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2017 Iowa Recruiting: Some Things Never Change

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If you’re expecting Kirk Ferentz to deviate from his patented recruiting scheme, think again.

NCAA Football: Outback Bowl-Florida vs Iowa Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

This is a recurring feature leading up to National Signing Day where we will preview each teams recruiting class and who each team’s best recruit is and who can make an immediate impact. We’ll go in order from worst to first based on 2016 standings. All ratings come from the 247 composite rankings.

Where do they stand?

Iowa currently ranks 46th in the nation in recruiting, 11th in the Big Ten, and 5th in the Big Ten West. If it weren’t for AJ Epenesa, son of an Iowa legacy, Iowa could be challenging Purdue for last in the Big Ten recruiting ranks. Iowa does not have any early enrollees this cycle for a total of 16 recruits thus far.

How does the class breakdown?

Iowa has taken 9 players on offense and 7 players on defense. Jacob Coons is an athlete who as of right now looks like he’ll be headed to tight end. Here is the positional breakdown:

  • QB: 2
  • RB: 1
  • WR: 3
  • TE: 1 (Ath)
  • OL: 2 (2 OT)
  • DL: 3 (3 DE)
  • DB: 4 (3 CB/ 1 S)

And here is the full class, via 247:

Is the talent any good?

Shockingly, Iowa recruited well on the lines. Defensive End AJ Epenesa is a consenus five star DE and the #2 SDE in the country. Tristan Wirfs is a high 3 star OT who may have more the build of a guard while Djimon Colbert is a solid CB who could see minutes after a year in Iowa’s patented S&C program.

Who else is left on the board?

Iowa is or should still be after someone at center where they are thin on numbers as well as DT and ILB. The class is small so far so I am expecting Kirk to start taking flyers on low 3 star players that he will magically turn into an all world OL. Iowa would still take 4 star receiver Oliver Martin as well but he seems to be going to Michigan. He is from Iowa but did not receive an offer until late.

Stew: WR is still a big need. Martin, obviously, but still they are also targeting Ihmir Smith-Marsette, a recent rutger de-commit. Still looking for LBs as well, likely a local kid (Nate Wieland). DT is probably ok for this cycle if they miss on everyone as they’ll move some DEs inside and Iowa still needs to take another RB and grab another corner or safety.

Can anyone contribute early?

It goes without saying but AJ Epenesa is the person who could see early playing time. A consensus five star DE who already has the body to play immediately should be able to crack the rotation at DE early on unless Kirk is comfortable with his rotation and redshirts him. I doubt that happens.

Up next: Wisconsin