Iowa added a championship-caliber player at a position of the Hawkeyes' greatest need Monday as the final pieces of its 2018 football recruiting class come together.
Jayden McDonald, a 6-foot-2, 205-pound linebacker from North Gwinnett High School in Suwanee, Georgia, announced Monday on Instagram he had selected Iowa over Kansas State, Mississippi and Purdue.
A one-time Rutgers commitment, McDonald re-opened his recruitment in January after helping lead North Gwinnett to the Georgia Class AAAAAAA state championship and a 14-win season.
McDonald recorded 93 tackles during his senior season with the suburban Atlanta high school program, including 24 tackles for a loss and 12.5 sacks.
He also intercepted four passes, recovered a pair of fumbles and forced three fumbles.
McDonald thanked family, friends, mentors, his youth and high school coaches and his teammates in announcing his decision.
"I would also like to thank the coaches who recruited me throughout the process," McDonald wrote, singling out Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz, defensive coordinator Phil Parker and his future position coach, Seth Wallace.
"With that being said, I am extremely thankful to announce that I'll be furthering my academic and athletic career at the University of Iowa. I'm 110 percent committed."
McDonald, rated as a top-80 prospect in Georgia's talent-rich prep senior class, joins a Hawkeye program looking to replace three senior starters at its linebacker positions following the graduation of Josey Jewell, Ben Niemann and Bo Bower.
Iowa began recruiting McDonald after he backed off of the commitment he made to Rutgers last spring and did not sign during the early signing period in December.
He visited the Iowa campus on the weekend of Jan. 27 as part of a trip that included a stop at Purdue. He reached his final decision after taking a visit to Ole Miss last weekend.
Rated as a three-star prospect on a five-star scale by Rivals and 247Sports, McDonald is expected to sign a binding letter of intent on Wednesday as part of a Hawkeye recruiting class that is 22 players.
He will be one of four scholarship linebackers to sign with Iowa in this class. Dillon Doyle of Iowa City West enrolled at Iowa last month after signing in December. Seth Benson of Sioux Falls, South Dakota, signed in December and Logan Klemp of South Hamilton High School in Jewell, Iowa, verbally committed last week to sign on Wednesday.
Iowa also has a group of eight linebackers who have announced plans to join the program as walk-ons for the 2018 season.