Three new signees cap highest-rated Hawkeye class since 2011; 18 will walk on

There wasn’t much signing day drama for Iowa on Wednesday.

The Hawkeyes wrapped up their 2018 class with just three new signees, finishing with their highest-ranked group of recruits since 2011 — 39th according to the 247Sports composite.

Iowa signed 22 players with a focus on building defensive depth. In the class are five defensive backs, four defensive linemen and four linebackers, including Dillon Doyle, son of strength and conditioning coach Chris Doyle.

“It’s great to have a player that is skilled, but if they don’t have the character to be successful it won’t mean much,” Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz said during Wednesday’s press conference. “We try to be mindful of that whenever we go out. With that said, we’re pleased with the way the class came together.”

Wednesday’s signees were Georgia linebacker Jayden McDonald, Michigan safety Kaevon Merriweather and linebacker Logan Klemp of Jewell, Iowa.

“We have a great class of 22 signees and we’re happy about that,” Ferentz said. “All 22 have a clear understanding of what it takes to be a Hawkeye. Clearly that process will continue to move forward, but I think it’s a great start.”

All but one of the Hawkeyes’ incoming athletes are rated three stars by 247’s composite. South Dakota linebacker Seth Benson is a two-star prospect. Riley Moss, a two-star cornerback from Ankeny, Iowa, will greyshirt.

Rivals gives four stars to four Hawkeye signees, including defensive backs Julius Brents and Dallas Craddieth, along with West Des Moines defensive end John Waggoner and California quarterback Spencer Petras.

Four Iowa signees were snagged out of Wisconsin, including running back Henry Geil, offensive linemen Cody Ince and Jack Plumb and defensive lineman Daviyon Nixon.

Geil was the lone running back signed, but that doesn’t worry Ferentz.

“It’s fair to say we’ll look at some of the guys we signed at running back,” Ferentz said. “Both (Tyrone) Tracy and (Samson) Evans have the ability to run the football. … If we didn’t feel that way, we probably would have looked at taking another back.”

The walk-on class of 18 players included Council Bluffs St. Albert offensive lineman Matt Fagan and Seward fullback Connor Ruth.

“A number of those players and prospects turned down scholarship offers at other programs,” Ferentz said. “That says a lot about their commitment to play here and their desire to play at the University of Iowa.”

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