Breaking down Iowa's commits for 2025 and 4 key targets (2024)

IOWA CITY, Iowa — Less than two weeks after its big recruiting weekend, Iowa has 12 commits for its 2025 class with several recruits still weighing their choices.

Staring at its smallest freshman class in years, Iowa has 82 players on scholarship or committed in 2025. But with perhaps 18 starters leaving after the 2024 season, the Hawkeyes are likely to invest heavily into the transfer portal in December.

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The Hawkeyes have four players who visited last month who have yet to make their decision: defensive tackle Christian Hudson, wide receiver Terrence Smith, kicker Scott Starzyk and defensive end Iose Epenesa, who is ranked as a five-star prospect by multiple outlets. All but Starzyk plan to announce their choice this month.

Should the Hawkeyes land all four prospects, they still could target another defensive back or a running back for 2025. But it’s likely this class stays below 20 signees. Here’s a look at the remaining uncommitted prospects who visited Iowa in June plus those who have pledged for the Hawkeyes.

Breaking down Iowa's commits for 2025 and 4 key targets (1)

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BuyBreaking down Iowa's commits for 2025 and 4 key targets (2)

Uncommitted (4)

DE Iose Epenesa

Particulars: 6 feet 4, 245 pounds; Edwardsville (Ill.) High School; No. 46 overall recruit, No. 6 defensive end, No. 2 Illinois prospect (per 247Sports Composite rankings).

Notable: Epenesa has plenty of suitors, and Iowa remains perhaps the favorite. But strong pushes by Miami, Utah and Missouri have made this far from an automatic decision. Epenesa grew up in the Iowa program with his father playing defensive line, oldest brother, A.J., playing defensive end and older brother, Eric, who is currently a linebacker. Epenesa’s decision day remains undetermined.

Last year for Edwardsville, Epenesa had six sacks. This spring, he finished second in the discus (189 feet, 10 inches) and 12th in the shot put (55-0) at the Illinois Class 3A (large school) track and field meet.

WR Terrence Smith

Particulars: 6-4, 175; West Aurora (Ill.) High School; No. 319 overall, No. 44 receiver, No. 8 Illinois prospect.

Notable: Based on position and need, Smith might be Iowa’s most important remaining target. The Hawkeyes have decided to pick up one high school wide receiver for 2025, and Smith is the one the staff wants. He’s a three-sport athlete, which Iowa likes. Smith caught 59 passes for 906 yards and 11 scores. He averaged 12.8 points and 7.2 rebounds per game in basketball and finished sixth at the state track meet in the high jump (6-5). Smith also visited Minnesota, and he plans to decide early this month.

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DL Christian Hudson

Particulars: 6-0, 260; Mainland High School, Daytona Beach, Fla.; No. 1,021 overall, No. 100 defensive lineman, No. 137 Florida prospect.

Notable: Hudson finished his junior season with 69 tackles, including 39 solo stops and nine sacks. He added three passes defensed. A powerful defender reminiscent of former Iowa lineman Mike Daniels, Hudson will announce on July 6. His final four are Iowa, Iowa State, Maryland and UCF.

K Scott Starzyk

Particulars: 5-9, 172; The Woodlands (Texas) High School; unrated.

Notable: The Hawkeyes traditionally don’t offer scholarships to kickers out of high school, but they made an exception for Starzyk, the nation’s top-ranked kicker by Kohl’s Professional Camps. Starzyk also visited Syracuse in June and holds a Mississippi State offer. Starzyk told Hawkeye Report he plans to decide in August.

Commits (12)

TE Thomas Meyer

Particulars: 6-5, 210; Clear Lake (Iowa) High School; No. 258 overall, No. 12 tight end, No. 2 in Iowa.

Notable: Only Iowa’s second consensus four-star tight end in the last 15 recruiting classes, Meyer is a big-time pickup for the Hawkeyes. Last year, Meyer caught 25 passes for 407 yards and eight touchdowns. A few programs recruited Meyer as a potential defensive end. He recorded 38 tackles — 14 for loss — and was a Class 3A first-team all-state defensive lineman. In basketball, Meyer averaged 12.4 points and 7.8 rebounds per game.

LB Carson Cooney

Particulars: 6-3, 215; Oswego (Ill.) High School; No. 383 overall, No. 42 linebacker, No. 10 in Illinois.

Notable: A coach’s son, Cooney fits the description at linebacker. A true hitter, Cooney finished with 71 tackles (eight for loss), a sack, an interception and a blocked kick last fall. In the weight room, Cooney’s maximums jumped by a combined 1,330 pounds this offseason. Iowa landed Cooney over Wisconsin, Illinois, Northwestern, Michigan State and Iowa State.

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OT Luke Allgeyer

Particulars: 6-6, 260; Mary Institute and St. Louis (Mo.) Country Day High School; No. 462 overall, No. 31 offensive tackle, No. 7 Missouri prospect.

Notable: In a region that has become a recruiting battleground, Iowa pulled out a solid win with Allgeyer. As a defensive lineman, Allgeyer finished last year with 15 sacks and 19 tackles for loss. But at Iowa, Allgeyer will flip to offensive tackle, where his long, angular frame will fit nicely. Allgeyer’s final decision came down between Kansas State and Iowa.

