IOWA CITY, Ia. – With 13 commitments in the month of June, the Iowa football team’s 2016 recruiting class is growing at a pace never seen before under head coach Kirk Ferentz.
The current surge is the result of a new recruiting strategy in which the Iowa coaches are casting a larger net and being more aggressive in offering scholarships.
Here is a closer look at the class and where it currently sits in the Big Ten and national recruiting rankings:
The 17 players committed to Iowa’s 2016 class come from eight different states and Washington D.C.
Iowa – (4) Spencer Williams, OL, Cedar Falls; Cole Banwart, OL, Algona; T.J. Hockenson, TE, Chariton; Austin Schulte, Pella.
lllinois – (3) Amani Jones, LB, Chicago; Nick Niemann, LB, Sycamore; Barrington Wade, RB/LB, Skokie.
Michigan – (2) Cedrick Lattimore, DE, Detroit; Chauncey Golston, DE, Detroit.
Wisconsin – (2) Nathan Stanley, QB, Menominie, Toren Young, RB, Monona Grove.
New Jersey – (2) Frank Darby, WR, Jersey City; Brandon Simon, DE, Ramsey.
Indiana – (1) Toks Akrinibade, RB, Brownsburg.
Maryland – (1) Devonte Young, WR, Waldorf.
Minnesota – (1) Amani Hooker, DB, Brooklyn Park.
Washington D.C. – (1) Kyle Taylor, LB.
First player to commit: Quarterback Nathan Stanley picked the Hawkeyes way back on Nov. 10, 2014.
Last player to commit: This could change as I type this given the recent surge in commitments, but for now, defensive end Brandon Simon, who announced for Iowa on Friday, has that distinction.
Most impressive offer list: Running back Toks Akrinibade barely has the edge over linebacker Kyle Taylor. Akrinibade reportedly has over a dozen scholarship offers according to Rivals.com, including one from Michigan, Boston College, Cincinnati, Indiana, Illinois and Purdue. Taylor reportedly has offers from Maryland, Boston College, Wisconsin, Virginia Tech and Marshall.
Recruits with three stars in the class: (11) Toks Akrinibade, Chauncey Golston, Amani Hooker, Amani Jones, Cedrick Lattimore, Nick Niemann, Austin Schulte, Brandon Simon, Nathan Stanley, Kyle Taylor, Barrington Wade.
Recruits with two stars in the class: (6) Cole Banwart, Frank Darby, T.J. Hockenson, Spencer Williams, Devonte Young, Toren Young.
Highest ranked players in the class: Akrinibade and Taylor both share this honor with a score 5.7 per Rivals.com.
Fastest player in the class: Akrinibade is the only recruit in the class who reports a time of 4.4 seconds in the 40-yard dash.
Defensive end – (4) Cedrick Lattimore, Chauncey Golston, Austin Schulte, Brandon Simon
Linebacker – (3) Amani Jones, Nick Niemann, Kyle Taylor
Running back – (3) Toks Akrinibade, Barrington Wade, Toren Young
Offensive line – (2) Cole Banwart, Spencer Williams
Receiver – (2) Frant Darby, Devonte Young
Tight end – (1) T.J. Hockenson
Quarterback – (1) Nathan Stanley
Defensive back – (1) Amani Hooker
Current Big Ten rankings
1. Ohio State (3); 2. Michigan State (5); 3. Michigan (6); 4. Penn State (9); 5. Nebraska (25); 6. Iowa (26); 7. Wisconsin (27); 8. Northwestern (28); 9. Maryland (30); 10. Rutgers (31); 11. Minnesota (37); 12. Purdue (54); 13. Illinois (59); 14. Indiana (64).
1. Michigan State (2); 2. Ohio State (3); 3. Michigan (8); 4. Penn State (9); 5. Nebraska (21); 6. Wisconsin (26); 7. Rutgers (27), 8. Iowa (28); 9. Minnesota (31); 10. Maryland (32); 11. Northwestern (33); 12. Illinois (57), 13. Indiana (70; 14. Purdue (72).
Note: National ranking in parenthesis
Family connection: Linebacker Nick Niemann is the younger brother of Iowa sophomore linebacker Ben Niemann. Linebacker Kyle Taylor is the younger brother of Iowa sophomore strong safety Miles Taylor.
Rob Howe’s big board
Height, Weight: 6-5, 310
Position: Offensive Tackle
School: Sioux Falls (SD) Washington High
Reported Offers: Arizona State, California, Florida, Florida State, Iowa State, Michigan State, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Penn State, Stanford, Vanderbilt, Washington State, Wisconsin.
Rankings: Rivals (4 stars, No. 23 OT Nationally), Scout (4 stars, No. 25 OT Nationally), 247 (4 stars, No. 13 OT Nationally)
Height, Weight: 6-3, 250
Position: Defensive Tackle
School: Greenwood (IN) Center Grove High
Reported Offers: Indiana, Iowa, Michigan State, Northwestern, Vanderbilt, Ball State, Boston College, Cincinnati, Illinois, Miami (OH), Mississippi State, Navy, Western Michigan.
Rankings: Rivals (3 stars, 34th DT Nationally, 4th in Indiana), Scout (3 stars, 29th DT Nationally, 1st in Indiana), 247 (3 stars, 38th DT Nationally, 4th in Indiana).
Height, Weight: 6-5, 210
Position: Tight End/Defensive End
School: Omaha (NE) South High
Reported Offers: Iowa, Buffalo, Iowa State, Nebraska, Ohio, Vanderbilt, Wyoming.
Rankings: Rivals (NR), Scout (3 stars, 64th DE nationally, 14th DE Midlands, 1st DE in Nebraska), 247 (3 stars, 68th WDE nationally, 4th regardless of position in Nebraska.
Height, Weight: 5-10, 170
School: Oklahoma State (OK) Casady High
Reported Offers: Iowa, Louisville, SMU, Tulsa, UCLA.
Rankings: Rivals (3 stars), Scout (2 Stars), 247 (3 Stars and No. 17 overall in Oklahoma).
Height, Weight: 5-9, 175
School: Eden Prairie (MN) High
Reported Offers: Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska.
Rankings: Rivals (NR), Scout (3 stars, 84th WR Nationally, 2nd WR in Minnesota), 247 (3 stars, 86th ATH Nationally, 7th regardless of position in Minnesota).
Who’s next to commit? Defensive end Romeo McKnight will announce his decision on Monday between Iowa, Toledo and Miami (Ohio). McKnight is from Crystal Lake, Ill., and is a state wrestling champion at 220 pounds.
National signing day: Feb, 3, 2016