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New football recruits have talent

Hawk Talk
Solon lineman Tyler Linderbaum displays his Army All-American jersey after his selection to play in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl was announced during a special presentation in the Solon Center for the Arts auditorium Friday, Oct. 27. (photo by Doug Lindner)

On Wednesday, Feb. 7, the Hawkeyes finished up their 2018 recruiting class by signing four more recruits.
Iowa signed 18 players in the early signing period in December and it looks like a very talented class, the best since 2011.
The Hawks picked up three four-star recruits on defense and one four-star on offense.
I was able to talk to defensive line coach Reese Morgan about the new kids on the block and he had a lot of good things to say.
I always start with the offensive line and coach Morgan is excited about how good the current tackles can be.
Alaric Jackson (who started 12 games and was named first team Freshman All-American) and Tristan Wirfs (who started the last seven games), both freshmen, have a high ceiling.
“They are going to be phenomenal,” said coach Reese. “They’re both really good kids. They’ve got unusual size, they move well and they are coachable kids.”
Iowa picked up three offensive linemen, including Cody Ince (6-5, 260 pounds), Jeff Jenkins (6-4, 270) and Jack Plumb (6-8, 250).
Cody was first team all-state in Wisconsin and also was a four-year letterman in baseball and a three-year letterman in basketball.
Jeff was first team all-state in Chicago and was a four-year letterman on offense and defense.
Jack has that nice size for a lineman that could be in the mold of John Alt and Robert Gallery.
Both John and Robert were tight ends when they came to Iowa.
John was 6-8, Robert 6-7, and both weighed around 240 pounds as freshman.
Jack Plumb was a tight end in high school and also a four- year letterman in basketball.
“Those are guys that Brian Ferentz and Tim Polasek really like and feel really good about,” said coach Morgan. “They are developmental guys that fit exactly what we are trying to do.”

Spencer Petras (6-5, 225) is a four-star quarterback recruit out of California.
Spencer, who has a gun for an arm, passed for 4,157 yards, 50 touchdowns and only two interceptions in his senior season.
He broke current NFL quarterback Jared Goff’s records as they went to the same high school.
Ken O’Keefe, Iowa’s quarterback coach, looked long and hard to find Jared.
“Ken is very particular in what his expectations are and I think he feels really good about his guy,” said coach Morgan.
Spencer is enrolled at Iowa and is working out with the team this spring.

Wide receiver was a need once again for the Hawks and they picked up four.
Samson Evans (6-1, 205) and Tyron Tracy Jr. (6-0, 187) might also get a look at running back.
Samson was Illinois Gatorade Player of the Year while playing quarterback, wide receiver and linebacker. He had 155 career touchdowns, the third best in state history.
Tyron was Gatorade Player of the Year in Indiana where he was a four-year letterman in football. He played running back, wide receiver and defensive back.
He also was a four-year letterman in basketball, with three years in track where he was a sprinter and long jumper.
Nico Ragaini (6-0, 190) was a two-time Male Athlete of the Year in New Haven, Conn., and is already in school.
Calvin Lockett (6-2, 170) was all-state from Florida where he played both offense and defensive back.

I thought that was a great move by Kirk Ferentz when he named newly-hired coach Derrick Foster to oversee the running backs.
Brian Ferentz, the offensive coordinator, will move to tight ends coach.
Brian coached tight ends at New England in 2011.
The Patriots have one of the best tight ends ever in Rob Gronkowski and use their tight ends as well as anybody.

Defensive recruits

The Hawks are bringing in four defensive linemen, including Solon’s Tyler Linderbaum (6-2, 270).
Tyler was first team all-state and played in the U.S. Army All-American game.
“Tyler opened some eyes in that Army All-American game,” said coach Morgan. “He’s undefeated in wrestling and I’ve watched him wrestle. He could play on either side of the ball. Right now he’s a defensive tackle. We like him there; we need him there. He’s a guy that has all those intangibles. He’s been well coached in high school and has a really good motor.”
Daviyon Nixon (6-5, 295) is already on campus after playing one season at Iowa Western where he made second team all-conference.
The big guy from Wisconsin was a four-year letterman in football and basketball.
“Unbelievable talent,” said Reese. “I watched him dunk a basketball. I think he’s got a very bright future.”
Noah Shannon (6-1, 300) is an all-state lineman from Aurora, Ill.
“You love the kid and like the way he plays,” said the coach. “His tape is really good and you just feel good about him.”
The big catch of the d-line is four-star defensive end John Waggoner (6-5, 245) from Des Moines Dowling.
John had offers from Ohio State, Michigan and Oklahoma, among others, but chose the Hawks.
“He’s got the frame. He’s got the ability. It’s just a matter of making that transition and playing at the next level,” said coach Morgan.

The Hawks picked up four linebackers, including Dillon Doyle (6-3, 215) who went to West High and is the son of Iowa strength coach Chris Doyle.
Coach Morgan has been at Iowa 18 years and has known Dillon, who is already in school, all his life.
“He is very detailed and intelligent,” said Reese. “He’s a big athletic kid.”
Logan Klemp (6-3, 210) is an instate player from Jewell, where he was team MVP for three years.
Logan was named Class 1A Player of the Year.
Iowa also picked up Seth Benson (6-1, 205) from Sioux Falls, S.D., where he was named Gatorade Player of the Year.
“A good multi-sport athlete,” the coach said about Seth.
Iowa’s big catch at the linebacker position is all-state linebacker Jayden McDonald (6-1, 220).
Jayden, who grew up in Georgia, has the speed to cover running backs and the power to hold off offensive linemen.
“Good speed and we really feel good about him,” said coach Morgan.

The Hawkeye signed five defensive backs, two of them given four stars, including Julius Brents (6-2, 180) and Dallas Craddieth (6-1, 197).
Julius, who is from Indianapolis, Ind., has the size and length Iowa is looking for.
Dallas was conference Defensive Player of the Year in St. Louis, Mo.
D. J. Johnson (6-1, 170) is a four-year starter from Indiana who will have a shot at cornerback.
Kaevon Merriweather (6-2, 195), had scholarship offers in basketball, but picked the Hawks to play football. Kaevon is from Belleville, Mich., where he was Defensive Player of the Year as a junior.
Terry Roberts (5-10, 171) is from Erie, Pa., where he was first team all-state.
“Phil Parker does a great job with those guys in developing their skills to play in the NFL,” said Reese. “There’s nobody better than Phil Parker developing players.”

The Hawkeyes also picked up 20 walk-ons, including four linebackers.
Two of the linebackers, Nick Anderson (6-3, 230) and Colton Dinsdale (6-0, 215), played in junior college at Iowa Western and are already on campus.
Of the 22 freshman coming in, I would think two or three defensive backs (Dallas and Julius), maybe two or three linebackers (Dillon and Jayden), a defensive lineman (Daviyon) and a couple of receivers ((Nico and Tyron) would play this fall.
Only six more months until Iowa kicks off Sept. 1 against Northern Illinois!