As far as the 2021 college football goes, the matchup between No. 3 Iowa and No. 4 Penn State will likely knock one team out of the playoff hunt and give the other a massive achievement to tout when the final rankings are being debated.
Looking forward to the future, the Hawkeyes are using this game to host a plethora of recruits, including arguably the best 2022 safety Xavier Nwankpa and arguably the best 2023 offensive tackle Kadyn Proctor.
It’s a matchup that could be pivotal for the present and for the next four years.
Des Moines Register reporter Alyssa Hertel spotted several high-level Hawkeye recruits on the sidelines before the game. Here is a list, and follow Hertel for more Hawkeyes recruiting news.
Just a few recruits in attendance for today's Iowa-Penn State game. Xavier Nwankpa, Kaydn Proctor and JJ Kohl are among the top prospects representing Iowa high school football today. pic.twitter.com/1wlxKePKJC
— Alyssa Hertel (@AlyssaHertel) October 9, 2021
Safety Xavier Nwankpa
247Sports ranks Xavier Nwankpa as the No. 13 player in the 2022 class and No. 1 safety. Their composite rankings show him as the No. 45 player and No. 3 safety. Difference in ranking aside, the consensus four-star recruit has 32 offers and is highest on Iowa, Notre Dame and Ohio State, according to 247Sports.
Offensive tackle Kadyn Proctor
247Sports has Kadyn Proctor as the No. 11 player overall and No. 2 offensive tackle in the 2023 class. He’s the No. 5 player overall and No. 1 OT on the composite.
At 6-foot-7 and 330 pounds as a junior, he’s dominance, and his 30 offers show exactly that.
Wide receiver Kyler Kasper
Kyle Kasper is a consensus four-star prospect between 247Sports’ rankings and their composite. Listed at 6-foot-5 and 195 pounds, the junior has size that allows him to get the ball.
Through four games this season, he has 323 receiving yards and four touchdowns.
Quaterback JJ Kohl
JJ Kohl, ranked a three-star prospect on 247Sports and the No. 24 quarterback in the class of 2023, is visiting his hometown university.
The Ankeny (Iowa) quarterback has thrown for 1,165 yards with 16 touchdowns to only two interceptions this season, according to Varsity Bound. Iowa will try to convince the 6-foot-6 junior to stay.
Listed as a three-star athlete on 247Sports, Jamison Patton’s only offer so far has been from Iowa. A dual-threat quarterback, Patton passed for 367 yards and two touchdowns and interceptions apiece alone with 18 carries for 62 yards and three touchdowns in the shortened 2020-21 season.
Quarterback Jaxon Smolik
Jaxon Smolik is not ranked by 247Sports, but he does have interest from both Iowa and Iowa State, according to the recruiting site. He split time at quarterback last season and is behind senior Jake English this year, according to Varsity Bound.