[ED NOTE: We forewent the normal rapid-fire CIC capsules in the wake of Coach Fry's death. Things will be back to normal for next National Signing Day, but this year we're doing something a little different.]
The Offensive Signees, Part I
Diante Vines - Wide Receiver
Hometown (High School): Watertown, CT (The Taft School)
Measurements: 5'11", 189
247 Composite Ranking: 3-stars, 131st best wide receiver
Other Offers: Army, BC, Navy, Syracuse, more
Vines is from the Nutmeg State (that's Connecticut, if you're not up on your state nicknames) and had 51 receptions for 602 yards and 12 TDs as a junior in 2018. He also had 181 yards on kickoff returns as well as 18 tackles and an interception on defense. Rivals lists him in their "athlete" catch-all category, while 247 lists him as a receiver; it sounds like the plan is for Vines to start at the receiver spot at Iowa.
You can see Vines in action below:
Luke Lachey - Tight End
Hometown (High School): Columbus, OH (Grandview Heights)
Measurements: 6'6", 220
247 Composite Ranking: 3-stars, 9th best tight end
Other Offers: Michigan State, Cincinnati, Georgia Tech, Indiana, ISU, Kentucky, LSU, Minnesota, West Virginia, Wisconsin, more
From Have a Seat, Luke Lachey:
Per Hawkeye Report, Lachey cited the culture at Iowa as a key factor in his decision to commit to the Hawkeyes, as well as the relationships we made with some of Iowa's other commits (Lachey was part of Iowa's huge recruiting weekend a few weeks ago):
"I'd say the culture they have there is what really helped me make the decision," Lachey told HawkeyeReport.com. "I’d also say the bond that I made with the players and the other commits really pushed me there as well."
Of course, Iowa's success at the tight end position (particularly when it comes to getting them ready for the NFL), especially recently, is an impossible factor to ignore as well. On paper, Lachey appears to match up well with Fant and Hockenson:
The 2 @HawkeyeFootball TE 1st round 2019 NFL draft picks both played basketball & did track & field in HS. Lachey is same body type & has better high jump than Fant/Hockenson plus runs 200m, 400m, 4x200, & 4x400. 4.7/5.0 PAI is better than 98% of B1G TE in @TrckFootball database https://t.co/c5Fp7QshpF— Brian Spilbeler (@CoachSpil) July 11, 2019
Quavon Matthews - Wide Receiver
Hometown (High School): Largo, FL (Largo)
Measurements: 5'11", 165
247 Composite Ranking: 3-stars, 245th best wide receiver
Other Offers: North Carolina, Southern Mississippi
Iowa had a few ins with Matthews that paid dividends in his commitment as well -- one of his former high school teammates at Largo High School is currently on the Iowa team, wide receiver Calvin Lockett (he redshirted during the 2019 season). More importantly, the coach at Largo High is Marcus Paschal, who played for Iowa in the mid '00s (he was a second-team All-Big Ten safety in 2006). Paschal's assessment (per Rivals) of Matthews' skills ticks off a lot of boxes Iowa looks for in a receiver:
"Quavon is a very dynamic wide receiver," said Paschal. "He's an aggressive run blocker, has strong hands, and is a precise route runner, which is a combination that's hard to find in one single player."
Gavin Williams - Running Back
Hometown (High School): Des Moines, IA (Dowling Catholic)
Measurements: 6'0", 195
247 Composite Ranking: 3-stars, 53rd best running back
Other Offers: Iowa State, Michigan, Nebraska
Williams, listed at 6'0", 195 lbs, is rated a 4* recruit by 247 Sports and a 3* recruit by Rivals and is one of the highest-rated recruits in Iowa this year. He had some big time offers as well -- in addition to in-state offers from both Iowa and Iowa State, Michigan and Nebraska also offered Williams and Notre Dame had some level of interest in him as well. Locking down the best in-state talent is always a good thing for Iowa; beating out a program like Michigan for a recruit is really good.
In addition to his prowess on the football field, Williams is also a very solid sprinter, posting a time of 10.81 in the 100-meter dash at the Drake Relays and a time of 10.90 in the 100 at the 4A state tournament.
Leshon Williams - Running Back
Hometown (High School): Oak Lawn, IL (H L Richards)
Measurements: 5'10, 208
247 Composite Ranking: 3-stars, 50th best running back
Other Offers: Cincinnati, Kansas State, NIU, Wyoming, more
A consensus 3* recruit, Williams chose Iowa over a bevy of offers, including Kansas State, Cincinnati, Wyoming, and basically the entire MAC. He didn't need long to make his decision, either -- Williams received his Iowa offer on Wednesday night and gave his verbal commitment less than 24 hours later on Thursday. In a conversation with Hawkeye Report, Williams indicated that he'd been waiting for an Iowa offer and had been excited about the program since they recruited one of his teammates, 2019 defensive back recruit Sebastian Castro:
“It wasn’t really a hard decision,” said Williams. “I’ve been high on Iowa ever since my teammate, Sebastian Castro, committed there.”
When watching Williams' highlights, one word comes to mind: elusive.
Click here for Part Two of Iowa's Offensive Signees.