Iowa Football Recruiting: Kansas City WR Dayton Howard Signs Hawkeyes

While Hawkeye fans enjoy their Thanksgiving Day with friends and family, food and a portion of football, the Iowa coaching staff spends their vacation preparing for the final game of the regular season against Nebraska. The Hawkeyes, of course, will once again take on the Cornhuskers at Kinnick Stadium on Black Friday, this time in search of an eighth straight win over their western rivals and a Big Ten West division title.

But that preparation, and likely their own semblance of holiday celebrations, was cut short on Thursday morning when the Hawkeyes received some good news on the recruiting path. Iowa got something to be grateful for from Kansas City wide receiver Dayton Howard when he announced his commitment to the Hawkeyes on Thanksgiving morning.

Howard’s signing comes just under two weeks since Iowa last got her signing, also from a big wide receiver. However, the Kansas City product is even bigger than Jarriett Buie Jr., who signed with the Hawkeyes on November 12. Buie, a Florida native, is 6ft 2in while Howard is taller at 6ft 5in.

In the film, he’s a bit of a different player than Buie. His route tree seems a little less robust, showing more of those vertical routes that go past defenses or catch over smaller defenders. This more traditionally suits big receivers, who can outperform athletes and the most physically prepared defenders.

While Howard doesn’t display elite-level speed, he more than makes up for it with his size — something Iowa personnel are clearly looking for as they move towards a future state of the Hawkeye offensive. Currently only Jacob Bostick and Brody Brecht are taller than 6ft 1in on the list, with Brecht being the only recipient over 6ft 2in. Now the staff has landed two more in less than two weeks.

As a senior at Kansas City’s Park Hill, Howard used his solid speed, great hands, and A+ frame to make 45 passes for 760 yards and 13 touchdowns, averaging nearly 17 yards per reception. Howard was an under-the-radar prospect who burst onto the scene late. This was in large part due to a lack of camp attendance and having spent his previous season at a smaller school (Savannah) with less publicity.

That didn’t result in any offers until the Hawkeyes jumped into the mix a few weeks ago, offering Buie on the same day, who signed for Iowa.

Speaking to HawkeyeReport, Howard said that when Iowa found out about him, they made him a priority while other schools, including Kansas, Kansas State, Iowa State and Colorado State, played things slower and that made a difference.

What made me decide to go with Iowa is that in the first week that they found out about me, they put their bets on me that really mattered. The culture there is second to none and seems to suit me perfectly.

I only have one offer, but that’s all I need. An opportunity to prove myself.

The addition of Howard brings the Hawkeyes to 20 total commitments in the Class of 2023 after Des Moines defense attorney David Caulker made the move to Iowa State last week. He joins the aforementioned Jarriett Buie Jr. and Marion native Alex Mota as wide receivers in this class. His addition jumps Iowa to 23rd place according to Rivals and 25th place per 247 Sports.

Given his size and Iowa history, Hawkeye fans will surely jump at the opportunity to portray him as a tight end. Howard did little to quell this speculation.

They just told me they need me and can use me. I will play anywhere to help the team win.

Welcome aboard Dayton Howard!

Dayton Howard, W.R
Height: 6’5”
Weight: 190 pounds
Hometown: Kansas City, MO (Park Hill)
Stars: 247 sports – 3; Rivals – NO

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