John Waggoner, a 4-star defensive end, was Iowa’s top recruiting priority for the Class of 2018. Waggoner compiled an offer list this spring of the blue bloods in the sport. Ohio State, Michigan, Florida, LSU and Penn State were among his offers. Ultimately, Waggoner picked Iowa in early December and is set to be the crown jewel of the recruiting class.
John Waggoner: Stats, bio
Name: John Waggoner
Weight: 240 pounds
School/Team: Dowling Catholic High School (West Des Moines, Iowa)
John Waggoner: Recruiting rankings
National: No. 349
Position: No. 21
State (Iowa): 1
Note: Data according to 247Sports composite rankings
John Waggoner: Commitment
Waggoner wanted to announce his decision in July, before his senior season started. But he never expected his recruiting to blow up quite how it did. He wasn’t ready to pick a program, so he scrapped his initial commitment plan.
Iowa was No. 1 on his list exiting the summer and it stayed that way when he jumped back into the recruiting world after leading Dowling Catholic to a fifth straight state championship. Waggoner spoke with Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz a lot, in person and over the phone, at the end of November and beginning of December. It was a tough, stressful few days for Waggoner before he finalized his commitment to the Hawkeyes on Dec. 5.
Waggoner made 21.5 tackles, 12.5 tackles for loss and 5.5 sacks this season. He combines athleticism and a grinding work ethic, traits Iowa values. He fits well into the program’s culture, and that’s why his family and high school coach Tom Wilson figured he would pick the Hawkeyes.
Waggoner is likely to ensure the defensive line stays a strength of the program in years to come. He will team with former 5-star recruit A.J. Epenesa, who played as a freshman, as likely long-term answers at defensive end. Depth is good at the position. There is no need for Waggoner to play right away, but the Hawkeyes also won’t shy away from playing a newcomer if he’s one of the top players at defensive end.