Spring football is on the horizon at Dallas area powerhouse Bishop Dunne (Texas) High School, which means plenty of signature prospects at the school are announcing their commitments to shift their focus from recruiting back to football. Such is the case for three-star tight end Elijah Yelverton.
Yelverton committed to Iowa over Penn State, Arkansas, Ole Miss and LSU on Friday morning, five days removed from narrowing down his impressive offer sheet to five.
Yelverton is the first tight end to join the Hawkeyes’ 2020 recruiting class and the second prospect out of Texas in the fold, joining quarterback and fellow Lone Star State native Deuce Hogan. Yelverton and Hogan are the two highest-rated prospects currently in the class.
— Elijah Yelverton (@yelverton2002) April 12, 2019
WHY IT’S BIG FOR THE HAWKEYES
There is a very talented crop of tight ends in Texas’ 2020 class and Yelverton was a candidate in the mix for the top spot. The 6-foot-5, 235-pounder makes a living as a mismatch in the passing game, often flexing out as a bigger slot receiver for Dunne or lining up as an H-back. Yelverton is not only a huge target but runs extremely well for his size and runs good, clean routes. He has strong hands and is a reliable pass-catcher, emerging as a go-to option as a junior last season with 17 receptions for 300-plus yards and four trips to the end zone.
Yelverton’s forte is in the passing game. He is a mismatch in the red zone and an effective safety valve in the offense on routes underneath. He does not shy away from blocking, though he is not called upon for that purpose at Dunne.
Iowa should have not one, but two tight ends drafted later this month, which is certainly a calling card for Yelverton and his future development. It’s also a nice pairing out of Texas to reel in the future quarterback (Hogan) and tight end (Yelverton), as the Hawkeyes quietly make a splash in the Texas talent pool.
WHY IT HURTS ARKANSAS, LSU
Yelverton elected to give his commitment to Iowa over a pair of SEC West foes in Arkansas and LSU. Before pledging to the Hawkeyes, the three-star was in Fayetteville on an unofficial visit as recently as last month. Arkansas has historically churned out top-level talent at the tight end position with Hunter Henry as the poster boy for that reputation. The Hogs signed Henry’s little brother, four-star Hudson Henry, in the 2019 recruiting cycle, which shores up the position for the foreseeable future, but Chad Morris will now have to shift gears in 2020. Arkansas has consistently recruited Texas well and could turn its attention to a fast-riser such as Brandon Frazier out of McKinney North (Texas) or John Paul II (Texas) three-star Donavon Johnson. Both uncommitted tight ends are graded similarly to Yelverton as pass-catchers.
Yelverton quietly made two visits to Baton Rouge over the past year and also received a visit from Ed Oregon at the start of the spring. The Tigers are currently thin at the tight end position after graduating Foster Moreau and signed a handful of high school and junior colleges to their 2019 haul. Yelverton thrives as a pass-catcher but did not fit the mold of a traditional LSU tight end. The Tigers recently extended an offer to Johnson, who plays more of an in-line style for his high school team. They are also heavily in the mix for in-state tight end Dustin Dyson, who has held an offer from LSU dating back to before his freshman year.