Meet the 2019 All-Iowa Football Player of the Year Finalists Des Moines Register
It started a few years ago with T.J. Bollers, a middle school sensation who was thought to be Iowa's "next big recruit" when he started at Clear Creek Amana. As a freshman, he lived up to the hype, finishing with 15.5 tackles and three solo sacks on varsity.
Then, it was Griffin Liddle, the son of former Iowa heavyweight wrestler Josh Liddle, who dazzled fans in eastern Iowa as a freshman on Bettendorf, finishing with 20.5 tackles.
Then, it was West Marshall offensive lineman Luke Pinnick, who earned an Iowa State offer after his freshman season.
Then, it was Jeff Bowie, the West Branch defensive end who wowed with his weight-room feats, then Roland-Story linebacker Zach Twedt, who originally committed to Iowa State following his sophomore year, then Ankeny wide receiver Brody Brecht, then Urbandale linebacker Jaden Harrell, Cedar Rapids Kennedy offensive lineman Connor Colby and, now, Lewis Central tight end Thomas Fidone, who has offers from 24 schools across the country.
All these names, and many more, come together to form Iowa's 2021 class of football talent. It's the deepest this state has seen in recent history — and perhaps ever.
Nineteen in-state 2021 prospects have received at least one Power 5 offer, with three four-star and 10 three-star prospects, according to Rivals. Those numbers — which could grow before all is said and done — are significantly above the norm for Iowa. Nothing recently can compare, other than the state's 2017 class, which included Iowa City West receiver Oliver Martin and Mount Vernon offensive lineman Tristan Wirfs.
Dating back to 2010, going off of Rivals' rankings and star evaluations, Iowa had ...
- 10 Power 5 prospects, no four-stars and 10 three-stars in 2020
- 13 Power 5 prospects, one four-star and nine-three-stars in 2019
- 12 Power 5 prospects, one four-star and five three-stars in 2018
- 18 Power 5 prospects, two four-stars and 12 three-stars in 2017
- 10 Power 5 prospects, one four-star and five three-stars in 2016
- 12 Power 5 prospects, no four-stars and nine three-stars in 2015
- Nine Power 5 prospects, three four-stars and four three-stars in 2014
- 10 Power 5 prospects, one four-star and five three-stars in 2013
- Eight Power 5 prospects, one four-star and three three-stars in 2012
- Eight Power 5 prospects, two four-stars and three three-stars in 2011
- 13 Power 5 prospects, one four-star and four three-stars in 2010
The Register just released its list of the top 25 in-state 2021 football prospects. As was already mentioned, 19 of those 25 already hold a Power 5 offer.
Of those 19, eight have already committed: five to Iowa (Colby, Liddle, Harrell, Bowie and Twedt), one to Iowa State (Grinnell offensive lineman Dodge Sauser), one to Nebraska (Mount Pleasant offensive lineman Henry Lutovsky) and one to Kansas State (West Des Moines Valley athlete Jayden Williams).
There are two prospects who hold Group of Five and FCS offers — Valley defensive end Nasir Washington (Miami of Ohio) and Valley receiver Matthew Mahoney (Northern Illinois, North Dakota), and the other four in the top 25 hold interest from schools such as Iowa, Iowa State, South Dakota State, South Dakota and Princeton.
And, remember: There's still plenty of time in spring and summer recruiting and, if they want to extend it that long, these prospects' senior seasons to elevate their stock.
In other words: Iowa's 2021 class is already historically good.
But it could get even better.
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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