IOWA CITY, Iowa – As Iowa football recruits, A.J. Epenesa, Eno Benjamin and Chevin Calloway are in select company thanks to their individual rankings.
Epenesa, according to Rivals.com, is just the sixth Iowa recruit since 2005 to have an individual ranking of 6.0 or higher on a scale in which 6.1 is the highest ranking.
Offensive lineman Dan Doering leads the pack with a score of 6.1 and is the only Hawkeye recruit since 2005 to earn a mark above 6.0.
Doering’s high ranking didn’t lead to success at Iowa, though, as he played sparingly for the Hawkeyes, lettering three times from 2007-09.
Tight end Tony Moeaki, offensive linemen Dace Richardson and Bryan Bulaga and defensive back Jordan Bernstine all had ratings of 6.0 when they signed with Iowa. Moeaki, Richardson and Bulaga all made first-team all-Big Ten at least once at Iowa, while Bernstine played a key role as a safety.
Iowa had an advantage with Epenesa being that his father, Eppy Epenesa, is a former Hawkeye defensive lineman in 1990s. The younger Epenesa committed to Iowa in January, turning down virtually every power five school in the country to follow in his father’s footsteps.
Benjamin picked Iowa in April over more than two dozen scholarship offers, while Calloway announced for Iowa on Periscope last Monday. Calloway has over 30 scholarships offers from schools that include Alabama, Notre Dame and Texas.
Benjamin has since become an effective recruiter for the Hawkeyes, especially in his home state of Texas. Iowa now has five Texas natives in its 2017 recruiting class, although, Calloway said Benjamin’s sales pitch didn’t really influence his decision.
“I wasn’t influence by any players,” Calloway said. “Eno, none of them. It has been through research and prayer that I felt this is the right school for me. I would like to make a difference and have an impact on the team.
“This is what I felt in my heart.”
Epenesa’s commitment continued a pattern for Iowa in recruiting, considering five of the six Iowa recruits who have earned a rating of at least 6.0 since 2005 are from Illinois, including Epenesa. The exception is Bernstine, who grew up in Des Moines.
Iowa’s 2017 class, which currently has 15 players committed, is ranked 15th nationally by Rivals.
Head of the Class
Individual recruiting rankings for Iowa players since 2005 according to Rivals.com
Name, position, height-weight, hometown, year signed
Dan Doering, OL, 6-6, 300, Barrington Ill., 2005
Tony Moeaki, TE, 6-4, 250, Wheaton, Ill., 2005
Bryan Bulaga, OL, 6-5, 270, Woodstock, Ill., 2007
Dace Richardson, OL, 6-6, 300, Wheaton, Ill., 2005
Jordan Bernstine, DB, 5-10, 200, Des Moines, Ia., 2007
A.J. Epenesa, DE, 6-5, 255, Edwardsville, Ill., 2017
Adrian Clayborn, DE, 6-3, 247, Webster Groves, Mo., 2006
Rafael Eubanks, OL, 6-3, 290, Roseville, Minn., 2005
Jeremiha Hunter, LB, 6-2, 220, Harrisburg, Pa., 2006
C.J. Fiedorowicz, TE, 6-7, 240, Johnsburg, Ill., 2010
Jake Christensen, QB, 6-0, 200, Lockport, Ill., 2005
Keenan Davis, WR, 6-3, 200, Cedar Rapids, Iowa, 2009
Kalvin Bailey, RB, 5-11, 245, Seffner, Fla., 2005
Chevin Calloway, DB, 5-10, 180, Dallas, Texas, 2017
Eno Benjamin, RB,5-9, 203, Wylie, Texas, 2017
Christian Ballard, DL, 6-4, 279, Lawrence, Kan.
Ryan Bain, DL, 6-2, 250, Barrington, Ill.
Brandon Wegher, 5-11, 206, Sioux City, Ia.
Alex Kanellis DE, 6-3, 239, Iowa City, Ia.
Cedric Everson, DB, 6-1, 178, Detroit, Mich., 2007
Greg Garmon, RB, 6-2, 195, Erie, Pa., 2012
A.J. Derby, ATH, 6-4, 218, Iowa City, Ia., 2009
Jaleel Johnson, DL, 6-2, 277, Lombard, Ill., 2012
Faith Ekakitie, DL, 6-2, 255, Brampton, Ontario, 2012
Ryan Ward, OL, 6-6, 270, New Lenox, Ill., 2012
James Daniels, OL, 6-4, 275, Warren, Ohio, 2015
Jay Scheel, ATH, 6-1, 170, LaPorte City, Ia., 2014
Tyler Wiegers, QB, 6-4, 213, Detroit, Mich., 2014
Rodney Coe, RB, 6-3, 230, Edwardsville, Ill., 2011
Marcus Coker, RB, 6-0, 222, Hyattsville, Md., 2010
Andrew Donnal, OL, 6-7, 275, Whitehouse, Ohio, 2010
Jordan Walsh, OL, 6-3, 277, Glen Ellyn, Ill., 2011
Ray Hamilton, TE, 6-5, 230, Strongsville, Ohio, 2011
Austin Blythe, OL, 6-3, 280, Williamsburg, Ia., 2011
Diaunte Morrow, DB, 5-11, 179, Lakewood, Ohio, 2007