Iowa high school football: The Register's top 30 senior prospects

Matthew Bain
The Des Moines Register

Entering the 2019 Iowa high school football season, these are the Register's top 30 prospects in the 2020 class. This list is based on staff observations, as well as consultation with recruiting contacts throughout the year.

1. Blaise Gunnerson, DE, Kuemper Catholic

Nebraska recruit. Violent pass-rusher whose effort and power are considerable. Healthier than ever after extra bone growth removed from hip.

2. Josh Volk, OG, Cedar Rapids Xavier

Iowa recruit. Nimble offensive lineman with a muscular, nearly 300-pound frame. Excellent lead blocker who does well in the second level.

3. Logan Jones, DL, Lewis Central

Iowa recruit. Versatile, plug-and-play defensive lineman with a motor reminiscent of current Hawkeye Tyler Linderbaum.

West Sioux, Hawarden's Hunter Dekkers (8) looks for an opening during their 1A state football semi-final game on Saturday, Nov. 10, 2018, in Cedar Falls. West Sioux takes a 24-21 lead over Van Meter into half-time.

4. Hunter Dekkers, QB, West Sioux

Iowa State recruit. Built like a linebacker, runs like a running back, throws like an Elite 11 Finals participant — which he was. Dekkers can do it all behind center.

5. Gavin Williams, RB, Dowling Catholic

Iowa recruit. Williams combines good size and speed to form a north-south runner with considerable momentum. A physical runner who will move the chains.

6. Brady Petersen, OL, Ankeny Centennial

Iowa State recruit. A 270-pound lineman who can also dunk a basketball. Highly athletic with quick feet and solid fundamentals. 

7. Tyler Miller, OT, Greene County

Iowa State recruit. With a 6-9 frame, Miller has a whole lot of potential. Moves well for his size, too — also plays defensive end in high school.

8. Ethan Hurkett, LB, Cedar Rapids Xavier

Iowa recruit. A fundamentally sound middle linebacker who won't win many track meets, but he will make the plays. Could project as defensive end, too.

Epworth, Western Dubuque's Calvin Harris (4) escapes the tackle of Xavier, Cedar Rapids' Ethan Hurkett (49) during their class 3A state championship football game on Thursday, Nov. 15, 2018, in Cedar Falls. Western Dubuque takes a 20-17 lead into halftime.

9. Jackson Stoefen, OT, North Scott

Kansas recruit. Well-built, agile offensive lineman who gets off the ball well. Good feet, good balance.

10. Cole Pedersen, LB/ATH, Central Decatur

Iowa State recruit. A 6-3 prospect who does a bit of everything while dominating small-school Iowa football. 

11. Jace Andregg, WR/LB, Solon

Northern Iowa recruit. Has proven himself as one of this country's truly elite athletes. Hasn't had as much production on the field to match that rare athleticism. That could change this fall.

12. Ryan Boles, OL, Dowling Catholic

Can play either tackle or guard. Solid in both run blocking and pass protection. Holds offers from UNI, Ball State, Western Illinois and South Dakota.

13. Charlie Nank, OT, Dowling Catholic

Miami of Ohio recruit. Good size — 6-4, 285 — and mobility. Controls his man with good hands and leverage. A solid piece for an FBS offensive line.

14. Cam Miller, QB, Solon

North Dakota State recruit. Good size at 6-2, 200. Has a quick throwing motion and throws well on the move. Has a pitcher's arm and good touch on the deep ball.

15. Caleb Siech, OL, Waverly-Shell Rock

Miami of Ohio recruit. Really big kid at 6-5 and 305. Will need to smooth out the rough edges, but good mobility for his size and a whole lot of power.

16. Cade Moore, DL, Centerville

UNI recruit. Big, 6-6, 235-pound frame that's a blank canvas to work with. Plays best against the run. Also plays offensive line and long-snapper. 

17. Nolan Jacobs, DL, Cedar Rapids Kennedy

North Dakota State recruit. Not a humongous frame, but a high-motor workhorse who's deceptively fast and disrupts a lot of plays between the tackles.

18. Harrison Waylee, RB, Urbandale

Northern Illinois recruit. Able to maintain good speed through traffic. Changes direction well. Can catch out of the backfield and is stronger than he looks at 5-9, 170.

Urbandale's Harrison Waylee (3) looks for running room as  Waukee's Zach Eaton (18) defends on Friday, Oct. 26, 2018 during a playoff game between the Waukee Warriors and the Urbandale J-Hawks at Waukee High School.

19. Jackson Waring, QB/ATH, Des Moines Christian

Athletic, dual-threat quarterback who will add weight in college. Could also project on defense. Holds preferred walk-on offer from Iowa, plus several FCS offers.

20. Tysen Kershaw, WR, Fort Dodge

South Dakota recruit. Not a burner, but good size — 6-3, 185 — plus sticky hands and strong ball skills. Should be a good red-zone threat in FCS.

21. A.J. Coons, WR, Solon

South Dakota State recruit. Makes a lot of plays in high school, mostly as a deep-ball threat. Has nice speed in a 6-4, 195-pound frame.

22. Ben Belken, DE, North Scott

Northern Iowa recruit. At 195 pounds, he will need time in a college weight room. But he's fast and disruptive. Will try to keep that speed while adding bulk.

23. Creighton Mitchell, RB, West Des Moines Valley

North Dakota recruit. Versatile all-purpose back who can also return punts and kicks. Checks in at 5-8 and 170.

Valley's Creighton Mitchell runs the ball during the Dowling West Des Moines Valley game at Drake stadium Aug. 31, 2018.

24. Joe Lilienthal, OL, Durant

South Dakota recruit. Will need some refinement, but a good athlete and huge frame — 6-7, 335. Colleges can work with his effort and size.

25. Aaron Blom, K, Oskaloosa

Iowa recruit. This state's best kicker and the No. 16 kicker in the country, according to Kohl's Kicking. Regularly makes 60-plus-yard field goals in practice.

26. Jack Wilty, OL, Southeast Polk

Northern Illinois recruit. Agility could improve, but good build at 6-5 and 290. Maintains his blocks well, too.

27. Noah Abbott, TE, Bettendorf

More of an intriguing athlete than a refined tight end right now. A 6-5, 215-pounder who can catch and run. Southern Illinois, Indiana State and Western Illinois have offered.

Bettendorf's Noah Abbott (89) looks back for a pass while being defended by Dowling Catholic's Owen Schiltz (22) during their 4A state football semi-final game on Friday, Nov. 9, 2018, in Cedar Falls. Bettendorf takes a 17-0 lead into halftime. The play was later called for pass interference.

28. Hayden Amos, OL/DL, Carlisle

UNI recruit. Good athlete with solid frame — 6-4, 260 — who can play both ways. Colleges can definitely work with that.

29. Jaylen DeVries, QB, Clear Lake

Southern Illinois recruit. Smart high school quarterback who threw zero interceptions as a junior. Pass first, but can scramble.

30. Kobe Clayborne, DL, Bishop Heelan

Undersized at 6 feet and 260, but motor is outstanding. Army has offered. Has a preferred walk-on offer from Stanford, which has also offered him in wrestling.

Matthew Bain covers recruiting, Iowa/Iowa State athletics and Drake basketball for the Des Moines Register and USA TODAY Network. Contact him at and follow him on Twitter @MatthewBain_.

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