LB Burke Gautcher

Particulars: 6-2, 200; Sycamore (Ill.) High School; No. 630 overall, No. 44 linebacker, No. 17 in Illinois.

Notable: A dual-threat performer, Gautcher finished with 70 tackles (10 for loss) and four interceptions while throwing for 1,084 yards and 12 touchdowns as a quarterback. Long and athletic, coupled with good hitting ability, Gautcher bears resemblance to former Sycamore star Ben Niemann, who started three seasons at linebacker for Iowa. Gautcher also qualified for the state track meet in the long jump and the 4×100 and 4×200 relays.

GO DEEPERIowa recruiting primer: Key targets visiting as Hawkeyes look to bolster 2025 class

IOL Cameron Herron

Particulars: 6-4, 260; Warren Central (Indianapolis, Ind.) High School; No. 734 overall, No. 46 interior offensive lineman, No. 11 in Indiana.

Notable: Capable of playing either side of the ball, Herron is ideally suited for guard with his athletic ability, power and nastiness as a finisher. He’s the ideal prospect in running zone and reaching second-level defenders. Herron visited five schools officially, but he committed to Iowa on his official visit weekend.

TE Mason Woods

Particulars: 6-3, 215; Iowa City (Iowa) West High School; No. 757 overall, No. 55 athlete, No. 6 in Iowa.

Notable: Woods, the son of Iowa special teams coach LeVar Woods, could play multiple positions, but he was recruited as a tight end. Last year, Woods caught 35 passes for 535 yards and three touchdowns plus he intercepted two passes while playing safety. He also placed in four relays at the Iowa state track meet this spring.

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IOL Joey VanWetzinga

Particulars: 6-2, 250; Pleasant Valley High School, Bettendorf, Iowa; No. 806 overall, No. 86 interior offensive lineman, No. 9 in Iowa.

Notable: VanWetzinga has similarities to former Iowa center Tyler Linderbaum, especially because VanWetzinga could play defensive or offensive line. But VanWetzinga will begin his career on offense at either center or guard. Last year VanWetzinga was named a Class 5A first-team all-state defensive lineman with 38 tackles and 10 for loss. He also competed in the shot put and finished sixth at state.

DL Brad Fitzgibbon

Particulars: 6-3, 280; Marist High School, Chicago; No. 846 overall, No. 88 defensive lineman, No. 23 in Illinois.

Notable: Fitzgibbon might be Iowa’s most underrated recruit. He has good size with room to grow plus he plays with power and physicality. Last year, Fitzgibbon had seven tackles for loss in just five games. Fitzgibbon chose Iowa over Michigan State and Kansas.

QB Jimmy Sullivan

Particulars: 6-3, 180; Fort Wayne (Ind.) Carroll High School; No. 1,077 overall, No. 67 quarterback, No. 19 in Indiana.

Notable: In nine games last fall, Sullivan completed 54 percent of his passes for 1,508 yards, 18 touchdowns and seven interceptions. A pro-style quarterback, Sullivan ran 70 times for 406 yards and five touchdowns. An early commit, Sullivan also held Big Ten offers from Michigan State, Minnesota and Illinois. Despite his modest ranking, Sullivan was named the Indiana Football Coaches Association’s top junior quarterback for Class 6A, the state’s largest class.

TE Eli Johnson

Particulars: 6-5, 220; River Falls (Wis.) High School; No. 1,080 overall, No. 50 tight end, No. 9 in Wisconsin.

Notable: A multi-sport athlete, Johnson caught 17 passes for 214 yards and six touchdowns last fall, then averaged 8.1 points and 7.5 rebounds per game in basketball. In track, Johnson was a sprinter and threw the shot. He picked up offers from Michigan State, Minnesota, Missouri, Purdue and Kansas before picking Iowa.

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DB C.J. Bell

Particulars: 6-1, 190; St. Thomas More School, Oakdale, Conn.; No. 1,131 overall, No. 97 cornerback, No. 14 in Connecticut.

Notable: Bell has coverage skills that could get him on the field early at Iowa. He’s long and fluid with good hips and speed. Considered one of the top corners in New England, Bell held offers from Penn State and Notre Dame after spring visits and ultimately chose the Hawkeyes over Rutgers.

DB Drew MacPherson

Particulars: 6-1, 190; Loyola Academy, Wilmette, Ill.; No national ranking, No. 110 safety, No. 34 in Illinois.

Notable: MacPherson rushed for 855 yards, caught passes for 515 yards and scored 11 touchdowns in boosting Loyola to its second straight Illinois Class 8A championship last fall. Iowa sees MacPherson as a safety despite playing only offense at Loyola.

Other (1)

QB Ryan Fitzgerald

Particulars: 6-3, 205; Loyola Academy, Wilmette, Ill.; unranked

Notable: Fitzgerald, the son of former Northwestern coach Pat Fitzgerald, led Loyola to the Class 8A championship alongside MacPherson with 2,056 passing yards and 634 on the ground while throwing for 20 touchdowns and rushing for 14. Fitzgerald turned down full scholarship opportunities with MAC schools to walk on at one of his father’s biggest rivals. Rarely has a non-scholarship quarterback competed for snaps at Iowa under Kirk Ferentz, but Fitzgerald could be the exception.

(Top photo of Mason Woods: Scott Dochterman / The Athletic)

Breaking down Iowa's commits for 2025 and 4 key targets (2024)

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