Football inks 24, including O-lineman

Iowa+running+back+Akurm+Wadley+tries+to+avoid+a+tackle+during+the+Big+Ten+Championship+against+Michigan+State+in+Lucas+Oil+Stadium+in+Indianapolis+on+Saturday%2C+Dec.+5%2C+2015.+The+Spartans+defeated+the+Hawkeyes+in+the+last+seconds+of+the+game%2C+16-13.+%28The+Daily+Iowan%2FMargaret+Kispert%29

Iowa running back Akurm Wadley tries to avoid a tackle during the Big Ten Championship against Michigan State in Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis on Saturday, Dec. 5, 2015. The Spartans defeated the Hawkeyes in the last seconds of the game, 16-13. (The Daily Iowan/Margaret Kispert)

Despite all the hype surrounding National Signing Day, it was relatively quiet for Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz and his program.

The Hawkeyes had just one recruit — Detroit offensive lineman Alaric Jackson — wait until Signing Day to actually make a decision. Jackson was a highly touted three-star recruit and reportedly had offers from Michigan, Michigan State, Wisconsin, and more than a dozen other Power-5 schools.

He’s spent just two years playing organized football, but he could be in the conversation for a starting spot at offensive tackle come 2018.

“When we evaluated his tape, we thought he was a guy that really had the potential to be a good offensive lineman,” Ferentz said. “Now, it’s just a matter, like all the players, what they do once they get here and they apply themselves, how they absorb and take advantage of all the resources that are going to be available.”

Originally, Jackson was supposed to orally commit on Monday, but then waited until Wednesday to give any indication of where he was going to go.

The interest from Michigan apparently came late, which may have had something to do with the change in the timing of his announcement. In the end, however, Iowa won a tight recruiting battle.

“We felt really good after his visit that he had strong feelings about us, and I don’t think that’s ever wavered,” Ferentz said. “I’m not going to say I wasn’t worried about it or concerned about it. But anything can happen in recruiting, I realize that fully, but his consistency throughout the whole process really has impressed me a great deal.”

Iowa signs a new QB

Once C.J. Beathard graduates following the 2016-17 season, there will be another competition at the quarterback position.

At this moment, Tyler Wiegers is in the driver’s seat to be the next Iowa quarterback. He was second-string in every game this season and got extensive reps this season as Beathard battled an injury.

However, Iowa will have several options once Beathard has graduated. The Hawkeyes signed Wisconsin quarterback Nathan Stanley on Wednesday — a player who could be in the mix come the 2017-18 season.

“He’s a good athlete,” Ferentz said. “He’s got a real command, a real presence about him, and then in a quiet way I would say, kind of like C.J. Beathard or Brad Banks, not necessarily a boisterous guy, but a guy that players rally around and gravitate to.

“I think he’s got all the physical attributes that you would look for, and then on top of that, all the characteristics you kind of like to see a guy embody.”

Injury updates

Beathard recently had surgery on a sports hernia, but he should be back by the time spring football starts.

Ferentz didn’t have much to say, though it seems the Iowa quarterback is doing well.

“For obvious reasons, we were hoping not to have to do surgery,” he said. “We knew it was a possibility, and then as the clock started ticking, that just was — it looked like the thing to do, so the prudent thing to do.

“We’re all eager to see him full speed again. It’s been about four months now, five months, maybe six. I don’t know. So we are anxious to see him full speed.”

Iowa also still waits on information on whether defensive end Drew Ott will be allowed to play another year. Ferentz, however, said that recently, he has gotten a little more hope of getting Ott back.

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