IOWA CITY, Iowa – The Iowa football team’s 2016 recruiting class started on Nov. 10, 2014 with a verbal commitment from a quarterback from Wisconsin of all places.
Shortly after that came a running back from Wisconsin, followed by two defensive ends from Detroit more than six months later.
Then came the incredible month of June 2015 in which Iowa landed a record 16 verbal commitments, including three on the same day twice.
The class has since grown to 24 players and should add one more as the national signing day approaches on Wednesday.
Detroit offensive lineman Alaric Jackson was considered an Iowa lean until Michigan came in with a late scholarship offer. Jackson had originally planned to announce his decision on Monday, but has since pushed it back to Wednesday.
Omaha tight end Noah Fant visited Nebraska in the fall after committing to Iowa in late August. He also considered visiting Minnesota last weekend before changing his mind and reaffirming his commitment to Iowa.
Indiana running back Toks Akrinbade also had scheduled a visit to Indiana, but he canceled it.
But for the most part, the 2016 recruiting period has been free of the kind of drama that so often accompanies the process, probably helped by Iowa finishing 12-2 this past season.
Florida defensive back K.J. Sails is the only player to de-commit from the class.
The Iowa coaches used a more aggressive approach in building the 2016 class, offering more than 200 scholarships nationwide. Many of the offers also came earlier than past seasons as the Iowa coaches tried to keep up with the changing times.
“What I like about Iowa and what they did this year is they weren’t afraid to evolve as recruiters,” said Josh Helmholdt, who works as a recruiting analyst for Rivals.con. “In the past, they had been a little slow at getting offers out, while the rest of the recruiting world has sped up.
“And even though this class isn’t full of four and five-stars, they went early, they targeted some guys they liked and they went after them.”
Iowa’s class consists of players from 10 different states, including five from Iowa, four from Illinois and one from the District of Columbia.
Here is how the class was formed in chronological order:
Nov. 10, 2014 – Wisconsin quarterback Nathan Stanley makes a verbal commitment and becomes the first member of the 2016 class.
Jan. 26, 2015 – Wisconsin running back Toren Young announces his commitment to Iowa.
May 18, 2015 – Detroit high school teammates Cedrick Lattimore and Chauncey Golston both commit to Iowa on the same day, giving the Hawkeyes two defensive ends.
June 8, 2015 – Cedar Falls offensive lineman Spencer Williams announces his verbal commitment to Iowa.
June 9, 2015 – Algona offensive lineman Cole Banwart joins Williams as an Iowa commit less than 24 hours later. Linebacker Kyle Taylor also announces his commitment to Iowa on the same day, making it three commitments in two days for the Hawkeyes. Taylor is the younger brother of Iowa defensive back Miles Taylor.
June 15, 2015 – Illinois running back/linebacker Barrington Wade becomes the fourth player in a week to commit to Iowa.
June 16, 2015 – The hot streak continues as Minnesota defensive back Amani Hooker commits to Iowa the day after Wade.
June 18, 2015 – After just one day of silence, Indiana running back Toks Akrinibade commits to Iowa, giving the Hawkeyes six commitments in 10 days.
June 19, 2015 – Illinois linebacker Nick Niemann commits to Iowa, where he will join his older brother Ben Niemann, who also plays linebacker.
June 20, 2015 – Chariton record-breaking tight end T.J. Hockenson announces for Iowa, making it eight commitments in 12 days.
June 21, 2015 – The June phenomenon continues as three players – Pella defensive end Austin Schulte, Maryland receiver Devonte Young and Chicago linebacker Amani Jones – all commit to Iowa on the same day.
June 22, 2015 – Iowa lands its ninth commitment in a week as New Jersey receiver Frank Darby picks the Hawkeyes.
June 26, 2015 – For the second time in four days, Iowa adds a player from New Jersey to the class as defensive end Brandon Simon commits to the Hawkeyes.
June 29, 2015 – Iowa finishes the month of June in record-setting fashion by landing three players on the same day as defensive end Romeo McKnight and defensive backs Lance Billings and Cedric Boswell all commit to the Hawkeyes. A total of 16 players commit during the month of June, which is believed to be the most in program history.
July 13, 2015 – Tight end Kristian Welch becomes the third player from Wisconsin to commit to the class and the first since the June surge.
August 1, 2015 – The class adds a 22nd player as Illinois athlete Emmanuel Rugamba announces his commitment to Iowa.
August 28, 2015 – Omaha tight end Noah Fant ends nearly a month with no commitments by picking the Hawkeyes.
Nov. 25, 2015 – Cedar Rapids Kennedy tight end Shaun Beyer commits to Iowa after getting a late scholarship offer. He previously was committed to North Dakota State.