The Iowa Hawkeyes are coming off of a relatively successful season. They finished 10-2 in a tough Big Ten Conference. Granted, it ended by being shut out in the Big Ten Championship Game by eventual national champion Michigan, but no one survived a matchup with them in 2023.
With last season already in the rearview mirror, it is time to take a look ahead to the future. The 2024 recruiting class has been signed and many are already on campus already, hoping to get acclimated to life as an Iowa Hawkeye. But which recruits could get on the field and have an impact in 2024?
Iowa Hawkeyes 2024 Recruiting Class
The Hawkeyes will never be a juggernaut when it comes to recruiting but they consistently haul in a solid class. This year, they ranked roughly 33rd nationally with 247Sports, 30th with Rivals, and 29th with On3’s recruiting class rankings.
While that would put them eighth or ninth in the Big Ten, you don’t really get a sense of what that class brings to the table. Being competitive in college sports is tougher these days thanks to NIL deals and the transfer portal, but the Hawkeyes continue to bring in players that fit their culture. Here are a few names that could see the field and make a bit of an impact in 2024.
Cody Fox, OL
The first recruit of the 2024 class may also be the best. A consensus four-star recruit, he was the 177th overall player according to ESPN and the second-best player from the state. At 6’4” 280 pounds, there is room to grow for the already huge Fox.
He has the flexibility to play either guard or center, opening up more opportunities for him. It might be tough for him to get through the depth on the offensive line, but he is arguably the best player in the 2024 class for Iowa. It won’t be long before he gets on the field and continues the tradition of solid Iowa offensive linemen.
William Nolan, OL
Competing with Fox for “best recruit” is Nolan, a consensus blue-chip signee according to Rivals, 247Sports, and On3. He had a plethora of offers from programs like Minnesota, Iowa State, Illinois, Vanderbilt, Indiana, and Syracuse.
As a senior, Nolan racked up 74 pancake blocks while allowing zero sacks. According to On3, Nolan is ranked as the 128th overall player in the country and 11th at tackle. With a sophomore starting on the right side, there may be an opening for Nolan if he can ball out in the spring. If he doesn’t take the job outright, he could get into the rotation in 2024 with the goal of taking a starting job by 2025.
Joseph Anderson, DE
On3 and 247Sports had Anderson as a four-star player while Rivals and ESPN each had him as a three-star. According to 247Sports, he is the #28 EDGE rusher in the nation, and the #9 overall player from the state of Missouri. He spurned offers from Nebraska, Iowa State, Kansas, Kansas State, and his hometown Missouri to go to Iowa.
Anderson was first-team all-district, all-state, and all-conference during his senior season at Westminster Christian Academy in St. Louis. In this day and age, EDGE players come at a premium and Anderson has the size and speed to make an impact. He weighs just 225 pounds, however, so he may need to bulk up before he enters the rotation.
Cam Buffington, LB
The Winfield, IA native has all the accolades: four-time first-team all-district and a first-team all-state selection as a senior. He is ranked as a four-star at 247Sports and ESPN, a three-star at On3 and Rivals. ESPN has him as the #4 player from Iowa and the 21st linebacker in the country.
Buffington did it all at Winfield-Mt. Union. He holds single-season school records for rushing yards, rushing touchdowns, carries, receiving yards, and receiving touchdowns, solo tackles, and total tackles. He also holds the career mark in several other categories. That kind of athleticism is welcome and Buffington could start on special teams before getting into a backup role with the Hawkeyes as soon as this season. Expect to hear his name called often by 2025.
Though the class only had a pair of four-star recruits (Nolan and Fox), this class fits the mold of Iowa Hawkeyes football. Size in the secondary, flexibility along the defensive line and Iowa Hawkeye tight ends with intriguing talent who fly under the radar are all part of the recipe for success.
Given the depth of the roster and the litany of junior and senior players, it is going to be hard to make a mark right out of the gate. That’s okay, though, because a few of these names are going to be known to the Hawkeyes faithful before long.