Recruiting mailbag: The latest with 5-star offensive lineman Kadyn Proctor. And who are Iowa basketball's 2022 targets?
Hi everyone. Welcome, once again, to the recruiting mailbag.
This is a jam-packed mailbag, so as much as I want to update you on my vegetable garden now that everything is planted ... I'll have to hold off on that news you all so desperately seek and, instead, get straight to the recruiting.
This week's questions focus on updates on five-star sophomore offensive lineman Kadyn Proctor (the 15-year-old out of Southeast Polk with the likes of Alabama and Georgia in pursuit), Iowa and Iowa State's chances with Proctor, names to watch on Hawkeye basketball's 2022 big board and the latest news with Waukee five-star sophomore Omaha Biliew.
Do you think Southeast Polk offensive lineman Kadyn Proctor will commit before his junior season?
I asked Proctor, the 6-foot-7, 315-pound, 15-year-old Southeast Polk offensive lineman that question on Tuesday. Here was his answer:
"I'm definitely going to take more time," Proctor told me. "I'm not going to commit sophomore year or anything like that. But I'm kind of getting to the point where it's no more camps, no more exposure camps or anything like that to be seen at. Just sit back and chill and see where it goes. Just go to school, be 15, go to the state track meet that I'll be competing in and all that stuff."
In case you don't know much about Proctor, here's the gist: Before he ever played a varsity snap as a sophomore, he had offers from Kansas State, Michigan, Iowa State, Nebraska and Oregon. Since then, he has blown up into a must-have, five-star, all-the-big-dogs-want-him prospect with offers from Alabama, LSU, Ohio State, Notre Dame, Georgia, Texas, USC and much more.
Proctor told me he's also fielding interest from Florida, Florida State and Clemson. According to the 247Sports Composite, he's a five-star prospect and the No. 10 overall talent in the entire 2023 class.
"I never thought I'd ever be here sitting in this position I'm in," he said. "It's like, all the schools that everybody dreams for. Sitting there having those is a blessing."
Proctor already holds 25 offers from programs most prospects across the country dream of getting. Like he said, he's in no rush to make any recruiting decision. He's comfortable sitting on these offers. They're not going anywhere. Proctor is the type of prospect teams will wait for. He told me no program is trying to rush him into any decision.
That means a decision won't come for a long time. So if there aren't many more offers left out there ... what will these next couple of years look like in his recruitment?
"Gonna look like me working out a lot, me working to better myself and then go out this next season, focus one game at a time and compete for that state championship again," Proctor said. "Taking it day by day, keep in contact with all the coaches, keep my head down and be a 15-year-old about to turn 16 and do good in school and finish off the school year strong."
These next couple of years will certainly feature one thing: campus visits. Lots of visits.
While he doesn't have any set in stone, Proctor told me he's hoping to take unofficial visits this summer to Iowa, Iowa State, Alabama, Notre Dame, Ohio State and maybe Clemson and LSU. Fall will sure to be full of game-day visits, as well.
He was at Iowa's second open spring practice on May 1 along with Southeast Polk teammate Xavier Nwankpa, a four-star 2022 safety who recently included Iowa in his final seven schools.
"Getting back on a campus was a very good feeling," Proctor said. "These fans out here go crazy at Iowa, comparing me to Tristan Wirfs and all that, saying I should go here and go there and go to Iowa and stay home.
"Their coaching staff reaches out to my coach and reaches out to me a lot. Every week. Feeling that love. Talking to some of their recruits that are thinking about it and all that. Just the campus life, too. It's pretty cool up there."
Proctor said he's been in contact with Wirfs ever since Iowa gave him his ninth offer back on Sept. 9. They rarely talk recruiting, though. It's more about life — "like a little getaway," Proctor calls it. He is well-aware of Iowa's tradition of offensive line success that helped turn Wirfs into an NFL rookie star. He has already spoken a couple times with new Iowa offensive line coach George Barnett on the phone.
Iowa State is also heavily involved with Proctor. He told me he had a Zoom call with Cyclones head coach Matt Campbell, offensive line coach Jeff Myers and player personnel director Derek Hoodjer last week.
"It was a pretty good call. Probably about a 25-minute call with them. Got that rolling," Proctor said. "I'll be up at Iowa and Iowa State a lot, just keep the recruiting process going with them, too. They have a great coach in coach Campbell and all the coaching staff, too. And same with campus life. It's pretty cool. They've got good restaurants, good everything around Ames.
"Their recent success (is appealing). They're freaking top-10, top-five team in college football. It's crazy."
Are the odds better or worse than 50/50 that Proctor becomes a Hawkeye?
Iowa is 100% going to be in this until the very end. Again, Proctor is well aware of the Hawkeyes' success at offensive line. He appreciates the amount of attention Iowa is giving him and he looks up to Wirfs.
At this point, though, with 25 offers and counting from juggernaut programs across the country, it's hard for me to give any school more than a 50% chance.
If I had to guess, Iowa would be in the top five at this point. I know that's not exactly going out on a limb, but I'm being conservative. Remember: He's just a sophomore. He's not even 16 yet. The earliest he could sign is December 2022. That's in 19 months.
