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Hawkeye free safety Jake Gervase, a junior from Davenport Assumption, signs autographs Saturday prior to the Kids at Kinnick open practice in this file photo.

Editor's note: One in a series of looks at the Iowa football program’s 2018 recruiting class, position by position:

The newcomers

Julius Brents, 6-2, 180, Indianapolis (Warren Central HS)

Dallas Craddieth, 6-0, 197, St. Louis (Hazelwood Central HS)

D.J. Johnson, 6-0, 170, Indianapolis (North Central HS)

Kaevon Merriweather, 6-2, 195, Belleville, Mich. (Belleville HS)

Terry Roberts, 5-10, 171, Erie, Pa. (Cathedral Prep)

The details

JULIUS BRENTS: Three-time first team all-conference selection. … Recorded 18 tackles, one interception and three pass break-ups as a senior … Had 20 tackles, two sacks and three pass break-ups during his junior season a year after breaking up four passes, intercepting two and recording 25 tackles as a sophomore. … Helped team to a 25-10 record during his varsity career. … Was a letterwinner in track.

DALLAS CRADDIETH: Was selected as the defensive player of the year in the Suburban XII Conference as a senior. … Earned first team all-state honors in Missouri as senior after being named to the second team as a sophomore and junior. … Three-time all-conference choice. … Finished his senior season with 66 tackles and one sack in addition to catching four passes for 56 yards and recording six returns covering 158 yards. … Had 78 tackles and two sacks as a junior and finished with 44 tackles and four interceptions as a sophomore. … As a freshman, had 48 tackles and four picks. … Lettered in basketball and track.

D.J. JOHNSON: Two-time all-county selection, earning first-team all-conference honors as a junior and a senior at North Central High School in Indianapolis. … Was named his team’s most valuable defensive back as a senior. … Two-year team captain in football and four-year varsity letterwinner. … Also lettered in basketball on the state’s top-rated team.

KAEVON MERRIWEATHER: One of four defensive backs from the Belleville High School team in Michigan to sign Division I letters of intent. … Was a second team all-league choice as a senior at Belleville. … Competed at Romulus High School as a junior, where he was named as the team’s defensive player of the year. … Recorded 43 solo tackles and seven assists with four tackles for a loss and one sack last fall for an 11-1 team at Belleville … Had 34 tackles for Romulus as a junior, including eight tackles for a loss and six pass break ups. … Played the point guard on a Romulus basketball team that reached the Michigan state quarterfinals in 2017 … Lettered in track and basketball.

TERRY ROBERTS: Earned first-team all-state, all-region and all-district honors as a defensive back at Erie Cathedral Prep as a junior and a senior. … Was also named first-team all-state as a wide receiver as a senior recording 42 receptions for 1,237 yards and 16 touchdowns last fall. … Recorded 25 tackles, intercepted five passes and broke up seven more during his senior season. … Had 32 tackles and two picks as a junior in addition to catching 13 passes for 192 yards. … Finished his sophomore season with 23 tackles and four interceptions. … Averaged 15.7 yards on 13 punt returns and 24.9 yards on 11 kickoff returns last fall.

The walk on

Jaden Snyder, 6-1, 205, Larchwood, Iowa (West Lyon HS)

The thoughts

Kirk Ferentz on the quality and depth of this year’s defensive back recruits: “We recruited a big number of defensive backs last year and this is another big group. The way the game is changing, the more speed you have the better off you are. That’s always been true, but I think with the more spread teams we see, it’s probably advantageous for us to add speed. There’s opportunity for these guys and we’re excited to have them.’’

Returning depth

Pinstripe Bowl starters: FS Jake Gervase, sr., Davenport Assumption; CB Matt Hankins, soph.

Pinstripe Bowl second-team: CB Michael Ojemudia, jr.; SS Amani Hooker, jr.; FS, Geno Stone, soph.; CB Manny Rugamba, jr.

2017 signings

Djimon Colbert, 6-1, 215, Shawnee Mission, Kansas (Bishop Miege HS)

Trey Creamer, 6-0, 175, Cartersville, Ga. (Cartersville HS)

Matt Hankins, 6-1, 175, Lewisville, Texas (Marcus HS)

Camron Harrell, 5-10, 181, Bourbonnais, Ill. (Bradley-Bourbonnais HS)

Geno Stone, 6-0, 195, New Castle, Pa. (New Castle Senior HS)

Josh Turner, 6-0, 180, Delray Beach, Fla. (American Heritage HS)