Recruiting mailbag: Will Iowa get Bakari Evelyn? Is Teagan Wilk bound for Iowa State?
Welcome, once again, to the recruiting mailbag.
I know plenty of Iowa State fans have already noticed this, but if you haven't: N'Faly Dante will play in this summer's CapCity League. As in, N'Faly Dante, the five-star, top-10 2020 prospect the Cyclones have been recruiting for a long time.
Yep. Dante has family in Des Moines, and the 6-foot-11, 230-pound center will compete against and alongside every one of Iowa State's players this summer.
You hear it all the time because it's true: A program's best recruiters are its players.
And the Cyclones' players will have ample opportunity to recruit one of the country's best junior big men during the eight-week CapCity League.
Now, let's get to this week's questions.
Does Iowa get the grad transfer that is visiting this weekend? — @BrandonJenn8
In case you missed it: Valparaiso graduate transfer combo guard Bakari Evelyn will take an official visit to Iowa this weekend. He has already officially visited Portland State and New Mexico State. He told me he may also visit Rhode Island, depending in part on how his Iowa visit goes.
From what I can tell, things look good for the Hawkeyes. New Mexico State is probably the biggest competition.
"I’m kind of just trying to see how I would fit and how I would enjoy being there at Iowa," Evelyn told me last week. "I’m coming off a visit to New Mexico State and I really liked this visit, I really liked their staff and the situation here. But I also am definitely open and would want to see what Iowa has to offer and just how that mix would work with me being there, the town, the people, the team, kind of just the whole experience."
If you want to read more from my conversation with Evelyn, including Fran McCaffery's message to him, his history with Sherman Dillard and where he'd play at Iowa, go here.
Regarding his decision: New Mexico State is no slouch. The Aggies are allergic to losing. They've piled up 86 wins over the past three seasons, and they've made the NCAA Tournament in each season. They can offer Evelyn a big role on a team that traditionally dominates its conference (the WAC) and will likely make the Big Dance.
With that said, I'd bet that, if his Iowa visit goes well, Evelyn will be a Hawkeye.
Iowa City is closer to the Detroit area, where he's from, than Las Cruces, New Mexico. Iowa recruited Evelyn in high school, and Dillard has a good relationship with him and his mother. And the lure of playing for a Big Ten program — especially one with backcourt minutes up for grabs — can't be ignored.
Teagan Wilk released his top 6. How does ISU sit? — @Cylights
Teagan Wilk is a three-star safety from Berwick, Pennsylvania, who recently visited Iowa State and has become one of the Cyclones' top 2020 targets to watch.
On Tuesday, the 5-11, 180-pound prospect released his top six schools: Iowa State, East Carolina, Old Dominion, Eastern Michigan, Miami of Ohio and Massachusetts.
Wilk told me he's hoping to announce his college decision at some point before July.
It sounds like it'd be quite an upset if Wilk doesn't pick the Cyclones. He is slightly undersized and under-the-radar. But Iowa State has enjoyed recent success with undersized and underrated safeties.
(Ahem: Braxton Lewis.)
"They sit very high with me. Great program, great people," Wilk told me Tuesday of the Cyclones. "Everything really — great football, great relationships with everyone and they play in one of the best conferences out there."
Wilk is an excellent, multi-sport athlete. According to his Hudl profile, he boasts a 37-inch vertical, as well as 18 interceptions and more than 300 tackles over his three-year varsity career. As a junior, Wilk snared seven interceptions, including two pick-sixes.
What’s the latest on Bowen Born’s recruitment? — @Kylehuffman21
I talked a bit with Norwalk 2020 point guard Bowen Born on Tuesday, and he told me he's planned his first group of summer visits ...
First, an official visit this weekend (June 7-9) to Northern Iowa.
Second, an official visit to Indiana State the weekend of June 28-30.
Then he is also planning June unofficial visits to Creighton and Iowa, plus a September official visit to Toledo and an unofficial visit to Drake at some point. (That's not a knock on Drake; Born lives 20 minutes from campus, so he isn't sure an official is needed.)
