2021 DE prospect Jeff Bowie details his big recruiting summer. Hawk Central
The Iowa Eight is the Register’s preseason list of the eight best football prospects in the state, weighing past performance and future projection. Incoming freshmen through seniors are eligible. Selections are based on Register staff observations and consultation with recruiting contacts.
Here is the 2019 Iowa Eight for football, along with the players who just missed the cut:
School: Kuemper Catholic
Position: Defensive end
Size: 6-foot-5, 250 pounds
Why he made the Iowa Eight: The torn labrum that forced Gunnerson to miss his junior season was a blessing in disguise. During surgery, doctors removed extra bone growth on his hip, which had limited his mobility. Now, Gunnerson is healthier than before. He's a daunting, explosive athlete and a violent pass-rusher. He picked Nebraska over Iowa State, Iowa, Minnesota and Kansas State.
School: Cedar Rapids Xavier
Position: Offensive guard
Size: 6-4, 295
Why he made the Iowa Eight: Volk has fallen a bit under the radar since tearing his ACL last November. Expect that to change. At full health, Volk is one of the Midwest's best offensive lineman. He's a mobile, powerful multi-sport athlete who happens to be 6-4 and about 300 pounds. His balance is good, and he's an excellent lead blocker who can get out in front of plays at the second level. He picked Iowa over Iowa State and Nebraska.
School: Lewis Central
Position: Defensive lineman
Size: 6-3, 255
Why he made the Iowa Eight: Jones is all about versatility on the defensive line. He's a disruptive, plug-and-play guy who works just as effectively on the edge as he does the interior. He racked up solo 22 tackles for loss and eight solo sacks last year. Although his frame isn't huge, he's a high-motor prospect who plays a bit like current Hawkeye Tyler Linderbaum. Jones picked Iowa over Nebraska, Iowa State and Minnesota.
School: West Sioux
Size: 6-3, 220
College: Iowa State
Why he made the Iowa Eight: Dekkers shot up recruiting boards this spring and summer thanks to his performances on the Elite 11 circuit. And it makes sense why. He looks like a well-built linebacker, he runs like a running back, and he throws and makes decisions like a high-level quarterback. As a junior, Dekkers amassed 4,215 total yards and 55 touchdowns. He picked the Cyclones over Indiana, Purdue and Kansas State.
School: Dowling Catholic
Position: Running back
Size: 6 feet, 195
Why he made the Iowa Eight: Williams combines good size and speed to form a north-south wrecking ball who can build considerable momentum. He proved what he was capable of during Southeast Polk's postseason run last year, when he amassed 378 yards (6.1 yards per carry) against three of the state's best defenses. He is poised for a big senior season running behind Dowling Catholic's offensive line.
School: Clear Creek Amana
Position: Defensive end
Size: 6-3, 240
Why he made the Iowa Eight: Bollers combines an imposing, and still-growing, frame with elite athleticism and a humble determination to improve every day. He already holds offers from Iowa State, Iowa, Wisconsin, Nebraska, Michigan, Michigan State, Cal, Virginia Tech, Vanderbilt, Kansas State and Minnesota, and Stanford is interested, too. He logged 45.5 tackles, 13 solo tackles for loss and four solo sacks last year.
School: Cedar Rapids Kennedy
Position: Offensive lineman
Size: 6-6, 275
Why he made the Iowa Eight: One of the most fundamentally sound rising-junior offensive linemen you'll see, Colby combines his technically sound play with an imposing frame and light-footed agility. By the time he committed to Iowa in June, he already held other offers from Iowa State, Michigan, Ohio State, Michigan State, Minnesota, Nebraska and Virginia Tech.
School: West Branch
Position: Defensive end
Size: 6-5, 245
Why he made the Iowa Eight: While he hasn't had as much production, Bowie turned heads on the offseason camp circuit, and he's practically a weight-room legend in Iowa. He's primed for a major breakout. That's all led to offers from Iowa State, Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, Vanderbilt and Virginia Tech. Oregon, Washington and Notre Dame are among those watching, too. A big junior season could lead to even bigger interest.
Aaron Graves, Southeast Valley, 2022 — A rising sophomore already committed to Iowa, Graves piled up 15 solo tackles for loss and 11 solo sacks as a freshman. He's got the pieces to be pretty dang special. Likely a multiple Iowa Eight member later in his career.
Brady Petersen, Ankeny Centennial, 2020 — An athletic offensive lineman with great feet, Petersen's recruitment surged after his junior season. He committed to Iowa State over a handful of FCS and Group of Five programs.
Tyler Miller, Greene County, 2020 — Checking in at 6-9, Miller is a huge offensive tackle with a lot of potential. He committed to the Cyclones back in November over the likes of Purdue, Virginia, Minnesota, Nebraska and UCF.
Griffin Liddle, Bettendorf, 2021 — A physical, high-motor defensive tackle who's also a nationally recognized wrestler, Liddle holds offers from Iowa, Iowa State, Michigan State, Minnesota and Nebraska.
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_.
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