UNI adds six to 2023 recruiting class on National Signing Day

UNI adds six to 2023 recruiting class on National Signing Day

CEDAR FALLS — Northern Iowa focused on high school prospects in its 2023 recruiting class and walked away with 21 prep players between early signing day and national signing day.

After the first day of signing, UNI head coach Mark Farley discussed his recruiting philosophy and why the Panthers sought all but six members of his new class from the preparation ranks. recruitment.

“When you look at it, the core of this class is these high school players that we’re always looking for,” Farley said. “The best thing for the program, for the duration of the program, is to invest in the future of the program. Not fixing it right now through a portal. develop.

While the Panthers completed six transfers in their 2023 class, Farley remained adamant that the Panthers only looked at the portal to shore up positions where UNI lacked depth.

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Otherwise, he said UNI wanted to stay true to their calling card and run through the preparation ranks.

“That’s where UNI is,” said Farley. “Our strength is taking a zero star or two stars or three stars and making it a five star… We have to do that with what we do in the weight room, what we do in the football room, what what we do with leadership is what makes UNI football what it is.

UNI signed four preparation players and two FBS transfers during the national signing day on Wednesday.


Ethan Petrick

John Powers | Linebacker/Punter | Bondurant, Iowa

The son of former UNI Athletics Hall of Famer and three-time All-American champion Rich Powers, Powers announced his commitment to UNI last week.

The 6-foot-2, 220-pound prospect had 83.5 tackles, 25 tackles for a loss and six sacks for the Bondurant-Farrar Bluejays last season.

Although he said the Panthers coaching staff consider him a top linebacker, he also averaged 40 yards per punt and said he would be willing to show his leg if needed. .

To learn more about John Powers, click here


Ayden Jones | Linebacker | Crosby, TX

Another late addition to the recruiting class of 2023, the Panthers offered Jones on Monday, just two days before signing day.

The 6-foot-3, 200-pound linebacker had 81 total tackles, 16 tackles for loss, five sacks, six rushing quarterbacks, two forced fumbles and one pass defensed during his senior season.

“I feel like the University of Northern Iowa is the best place to grow and become a great player,” Jones said.

A talented tailback from Jenks, Oklahoma, Carroll joins UNI after missing much of his senior season. Photo by IAN MAULE/Tulsa World file

Jaiden Carroll | Run back | Jenks, okay

Carroll battled nagging injuries during his senior season at Jenks High School, but the Panthers began recruiting the talent long before his final prep season.

UNI offered Carroll in March 2022 and stuck with him to land his commitment on Tuesday.

The Tulsa World named Carroll its No. 1 running back heading into the 2022 season after helping Jenks win a Class 6AI state title in 2021 with 1,264 yards and 17 touchdowns.


JC Roque Jr | Athlete | Lithia, Florida

An all-around addition to the Panthers offense, Roque played running back, wide receiver and cornerback for the Newsome Wolves in Lithia, Florida.

In 2022, Roque led Wolves in receiving and rushing with 964 rushing yards and 440 receiving yards. He also took care of some kick return and punt return duties, which allowed him to amass 1,735 total yards and 24 total touchdowns.

According to Roque, a visit to Cedar Falls sold him on the idea of ​​joining the Panthers.

“After the visit, I came away very impressed with UNI,” Roque said. “The opportunity to join a winning program with a large fanbase and coaching staff was important to me. I can’t wait to get to work!

Rolliann Sturkey | Defensive back | Oak Park, Ill. | Prev. School: Central Michigan

The Panthers offered the former Central Michigan Chippewa just five days after he entered the transfer portal on Dec. 3.

An unheralded rookie from Oak Park-River Forest High School in the class of 2018, Sturkey made an immediate impact for CMU. He appeared in all 12 games in his first season and did not miss a game in the next three seasons.

In 2021, as a junior, Sturkey started the final nine games and finished the season with 36 total tackles, four passes defended and two tackles for loss.

Sturkey will have one more year of eligibility as a graduate transfer after appearing in just two games for CMU in 2022.

Kamonte Grimes | Wide Receiver | Naples, Florida | Prev. School: Nebraska

Another big plus for the Panthers off the transfer portal, Grimes joins UNI just two years from a three-star rating and is named one of Florida’s Top 100 Players.

Grimes spent the previous two seasons in Lincoln, Nebraska as a member of the Nebraska Huskers and saw no playing time until entering the portal on December 2.

He caught 97 passes for 1,524 yards and 17 touchdowns during his prep career according to the Huskers.com bio.

Metro athletes who signed Letters of Intent on Wednesday:

Owen Sawyer, Iowa State, Golf

Jake HulsteinArmyFootball

Dallas Bears, Augustana, Basketball

Shae Buskohl, Dubuque, baseball

Hope Chiattello, Wartburg College, Wrestling

Colby Cryer, Loras College, Cross Country/Athletics

Andrew Langner, Iowa Western Community College, Soccer

Colin Johnson, Western Colorado, Cross Country/Athletics

Jordan Jones-Whitaker, Grand View, Football

Jillian Kellum, Milwaukee School of Engineering, Football

Hogan Simmer, grand view, football

Mikayla Sisneros, Hawkeye College, sport shooting

Jaden Swarts, Buena Vista, Cross Country Skiing/Athletics

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