Born also picked up his newest offer on Tuesday from Bowling Green. So he now holds offers from Bowling Green, UNI, Drake, Indiana State, Toledo and South Dakota, plus interest from Creighton, Iowa, Lehigh, South Dakota State, Boston College, Brown, Princeton and Penn.
The talented lefty wants to play out the spring and summer and make a decision in the late summer or fall.
"What I’ve told Bowen is, 'Man, at the end of the day, go where your priorities are, where you’re wanted and where you’ll have a great four-year career,'" Born's AAU coach, Jamie Pettigrew, told me in May. "If that’s high-major, so be it. If not, who cares? Go mid-major, and then every time you get a chance, show them why they should have went with you.
"He’s got a lot of great opportunities. Schools are calling every day. Bowen Born is going to be fine and make some coach very happy."
Does Iowa go for Hunter Dekkers? — @H00DP0PEBL0X
I doubt it.
West Sioux quarterback Hunter Dekkers' stock has boomed this spring. He is one of 20 signal-callers in the 2020 class who qualified for the Elite 11 Finals in late June, and he just picked up his second Power 5 offer from Purdue. Indiana was the first.
Iowa would normally pursue an in-state quarterback of Dekker's caliber. But Kirk Ferentz already has a highly talented 2020 quarterback in Dallas product Deuce Hogan — who committed to the Hawkeyes last June, well before Dekker emerged.
The Hawkeyes essentially shut down its quarterback recruitment after landing Hogan, indicating they're looking to add only one arm in 2020.
Might that change with potential attrition down the line? Sure.
But Dekkers told me he plans to make a decision in late June or early July; it sounds like he wants to just focus on football during his senior year.
So unless there's a transfer over the next few weeks, I wouldn't expect Iowa to jump into Dekker's recruitment and try to keep him home.
Dekkers holds offers from Purdue, Indiana, UNI, Central Michigan, South Dakota State and South Dakota. He told me Michigan State, Kansas State and Ohio State are also showing interest; he just visited Kansas State over the weekend.
Will (Jace) Andregg, (Wyatt) Wegener, or (Tysen) Kershaw pick up an offer from one of our state's P5 programs? — @midwestsports63
I'd imagine each of these guys would need great senior seasons to pick up an Iowa or Iowa State offer. That's obviously a possibility.
Kershaw is a well-built receiver (6-3, 185) who caught 71 passes for 1,206 yards and 12 touchdowns as a junior. Beyond his size, he impresses with sticky hands and good ball skills. His routes are usually simple, but that's not uncommon at the high school level.
UNI, South Dakota State and Western Illinois are his offers, and Iowa, Iowa State and Kansas State are among the Power 5s showing interest.
Andregg is intriguing. He is truly one of the country's best football athletes. He logged the top athletic score (140.61) of all The Opening regionals, and he was invited to the prestigious Opening finals in late June.
(That's the same event Oliver Martin was invited to after his junior year.)
That athleticism has been enough to reel in FCS offers from North Dakota, South Dakota State and UNI.
But Andregg will need to show on-the-field improvements before bigger fish jump in. The thought right now is he's a better athlete than football player.
He'll have more opportunity to show receiver skills next fall with Solon, which passes much, much more than Cedar Rapids Prairie, Andregg's former school. It helps to have a fellow Division I-level prospect in Cam Miller behind center, too.
Wegener is a multi-sport, do-a-bit-of-everything athlete for Class 2A Algona. As a junior, he compiled 75 rushes for 792 yards and 13 touchdowns; 39 receptions for 979 yards and 12 touchdowns; 11 kickoff returns for 302 yards and one touchdown; and nine punt returns for 158 yards and another touchdown.
(I got winded just writing all that.)
The 6-3, 195-pounder doesn't yet hold any offers, but he's visited various FCS and Power 5 programs throughout the Midwest this winter and spring.
Pineapple. Does it belong in pizza? — @C_Roberts22
Growing up, I didn't think so. It was just so weird. Why would you mix something sweet with hot tomato and cheese?
Then I became enlightened in high school. And I am still enlightened to this day.
Pineapple is allowed to be on pizza. End of discussion.
Matthew Bain covers recruiting, Iowa/Iowa State athletics and Drake basketball for the Des Moines Register and USA TODAY Network. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @MatthewBain_.