How many scholarships does Iowa basketball have for the 2022 class, and who are they targeting?
As of now, Iowa is set to have nine scholarship players returning in 2022-23. Obviously, attrition can always happen in college basketball. And we also don't know who will take their extra year that was granted to all student-athletes due to COVID-19.
But, for now, let's say the Hawkeyes will have about four 2022 spots to fill.
I believe Iowa has 20 publicly known offers out to 2022 prospects. In terms of mutual interest and guys high on the Hawkeyes' big board, six names come to mind:
Dasonte Bowen, PG, Brewster Academy (Massachusetts)
Bowen is a 6-3, three-star point guard out of the same prep school that produced Hawkeye center Josh Ogundele. Iowa was his first Division I offer way back in May 2019, and that evaluation is looking super smart right now. Bowen is up to 15 offers, including recent ones from Virginia Tech, Maryland and USC. The Hawkeyes actually got Bowen on campus for an unofficial visit before COVID-19 in October 2019, and he's someone they'll try to get back in Iowa City for an official visit this summer or fall.
Kyle Filipowski, PF, Wilbraham and Monson Academy (Massachusetts)
Iowa offered Filipowski, a four-star, 6-11 power forward, last June and has been actively involved ever since. He is their prototypical, Luka Garza-like post and they're selling him on that fit. His high school coach told 247Sports that Filipowski is planning June official visits to Iowa, Indiana, Ohio State and Syracuse, plus an unofficial visit to UConn.
Jaden Schutt, SG, Yorkville Christian (Illinois)
Schutt is a three-star, 6-5 shooting guard who is one of the most in-demand off-ball guards in the Midwest. Iowa was one of his first offers last June. He'll likely land either at Oklahoma, with new head coach Porter Moser offering a week ago and giving a hot pursuit, or somewhere in the Big Ten, as Wisconsin, Illinois and Michigan State are also heavily in the mix.
Kam Craft, SG, Buffalo Grove (Illinois)
Craft is another Illinois sharpshooter high on Iowa's 2022 big board. He's more of a late-bloomer, as the 6-6 player for Nike's Meanstreets has seen his stock rise so far this spring. Iowa offered on April 28. He has also landed spring offers from Maryland, Texas Tech, North Carolina State, Drake, Xavier, Nebraska and South Carolina.
Josh Dix, SG/CG, Council Bluffs Lincoln
Iowa coach Fran McCaffery pulled the trigger on the offer after he'd been interested in Dix, the versatile 6-4 perimeter player out of Council Bluffs, since the winter. That came after Dix landed high-major offers from Wake Forest and Purdue in back-to-back weeks. Dix, our No. 2 in-state 2022 prospect behind Ames point guard Tamin Lipsey, is the type of prospect who could potentially play anywhere on the perimeter, including at the point, but he'll likely spend most of his time at the 2. He told me he's planning at least three June visits to Iowa, Purdue and Drake.
Tyler Nickel, SF, East Rockingham (Virginia)
Nickel, a four-star, 6-8 wing and another East Coast Hawkeye target, told 247Sports in April that Iowa, LSU, Virginia Tech and North Carolina State were the four schools that stood out the most in his recruitment. The Hawkeyes offered him last June. He's a long athlete who can switch a lot on defense, which is a coveted trait in modern basketball.
Any news on Omaha Biliew? Is Iowa State involved?
Waukee five-star sophomore wing Omaha Biliew continues to dazzle with MOKAN Elite on the AAU circuit. His team had a big win over Team Durant recently, in which Biliew logged 17 points, seven rebounds and three blocks in a 59-44 final. On defense, he held fellow five-star wing Kwame Evans Jr. to 11 points.
Biliew's trainer, Tyler Sass, told me that was actually the first game that Biliew's mother got to watch her son play basketball in person, so that's really cool. He followed that with a 20-point, nine-rebound performance against Indy Heat.
In terms of recruiting, Kentucky is starting to turn up the heat. Now that the Wildcats have their two new assistant coaches in Orlando Antigua and Ronald Coleman, Sass told me they're planning a Zoom visit this week with Biliew with two goals in mind: get to know the new coaches (both of whom recruited Biliew while at Illinois), and iron out a date for a June unofficial visit.
I would not be at all surprised if an offer came during that visit.
The G League is also a potential option if the one-and-done rule is still in place and Biliew opts to not go to college. Guys like Jalen Green in 2020 and Michael Foster in 2021 have made playing a year in the G League before entering the NBA Draft more of a viable option for elite prospects like Biliew. Former NBA star Rod Strickland runs that one-year G League program and Sass told me they met with Strickland last weekend.
Is Iowa State involved? Yes, the staff did reach out to Biliew's high school coach, Justin Ohl, in late April. I'm told the Cyclones are expected to get more involved in the future, now that their 2021 class is done. Regarding the Hawkeyes, Iowa was Biliew's first offer and Sass said Biliew spoke with McCaffery a couple of weeks ago. Iowa's head coach had made it clear how much he wants Biliew.
Matthew Bain covers recruiting, Drake basketball and pretty much anything else under the sports sun for the Des Moines Register and USA TODAY Network. Contact him at email@example.com and follow him on Twitter @MatthewBain_.