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Iowa football over Alabama?!?! Examining impact of Kadyn Proctor's commitment — on and off field


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On Thursday, the biggest Iowa football recruiting win in a generation — and perhaps ever — became official.

Five-star offensive lineman Kadyn Proctor, the in-state product from Southeast Polk that every college in America wanted, committed to Iowa over Alabama.

Let that sink in.  

Something else to chew on: The consensus top 10 prospect nationally became the highest-rated commitment to Iowa since the internet started tracking such things. Proctor had previously told the Des Moines Register that he will enroll in January 2023. 

“I could see the development (at Iowa),” Proctor told the Register. “The offensive line development. I’m breaking down academics and football, the city life, everything.”

More: Kadyn Proctor, Southeast Polk's 5-star offensive tackle, chooses Iowa football over Alabama

Last December Proctor's high school teammate, defensive back and fellow five-star Xavier Nwankpa chose Iowa over Ohio State in a tightly contested battle. Proctor's commitment marks the second straight cycle where Iowa bested a national powerhouse for a coveted in-state prospect.

Aside from how big it is for Iowa's program to prove that they can recruit against the best in the country, Proctor's commitment validates a recruiting trend within the program. 

In 2021, Iowa signed their first Top-30 class since 2011 and just their second overall since 2007. Their 2022 class was highlighted by Nwankpa and defensive lineman Aaron Graves, one of the most decorated high school athletes in the country.

Proctor's pledge moved Iowa up to the No. 14 class nationally in the 2023 rankings, according to 247sports. Months ahead of Signing Day in December, you can count this class as a massive success.

More: Iowa football players, fans celebrate Kadyn Proctor's commitment: 'Something special brewing in Iowa City'

Getting Proctor locked in early will help Iowa use his stature to work on other recruits. 

Make no mistake, the Hawkeyes may be recruiting better than they ever have in the Kirk Ferentz era. 

Getting Proctor is not just important in its symbolism. The Iowa line needs help. He brings it. 

On the field, Proctor informed the Register that he will early enroll in January. He'll have a chance to become an instant contributor on the offensive line given Iowa's need at that position. The Hawkeyes offensive line underperformed last season and is a question mark again heading into 2022. They've addressed offensive line aggressively on the recruiting trail during this cycle and secured a four-star commitment earlier this week in four-star Trevor Lauck. 

Overall, they have four offensive linemen committed in this class. 

More: Here are 12 of the top football recruits taking official visits to the Iowa Hawkeyes this weekend

Proctor's drawn player comparisons from the likes of NFL All-Pro tackles Trent Williams and former Iowa Hawkeye Tristan Wirfs, a fellow in-state wunderkind himself. Off his first All-Pro season, Wirfs was back on campus last weekend, during Proctor's official visit, to help recruit him to their hometown school. 

The senior in high school is set to walk in the same footsteps and will be a face of the program. If recent history is any indication, Proctor could be just as impactful on the trail as he will be on he field. 

Kennington Lloyd Smith III covers Iowa Hawkeyes football and men's basketball for the Des Moines Register. You can connect with Kennington on Twitter @SkinnyKenny_ or email him at ksmith@gannett.com.