After the best season on the field in a few years, Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz signed his highest-rated class since 2011.
Only time will tell if he can parlay those two things into another sustained run of success in Iowa City.
Scout.com national class ranking: 31
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Big Ten ranking: 7
Top-rated prospect: Nate Stanley, four-star quarterback from Menomonie, Wisc.
Biggest areas of need potentially filled: Tight end, offensive line
Best long-term buy: Tough to beat a highly regarded quarterback for potential impact, but Cedrick Lattimore could also be a force to be reckoned with and defensive tackles often need some time to be ready for the Big Ten trench battles. A Detroit native, Lattimore is the other four-star prospect in Ferentz's class.
In state? This is a key area of talent acquisition for every school even though some live in different neighborhoods than others.
Both of the four-star recruits in Iowa signed elsewhere. John Raridon of West Des Moines Valley is headed to Nebraska while fellow offensive lineman Jake Heinrich of Urbandale signed with Arkansas. Iowa snagged four of the five three-star prospects in state: tight ends T.J. Hockenson of Charlton and Shaun Beyer of Cedar Rapids JFK, offensive lineman Spencer Williams of Cedar Falls and safety Noah Clayberg of Pella.
Ranking trend: Iowa's 2016 class is Ferentz's first top 40 national class since 2011, when the Hawkeyes checked in at No. 25. It is 20 spots higher than 2015 and gives Iowa a four-year average ranking of 43.8.
The four-year average Big Ten ranking is 8.5 with two classes ranked seventh and two ranked 10th.
Over the 15 years of Scout.com's rankings, Iowa's classes have an average national rank of 40.5 and a Big Ten average of 6.3.