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When you think of Iowa football, your attention doesn’t really go directly to recruiting. While a successful program, the Hawkeyes do not really have the track record of competing with schools the likes of Ohio State for recruit signatures. Coach Kirk Ferentz knows some of the limitations placed on his program as compared to some others. Typically, Ferentz focuses his attention on team building and player development.
Iowa has done very well at identifying three-star athletes who are system and cultural fits, and turning them into the next crop of players. This is mostly how the Hawkeyes have operated for years, with a lot of success, but the gears are starting to turn a bit.
Again, while they may not be able to compete on a consistent basis with the likes of Alabama and Georgia, they have shown the ability to snag a marquee player on top of their typically strong recruiting.
The area where Iowa can really compete is on the offensive line. In Tom VanHaaren of ESPN’s look at which college football teams have been recruiting the best on offense, the Hawkeyes were one of his picks at the offensive line position.
It’s rare to see a head-to-head recruiting battle between Iowa and Alabama, but the Hawkeyes ultimately won out for in-state five-star tackle Kadyn Proctor. The No. 6 recruit overall, Proctor had nearly every major program after him, but ultimately chose Iowa.
Iowa’s staff already has some younger players at tackle on the roster, including Mason Richman, Tyler Elsbury and a few others, so there won’t be a ton of pressure for Proctor play right away if he’s not ready. The staff also has commitments from three-stars Trevor Lauck, Leighton Jones and Cannon Leonard in this class. – VanHaaren, ESPN.
The commitment of Kadyn Proctor is the perfect example of the strides Iowa is making in recruting. They’ve done extremely well on the offensive line and gotten some really solid recruits.
They have gained a trio of three-star recruits in this class in Trevor Lauck, Leighton Jones and Cannon Leonard. Both Mason Richman and Tyler Elsbury are showcasing the patented Hawkeye player-development magic. Richman shows a ton of potential at left tackle, and Elsbury figures to start at left guard this year.
On top of their typical recruiting class, we’ve also seen Iowa nab a dang good offensive lineman in the past two classes. Connor Colby, a guard that should have been mentioned, was a four-star recruit who started a majority of games as a freshman last year.
And then you have Kadyn Proctor. It is rare to see a team like Iowa beat out Alabama for a recruit, especially when you consider that Alabama is also kind of an offensive lineman factory. Of course, he was an in-state player, but it’s hard to turn down Nick Saban when you are a top-10 overall recruit. And yet, Proctor is set to become a Hawkeye.
Iowa may never be able to recruit on a national level with the likes of Alabama, Georgia, or Ohio State. It’s never been their recipe for success. However, it is becoming evident that Iowa can pull top offensive lineman recruits to Iowa City, and the Hawkeyes have a track record of sending them to the league. We’ll have to see if they can bring in more elite tier offensive line recruits like Proctor in the future.
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