Sting Factor: Kendrick Raphael’s decommitment from Iowa


When a major program loses a key recruit, Rivals.com takes a look at how big of a blow it is to the respective school, analyzing it from a local and national level. To quantify the “sting” of each decommitment, we assign a score from one to 10, with one being no big deal and 10 being a catastrophic hit.

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THE STORYLINE

Iowa scored big in June when four-star running back Kendrick Raphael committed to the Hawkeyes.

He’s from talent-rich Florida and since his pledge to Iowa, many other teams have started to come after the talented running back from Naples, Fla. So much so that Raphael decided to back off his commitment to the Hawkeyes and look more fully at his recruitment.

The four-star is the only decommit from Iowa’s recruiting class so far this recruiting cycle as coach Kirk Ferentz and his staff usually steer clear of much drama when it comes to landing players. In the entire 2022 class, the Hawkeyes had only one player back off his pledge as well.

Oregon has made a serious run at Raphael recently that piqued his interest and then NC State, Vanderbilt, BYU and others have also reached out.

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LOCAL REACTION

Raphael was one of Iowa’s top-ranked commits and the only running back in its class, so there is no way to sugarcoat it really. The one redeeming factor for the Hawkeyes would be it came at a position where they have a lot of young depth with all five scholarship players in their running back room sophomores or younger, including true freshman Kaleb Johnson who came in as a four-star recruit this year and just had his first 100-yard game this past weekend. Also, the timing should give the Iowa coaching staff a chance to find a replacement in this class and they have already reached out to Nolan Ray, a Maryland commit, who was Iowa’s other top target back in June alongside Raphael. – Blair Sanderson, HawkeyeReport.com

Sting factor: 7

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NATIONAL REACTION

Anyone who has watched much Iowa football so far this season can easily tell the Hawkeyes need playmakers on offense and Raphael would have been a nice fit in that offense as someone who has good size, can easily play at 200 pounds in college and can run between the tackles or get outside for extra yards. He would have been a very welcomed addition to Iowa’s recruiting class so this decommitment definitely hurts. But for Iowa, it’s not the end of the world and not even close. There are already names the Hawkeyes could pursue next for their running back room, Iowa always develops its running backs well and knows what it wants to do on offense – for better or worse sometimes – and while having Raphael would have been great to add another playmaker, there are many others who will be interested in playing behind a stout offensive line that the Hawkeyes bring year in and year out. – Adam Gorney, National Recruiting DirectorSting factor: 5



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