Iowa’s recruiting haul on Day 1 of the Early Signing Period was a resounding success. This is Iowa’s highest-ranked class since a 2005 group that finished ranked 6th in the country thanks to 3 5-star players.

Iowa’s 2021 group, filled with 6 4-star players, is ranked 22nd nationally and 6th in the B1G, with an average rating of 88.0, according to 247Sports.

Here are the 5 biggest takeaways from the beginning of the Early Signing Period:

1. Iowa locked up most of the key in-state prospects

Iowa did a tremendous job with in-state recruiting. Their 9 in-state commitments are all within the top 15 in the state.

Those commitments are:

  • No. 4: OG Connor Colby
  • No. 5: S Cooper DeJean
  • No. 7: SDE Max Llewellyn
  • No. 8: ATH Arland Bruce IV
  • No. 9: ILB Jaden Harrell
  • No. 11: DT Griffin Liddle
  • No. 12: SDE Jeffrey Bowie
  • No. 14: WR Brody Brecht
  • No. 15: ATH Zach Twedt

Nebraska (TE Thomas Fidone), Wisconsin (WDE TJ Bollers) and Kansas State (pro-style QB Jake Rubley) landed the top 3 in-state prospects. However, overall, Iowa did very well within state borders. The Hawkeyes hauled in the state’s top offensive lineman, safety, strong-side defensive end, inside linebacker, ATH, defensive tackle and wide receiver.

Iowa focused their efforts squarely on in-state talent, and the 2021 recruiting class is large in part because of it.

2. Offensive line is Iowa’s most decorated recruiting unit

Anchored by 6-foot-6, 295-pound 4-star offensive tackle David Davidkov, Iowa has collected a bevy of imposing offensive linemen in the Class of 2021.

Davidkov is the No. 1 prospect from Illinois and the nation’s No. 18 offensive tackle. Davidkov selected Iowa over offers by 10 other B1G programs, including No. 4 Ohio State, No. 12 Indiana and home state school Illinois.

Davidkov is being touted by 247Sports national writer Charles Power as comparable to Washington Football Team offensive lineman Brandon Scherff. Davidkov has an excellent frame along with sound technique, impressive agility and excellent athleticism. He should serve as a foundational piece for Iowa’s offensive line.

In addition to Davidkov, Iowa has 2 other 4-star offensive linemen: guard Colby (Cedar Rapids, Iowa) and tackle Beau Stephens (Blue Springs, Mo.).

Colby is Iowa’s 2nd-highest-ranked player behind Davidkov. The 6-foot-5, 305-pound Colby has a rating 91.4, and selected Iowa instead of 6 other B1G programs, including Ohio State and Michigan. Colby has solid flexibility and above-average change of direction.

The 6-foot-6, 295-pound Stephens has a rating of 89.2 and decided on Iowa despite offers from No. 5 Texas A&M, home state Missouri and 3 other B1G programs, including Indiana and Michigan. What Stephens lacks in athleticism he makes up for with tenacity, coordination and power.

The Iowa offensive line has been strong for quite some time, and after the addition of these prospects, it looks as if it could remain that way for years to come.

3. Iowa was mostly inactive in the secondary market

Iowa’s recruiting class ended up having only 1 secondary player. It was a significant addition in 4-star safety DeJean (Ida Grove, Iowa), the nation’s 24th-best safety.

However, besides DeJean, Iowa didn’t receive any commitments in the secondary. The Hawkeyes have been strong on pass defense this season, but it would’ve been a nice depth boost to scoop up some reinforcements.

4. Iowa landed some impressive skill position players

Iowa signed 3-star pro-style quarterback Joey Labas (Broadview Heights, Ohio), Cleveland.com’s Offensive Player of the Year for the 2019 season. Last season, Labas amassed 2,233 yards and 22 touchdowns while adding 435 yards and 8 touchdowns on the ground.

Labas flipped from Ball State to Iowa. He could be a solid developmental piece for the Hawkeyes behind starter Spencer Petras and backup Alex Padilla.


Iowa also signed some intriguing receivers in 4-star Keagan Johnson (Bellevue, Neb.) and 3-star receivers Brecht (Ankeny, Iowa) and Bruce (Ankeny, Iowa).

Johnson is the No. 3 player from Nebraska and the nation’s No. 22 wide receiver. Johnson isn’t massive in size but he compensates with tenacity.

The lengthy and long Brecht is being compared to Packers wide receiver Jake Kumerow by 247Sports analyst Allen Trieu.

Bruce is related to Pro Football Hall of Fame wide receiver Isaac Bruce. Bruce IV has natural instincts and displays excellent athleticism in the open field.

5. Allegations didn’t impact Iowa on the recruiting trail

Iowa ended up with one of the most decorated groups in program history despite allegations going into this season about racial bias toward former Black players.

Three-star defensive back Jordan Oladokun (Tampa, Fla.) is the only Black recruit who decommitted from Iowa.

It’s going to take substantial time to see if there won’t be lingering long-term roster effects from the allegations. However, this is a positive 1st sign that perhaps the perception around the program won’t be diminished after coach Kirk Ferentz’s apology and willingness to change the locker room culture.