Fresh off a contract extension that lasts through the 2030 season, Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz is scheduled to host an important Junior Day event this weekend in Iowa City.
The Hawkeyes have the sixth-best 2022 class in the Big Ten headlined by On3 Consensus four-star safety Xavier Nwankpa and four-star defensive lineman Aaron Graves. But Iowa hopes to improve on that class with an even better effort in the 2023 cycle and that big push begins this weekend.
The Hawkeyes already have three commitments on board in the 2023 class – four-star QB Marco Lainez III, three-star DL Maddux Borcherding-Johnson and three-star LB Ben Kueter. While it can’t be assumed that commitments will come this weekend, the Hawkeyes traditionally land a pledge or two from their big recruiting events.
Here’s a look at some of the top names expected on campus for Iowa’s Junior Day.
2023 4-star TE Mac Markway
Ranking: No. 121 in On3 Consensus
The Skinny: Four-star tight end Mac Markway of St. Louis DeSmet is one of the nation’s most coveted tight end prospects. He’s also an Iowa legacy, and ever since his decommitment from Florida, the Hawkeyes have been a team to keep an eye on in his recruitment. He will also be at Miami this weekend for a Junior Day visit. But Iowa fans have to feel good about where they stand with the 6-foot-4, 250-pounder.
2023 4-star LB Kaden Feagin
Ranking: No. 162 in On3 Consensus
The Skinny: It looks like an all-Midwest battle for four-star linebacker Kaden Feagin of Arthur (Ill.) High. Illinois, Notre Dame and Iowa have had him on campus several times already. And return visits for Junior Day events have pushed the Irish, Illini and Hawkeyes to the top of the On3 Recruiting Machine’s forecast for the No. 12 linebacker in the country. Feagin has gone back and forth about a potential early decision. At this point, he says he wants to take more visits. But it’s a good sign for Iowa that he’ll be back on campus on Jan. 23 for the Junior Day event.
2023 4-star ATH Alex Mota
Ranking: No. 307 in On3 Consensus
The Skinny: It’s a deep year for talent in Iowa’s 2023 class, and four-star athlete Alex Mota of Marion, Iowa, is a prized recruit with a long list of offers from Iowa, Iowa State, Wisconsin, Kansas State and Nebraska. Mota is set to take double-dip Junior Day visits to Iowa and Iowa State this weekend. Plus, it appears to be an in-state battle four the 6-foot-1, 175-pound four-star athlete. Iowa has dangled the opportunity to play on both sides of the football if he were to pick the Hawkeyes.
2023 3-star WR Kai Black
Ranking: No. 6 player in Iowa
The Skinny: The next two weeks will be critical in Kai Black’s recruitment. Like others, he will do the double-dip Junior Day weekend at both Iowa State and Iowa. He then is set to head to Minnesota on Jan. 29. Both the Cyclones and Hawkeyes have laid a great foundation and look set to battle it out for another quality local player out of Urbandale.
2023 ATH Ricky Ahumaraeze
The Skinny: One of the top two-way players in Kansas City, Ricky Ahumaraeze of Liberty, Mo., is set to return to Iowa’s campus after visiting on Nov. 20. Ahumaraeze also earned an offer from the Hawkeyes on the visit. Iowa has positioned itself quite well to this point. While Kansas and K-State are also factors with offers, the Hawkeyes have done well in Kansas City in the past, so it wouldn’t be shocking to see him pick Iowa.
2023 QB/ATH Jamison Patton
The Skinny: Jamison Patton of Des Moines Roosevelt is another in-state tussle between Iowa State and Iowa. He’ll also be at both schools this weekend, followed up by a visit to Nebraska on Jan. 29. He plays quarterback and defensive back in high school and most schools have him penciled in at the safety position. This weekend’s trip to Ames will be his sixth visit. Iowa State is currently the team to beat, according to the On3 Recruiting Prediction Machine. But the visit to Iowa City could also be telling for Patton.
2024 RB Titus Cram
The Skinny: After putting up monster numbers as a sophomore, Titus Cram (6-0/190) of Bondurant (Iowa) Bondurant-farrar has become one of the most coveted 2024 prospects not just in the Midwest, but also in the entire country. Iowa was the first school to notice him when they offered him a scholarship on Sept. 18. That was then followed up by offers from Iowa State and then Nebraska. Others will come, too, but Iowa is considered the team to beat by a longshot early on in his recruitment. The visit this weekend could solidify the Hawkeyes’ standing.
2024 WR Cam Williams
The Skinny: Cam Williams’ first major offer was from the Hawkeyes and that has Iowa in the pole position early on in his recruitment. Iowa seemingly is the overwhelming favorite, especially after three previous campus visits. The Glen Ellyn (Ill.) Glenbard South receiver also has offers from Illinois, Central Michigan, Northern Illinois and Toledo.