Iowa continued to add the final pieces to its 2017 football recruiting class Tuesday, adding an all-state safety from Pennsylvania and a punter from Milwaukee to a group of at least 20 players it will sign today.
Geno Stone, a 6-foot, 190-pound defensive back who initially committed to Kent State, slipped into an Iowa cap at his high school in New Castle, Pennsylvania as he announced he will sign with the Hawkeyes.
Ryan Gersonde, a first-team all-state punter from Marquette University High School in Milwaukee, announced his commitment early Tuesday evening.
The Australian-born Gersonde averaged 39.8 yards per punt last season while mixing traditional and rugby-style punts.
One of five punters Iowa coaches talked with last month, Gersonde picked the Hawkeyes over Wyoming following a visit to Iowa City last weekend.
Stone intercepted 10 passes last season for a New Castle team which reached the WPIAL 4A championship game for the first time in 18 season.
He also started at quarterback after starting as a receiver as a junior. He threw for 1,429 yards and rushed for 693 more in addition to his work on the defensive side of the ball last fall on an 8-5 team.
Rated by Rivals.com as the 21st-best recruit at any position in the state, Stone was named by the Pennsylvania Football Writers as a first-team all-state defensive back in Class 4A.
A product of the same high school program as Ohio State safety Malik Hooker, Stone had offers from Army, Ball State, Buffalo, Harvard, Yale and Miami (Ohio) before initially selecting Kent State.
The fourth player to flip commitments from another program to the Hawkeyes in 24 thanked coached at Kent State for recruiting him, but said his experiences during a weekend visit to Iowa City swayed his final decision.
“After talking it over with family and friends, I decided that the best thing for me is to de-commit from Kent State and pursue my dream at the University of Iowa,’’ Stone said.
Iowa also added to its collection of 11 preferred walk-ons with linebacker Joe Ludwig of Middleton, Wisconsin and defensive back Jack Koerner of West Des Moines Dowling announcing their intentions.