Twenty-four hours ago, Iowa football's 2020 recruiting class had roughly six players slated for the defensive side of the ball. A day later that number is up to 10 after a frenzied period that's seen Iowa pick up four more commitments from defensive recruits. Those additions have come at all three levels of defense, too -- they grabbed a pair of defensive backs (AJ Lawson and Brenden Deasfernandes), a linebacker (Jay Higgins), and now a defensive lineman in the form of Lukas Van Ness:
Van Ness, who Rivals lists at 6'5", 240 lb, hails from the Chicago suburbs (Barrington, IL) and is ranked a 3* prospect by both Rivals and 247Sports. He has one of the most eclectic offer lists I've seen in quite a while, too -- and not eclectic in the "I didn't even realize these places had colleges offering football" sense, like Deasfernandes' offer sheet. Van Ness has offers from Big Ten schools (Minnesota, Illinois), Big 12 schools (Kansas, Kansas State), service academies (Navy, Air Force), MAC schools (Ohio, Western Michigan, Central Michigan, Bowling Green), other mid-majors (Wyoming, Memphis), every directional Illinois (seriously: Northern Illinois, Southern Illinois, Eastern Illinois, and Western Illinois), plus damn near the entire Ivy League (Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Columbia, Cornell, Brown, Dartmouth). Whew.
So what did Van Ness do to warrant all those offers? To the highlights!
Physically, Van Ness certainly looks the part -- at 6'5", 240 lbs he's pretty big already and his 6'9" wingspan (81 inches!) should make him a terror in the passing lanes and give him an edge when it comes to freeing himself from the grasp of offensive linemen. He has a nose for the football, strong tackling skills, a pretty good first step, and solid closing speed. He may need to develop a few more pass rush skills to get by blockers when he can't simply overpower them with his strength and quickness, but there's plenty of time to work on that.
Welcome to Iowa City, Lukas.