branch. Last August, I wrote that he was one of the state's sophomores to watch. And in the past two months, he's hauled in offers from Northern Illinois, Iowa State, Nebraska, Minnesota, Virginia Tech and Vanderbilt. He's also shot up to No. 354 in 247Sports' 2021 rankings.
The 6-5 weight room beast told me he'll camp at Iowa State on Saturday, at Iowa on Sunday and at Notre Dame on June 15.
Matthew Bain covers recruiting, Iowa/Iowa State athletics and Drake basketball for the Des Moines Register and USA TODAY Network. Contact him at email@example.com and follow him on Twitter @MatthewBain_.