With no sport truly in-season, the summer is recruiting season. So, as we get into the doldrums of summer, we’re stepping up our recruiting coverage a bit. We’ll be taking a quick look at the situation at each position group for the Hawkeyes. We’ll look at level of need, top targets and Iowa’s chances of landing a commitment in each group.
As a reminder, we are tackling one position group each week this summer. So far, we’ve taken a look at the tight ends, wide receivers, running back recruits and the quarterback prospects. Next week, we’ll switch things up and move over to the defense. First up will be the defensive backs Iowa is targeting. As we progress throughout the summer, these targets will change as guys commit and new offers are extended. Be sure to check in on the home page for all the updates.
Offensive Line Scholarship Distribution
|POS||SR||JR||SO||RS FR||Incoming FR||Total||2018 COMMITS||2019 COMMITS|
|OL||Ike Boettger; Boone Myers; Sean Welsh||James Daniels; Lucas LeGrand; Keegan Render; Ross Reynolds||Landon Paulsen; Logan Paulsen||Cole Banwart; Alaric Jackson; Spencer Williams||Mark Kallenberger; Coy Kirkpatrick; Tristan Wirfs||15||Jeff Jenkins: Cody Ince||Ezra Miller: Tyler Endres|
The situation on the offensive line is perhaps the polar opposite of that in the receiving group. The Hawkeyes have virtually everyone back, including a core group of guys who weren’t starters but who have played significant snaps. Hello Jerry gave a thorough overview of the offensive line heading into the 2017 season last week. Here’s a snippet:
there are three seniors and a trio of starters remaining on the roster, but Iowa had much of the same last season too and they STILL somehow utilized seven different combinations throughout the season. SEVEN! And even when the rails looked like they were coming off, they still finished as one of the more dominating and effective run blocking lines in the country with an adjusted line yards line of 113.6 (over 100 is good), while also helping in the production of two 1,000 yard rushers for the first time ever.
But in addition to the guys in that senior group, there are a slew of younger guys to keep an eye on. The Hawkeyes will lose Boettger, Myers and Welsh after this season, ostensibly freeing up the starting spot at both tackles and at RG. Keegan Render and James Daniels will return for their senior seasons to fill the other two starting spots.
To replace the departures, Iowa will likely look to seasoned veterans rather than incoming freshmen. The Hawkeyes like to bring guys in, introduce them to Doyle (and apparently now introduce them to Tim Polasek and his grill) and let them develop a couple years before they see the field. But some recent success on the recruiting trail might be speeding up that process.
Alaric Jackson will only be a redshirt freshman this season, but he is reportedly up nearly 35 lbs and projected as second-team LT in the most recent depth chart. He could walk into the vacancy left by Boone Myers’ graduation. Incoming freshman Tristan Wirfs is another big-bodied young man who could be ready for significant reps as only a redshirt freshman in 2018. He projects as a tackle, similar to Jackson.
And that says nothing of the number of older guys, like Lucas LeGrand and Ross Reynolds, already on the 2-deeps. Suffice to say this is one position group that is absolutely loaded for the Hawkeyes for the next couple years.