Iowa introduces slew of in-state football talent



IOWA CITY — Wednesday marked the end of one journey and the beginning of another for 21 Iowa football recruits.

Many who had standout high school careers within the state borders signed on the dotted line during early signing day to play for Kirk Ferentz and the Hawkeyes.

Iowa (10-3 overall) will take a No. 17 ranking into the Cheez-It Citrus Bowl on Jan. 1 against No. 21 Tennessee (8-4).

Cody Fox, regarded as one of the top recruits in the state, was among those announced. Fox is a 6-foot-4, 280-pound offensive lineman from East Buchanan.

“I am pleased about the class. As I suggested, the process has changed immensely in the last several years. Most namely, when they started the official visits in the springtime through June,” Ferentz said. “As much as the process has changed, I think what we consider to be important really hasn’t changed. Obviously every prospect we’re looking for a degree of athleticism at their position. We may not be as picky on heights or body weights as some places, but we’re looking for a certain level of athleticism.”

Cam Buffington, who played for Winfield-Mt. Union against Bishop Garrigan in the eight-player state championship game, is another. Joining Fox and Buffington will be Adel-ADM’s Brevin Doll, Monticello’s Preston Ries, Reece Vander Zee of Central Lyon/George-Little Rock and Derek Weisskopf of Williamsburg.

Ries and Weisskopf were both multi-purpose threats on offense that will be focusing on the defensive side of the ball at linebacker.

Trent Cakerice of Grundy Center, Graham Eben of Central Lyon/George-Little Rock, Kyler Gerardy of North Scott, Grant Glausser from Western Dubuque, Drew Larson of Iowa City High and Cole Marsh from Waverly-Shell Rock all signed as walk-ons.

Rhys Dakin will be looking to duplicate the success of fellow Australian punter Tory Taylor, who won the Ray Guy Award and was selected as an All-American.

“Basically one-third of our signees are from our state. Another one-third from the surrounding states, and then two guys, one from Ohio and one from Indiana. A couple of states over. Then in the outlying areas you have Texas, Arizona, Florida represented, and even Australia. LeVar (Woods)made the trip over there last week, and we feel really good about that as well,” Ferentz said. “That hasn’t changed a great deal. Every guy is a captain. Every guy is a multi-sport athlete. Some guys more than multi. A couple of guys are three- and two- or four- sport athletes.”

The current Iowa roster includes area players Kyler Fisher and Aaron Graves of Southeast Valley, Humboldt’s Jamison Heinz and Ty Nissen of Carroll, who is the son of Fort Dodge Senior High graduate Lance Nissen.

The second signing day is set for Feb. 7.