Something strange happened in the last few weeks on the recruiting trail. Iowa, which didn't have a quarterback in the Class of 2018 and seemed fine with that, suddenly started throwing offers at quarterbacks across the country. On Friday morning, they got a bite: Spencer Petras, the 6'5" (!) four-star (!!) quarterback prospect from suburban San Francisco (!!!) committed to the Hawkeyes.
— Spencer Petras (@spencerpetras) December 15, 2017
Petras had previously committed to Oregon State, and reaffirmed that commitment even after the Beavers changed coaches, but a recent visit to Iowa City clearly changed his mind. He also held offers from Louisville, Nebraska, Cal, Syracuse and a bunch of non-Power Five programs. He reportedly threw for 50 touchdowns against two interceptions last season, which is one heck of a ratio.
Quarterback recruiting is a game unto itself. Decisions from the top prospects generally happen early, and the commitments fall like dominoes; the top player in the class makes his decision, taking one school off the table, at which point the remaining teams turn to the second-best prospect, etc., etc. Iowa has never really played that game (the lone exception over Ferentz's tenure being Jake Christiansen in 2006). Rather, Iowa does two things: It recruits undervalued projects during the standard recruiting window (Nathan Stanley, Nik Shimonek, Jake Rudock, Ricky Stanzi, James Vandenberg), and it looks for already-committed guys that fit their system who may be available following a coaching change or other shift in the landscape (Drew Tate, C.J. Beathard, Tyler Wiegers, John Wienke). Petras fits the latter description. Whether he'll be a Beathard or a Wiegers is anyone's guess.
Speaking of Wiegers, the recent emphasis on finding a quarterback portends some movement in Iowa's depth chart, an already-stocked cabinet headed by a junior-to-be. Wiegers is the most obvious candidate to move, but Ryan Boyle is probably due for a position switch at the very least. Expect Iowa's quarterback depth chart to look considerably different next September.