Iowa Football invited a group of recruits to its annual junior day on Saturday. The Hawkeyes snagged two commitments and sent other prospects home impressed with the visit.
Illinois linebacker Carson Cooney announced his commitment on the day of the gathering. He also reported scholarship offers from Illinois, Indiana, Iowa State. Michigan State, Northwestern and Wisconsin, among others.
The Oswego (IL) High standout has been playing for his father, head coach Brian Cooney. Former Iowa defensive tackle Noah Shannon played for Brian Cooney while attending the school.
Sunday, four-star, in-state tight end Thomas Meyer made public his commitment to Iowa. The Clear Lake star chose the Hawkeyes ahead of reported offers from Nebraska, Iowa State, Texas A&M, Minnesota, Missouri, Wisconsin, Stanford and Miami (Fla.).
“I just feel like Iowa was the best fit for me,” Meyer told HF. “I really like how physical and competitive they play. My goal is to just help the team win anyway I can.”
Like Meyer in the 2025 recruiting class, the Hawkeyes are hoping to secure a pledge from one of the state’s ’26 prospects in Waterloo West offensive lineman Carson Nielsen. In addition to Iowa, he already reports scholarship offers from Kansas State, Iowa State, Nebraska, Minnesota, Missouri and North Dakota State.
Nielsen attended Saturday’s junior day. It represented his third visit to campus since November.
“I loved just being around the people there. They really answered all my questions I had. I also loved getting to talk to coach (Kirk) Ferentz and coach (George) Barnett a lot,” he said.
Class of ’25 Aurora (IL) West High receiver Terrence Smith took in the junior day. The Hawkeyes offered him a scholarship last week.
Ankeny Centennial athlete Braeden Jackson returned to Iowa City after camping with the Hawkeyes last summer. The junior planned on returning to campus in the spring and participating in another camp this summer.
“They’ve said that they are interested and that they for sure want to watch me at their camp this summer,” Jackson said. “They said they really like my film and are happy with the growth I’ve made since last season.”
Urbandale defensive back Elijah Hoyt had visited Iowa before. The junior day provided a more personal experience with the Hawkeyes. Iowa State, Kansas State and North Dakota State are among the other programs have shown interest in Hoyt.
Several other sophomores joined Nielsen in hitting up junior day. Dunlap (IL) High athlete Mack Sutter and Naperville (IL) defensive lineman Gabriel Hill have reported Hawkeye offers among other opportunities. Offensive linemen Cian Mahoney (Illinois) and Hudson Parliament (South Dakota) liked what they heard at junior day.
“I learned that Iowa treats their players very well, and that’s something I would like to be a part of,” Mahoney said. “They treat their players well because they spend time developing and coaching their players, while some other schools spend lots of time recruiting.”
Parliament played in front of Hawkeye assistant coach LeVar Woods during a game last season. The sophomore lineman, who reports scholarship offers from South Dakota State and North Dakota, soaked up as much information as he could during junior day.
“Coach Barnett shared some Iowa offensive line highlight clips that as I watched, I felt like I was watching my sophomore season highlights,” Parliament said. “These clips showed a display of dominance at point of attack in run game, aggressive pulling guards, being a violent finisher of blocks and flat out hustle plays.”
Freshmen took part in the junior day as well. Illinois defensive lineman Sincere Harris, Josiah Robinson, a defensive back from Missouri, and Ankeny Centennial linebacker Carlos Blount Jr. all felt valued during the visit.
“The facilities were amazing,” Harris said. “The coaches are great, too. They’re down to earth. I look forward to developing relationships with coach (Phil) Parker, coach (Seth) Wallace and coach (Kelvin) Bell.”
Harris scheduled a visit to Miami (Ohio) for March 5. Other Big Ten schools have shown interest in him, he said.
Robinson was impressed with the success the Hawkeyes have enjoyed at his position.
“Something I enjoyed learning was that some of the best NFL DB recruits come out of the University of Iowa,” he said. “I like this because it shows how good their defensive back core is, which can help me throughout my football career.”
Arkansas offered Robinson a scholarship last week. He planned to camp with the Hawkeyes, Nebraska and Minnesota this summer.
Blount Jr. camped with Iowa last summer. The junior day represented another opportunity to build a relationship with the Hawkeyes.
“I think my favorite part of the visit was sitting down with coach (Seth) Wallace and a couple other linebacker recruits,” he said. “Coach Wallace did a great job breaking down what Iowa football really is about, and I was glad I got to learn about it.”