By Tyler Devine
IOWA CITY, Iowa – The on-field success of T.J. Hockenson and Noah Fant is paying dividends on the recruiting trail for the Iowa football team.
That proved true on Friday when three-star tight end Elijah Yelverton announced his commitment to Iowa’s 2020 recruiting class via Twitter.
“It’s amazing,” Yelverton said. “I knew I wanted to be a Hawkeye for a while, but I figured it was time to finally make it happen.”
Yelverton, a native of Dallas, Texas, announced his top five schools on Monday that included Iowa, Penn State, Arkansas, Louisana State and Mississippi.
However, by Thursday, he knew it was time to make his decision.
“I was just making sure it was the right move and just pray and talk to my family to just make sure,” Yelverton said. “Last night was that moment where I was like ‘all right, I’m in’.”
The 6-foot-5, 235-pound Yelverton said he kept an eye on Hockenson and Fant throughout last season.
The two former Iowa tight ends both left Iowa early to enter the 2019 NFL Draft and both are now projected to be selected in the first round.
The opportunity to do the same thing at Iowa made a significant impact on Yelverton’s decision.
“It’s definitely something I saw,” Yelverton said. “It definitely caught my eye, how well they were performing. I just thought I could go in and do the same thing and be the next first round pick.”
Yelverton is the ninth player to commit to Iowa’s 2020 recruiting class.
He is the first tight end and the second Texas native in the class, joining quarterback Deuce Hogan, a native of Grapevine, Texas.
Yelverton said that Hogan had been trying to convince him to become a Hawkeye for quite a while.
“We’ve been keeping in touch with each other for a few months now,” Yelverton said. “We’ll talk and text each other. He’s been trying to get me to pull the trigger. I told him I’d wait a little bit but I called coach Ferentz last night and told him the news. He was excited and I got off the phone and texted Deuce.”
Yelverton also had Power Five offers from Arizona State, Auburn, Baylor, Boston College, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa State, Kansas, Kansas State, Louisville, Michigan, Michigan State, Minnesota, Nebraska, Oklahoma State, Oregon, Purdue, Rutgers, Texas Christian, Texas Tech, Utah and Vanderbilt.
Iowa’s 2020 recruiting class
Gavin Williams, RB, 6-0, 195, West Des Moines, Iowa
Deuce Hogan, QB, 6-4, 191, Grapevine, Texas
Michael Lois, DE, 6-4, 260, Elkhorn, Wisc.
Isaiah Bruce, DE, 6-2, 247, Lena, Ill.
Logan Jones, DE, 6-3, 252, Council Bluffs, Iowa
Ethan Burkett, LB, 6-3, 230, Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Josh Volk, OL, 6-4, 306, Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Tyler Elsbury, OL, 6-5, 298, Byron, Ill.
Elijah Yelverton, TE, 6-5, 235, Dallas, Texas