Iowa recruiting primer: 2021 class among best in Hawkeyes history
Iowa heads into the beginning of Early Signing Period on Wednesday with their highest-ranked class since 2005.
Led by 3 5-star players, that class finished ranked 6th in the country.
Iowa currently has the No. 21-ranked group for the Class of 2021 and the No. 5 group in the B1G (average rating of 88.03). As it stands, this will be an improvement from Iowa’s Class of 2020, which ranked 36th nationally.
Let’s take a closer look at the 2021 signing class (all rankings are from the 247Sports composite):
By the numbers
- B1G rank: 5th
- National rank: 21st
- 5-stars: 0
- 4-stars: 6
- 3-stars: 11
Top player: OT, David Davidkov, 4-star
The 6-foot-6, 295-pound Davidkov is the No. 1 prospect from Illinois and the No. 18 offensive tackle in the nation. Davidkov has a 93.5 recruiting rating.
Davidkov committed to Iowa over offers from 10 other B1G programs, including No. 4 Ohio State, No. 12 Indiana and home state school Illinois.
247Sports national writer Charles Power compares Davidkov to Washington Football Team offensive lineman Brandon Scherff and believes he can eventually become a 2nd- to 3rd-round Draft pick. Davidkov has an excellent frame along with sound technique, impressive agility and excellent athleticism.
Davidkov should serve as a foundational piece for Iowa’s offensive line.
Class strength: Offensive line
The offensive line is by far the most decorated recruiting group for Iowa. Anchored by the aforementioned Davidkov, Iowa has a trio of 4-star offensive linemen.
Guard Connor Colby (Cedar Rapids, Iowa) is the 2nd-highest-ranked player behind Davidkov. The 6-foot-5, 305-pound Colby’s rating is 91.4, and he held offers from 6 other B1G programs, including Ohio State and Michigan. Colby has solid flexibility and above-average change of direction.
Tackle Beau Stephens (Blue Springs, Mo.) is the other 4-star offensive lineman. The 6-foot-6, 295-pound Stephens’ rating is 89.2, and he committed to Iowa over 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 appears to be in excellent hands and has a bright future.
Class weakness: Secondary
This recruiting class has only 1 secondary player in 4-star safety Cooper DeJean (Ida Grove, Iowa). DeJean is the No. 5-ranked player in Iowa and the 24th-best safety in the nation.
Outside of DeJean, Iowa didn’t land commitments from any other secondary prospects. Iowa’s pass defense has been stout this season, but it would’ve been helpful to pick up some reinforcements for depth purposes.
Grading the QB class: B
Iowa’s lone quarterback commit is 3-star Joey Labas (Broadview Heights, Ohio). Iowa was the lone Power 5 offer for the 6-foot-4, 190-pound Labas, who decommitted from Ball State.
Iowa offered Labas despite not having an in-person workout due to the pandemic. Labas’ impressive tape ended up being convincing enough for the Hawkeyes. Labas was selected as Cleveland.com’s Offensive Player of the Year for the 2019 season after helping his team go from being winless to earning 7 victories.
Labas is a pro-style quarterback. He passed for 2,233 yards and 22 touchdowns while adding 435 yards and 8 touchdowns on the ground last season.
Labas sets up as a solid developmental piece for Iowa behind starter Spencer Petras and backup Alex Padilla.
Did they close the borders?
Iowa has done a tremendous job with in-state recruiting. Their 9 in-state commitments are 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. 10: DT Griffin Liddle
- No. 11: SDE Jeffrey Bowie
- No. 13: WR Brody Brecht
- No. 15: ATH Zach Twedt
Nebraska (TE Thomas Fidone), Wisconsin (WDE TJ Bollers) and Northwestern (pro-style QB Jake Rubley) took the top 3 in-state prospects. However, overall Iowa acquitted themselves well within state borders. The Hawkeyes landed the state’s top offensive lineman, safety, strong-side defensive end, inside linebacker, ATH, defensive tackle and wide receiver.
Iowa built a sturdy wall around the state, and the 2021 recruiting class is strong because of it.
We’ll remember the 2021 Iowa recruiting class for being one of the most decorated groups in program history.
Iowa’s trio of 4-star offensive linemen will provide ample support for the passing attack and rushing game. Davidkov in particular has the potential to be especially imposing.
Iowa’s ability to land many of the top in-state talent will be a major boost to the roster. The 5 in-state defensive recruits will bolster an already stingy unit.
It’ll be highly intriguing to witness how the 2021 Iowa recruiting class makes an impact on the future of the program.