Ankeny, Iowa – Now that the 2018 college football signing day is officially in the past our team at Hawkeye Heaven is going to put together a series of articles where we highlight each of the 22 commitments Iowa received. We’ll share each recruit’s highlights, and do our best to mention what jumps out to us about each player on tape. The next player we’re putting under the microscope is offensive lineman Cody Ince.
Cody Ince is an offensive line recruit from Balsam Lake, Wisconsin. He dominated on both the offensive and defensive line for his Unity High School football team. 247Sports has him listed as a 3 star offensive line prospect. Ince chose Iowa over offers from Minnesota, Purdue, Virginia, and a bunch of smaller schools.
— Cody Ince (@cince_74) June 19, 2017
Ince is listed on Rivals as 6’5, but the Hawkeye Sports website has him listed an inch shorter at 6’4. I’ve even seen him listed at 6’6 on some sites so the height discrepancy is a little strange. He’ll be coming into the Iowa program around 270 lbs. He’s right in that range where he could end up playing tackle or guard for the Hawkeyes, but when I watch his tape I think he projects more as a tackle. It appears he could be capable of playing both guard and tackle so that versatility will be beneficial for the Hawkeyes. Ince’s versatility extended off the football field in high school as well. He was a four-year letterman in baseball and a three-year letterman in basketball.
There isn’t a ton of tape to watch on Ince. The video above is from 2016. What is obvious when you’re watching his tape is that he’s a monster out there compared to everyone else on the field. He’s clearly the biggest and strongest guy on the field, and his size and strength allows him to do whatever he pleases. Besides his physical dominance, his motor is what jumps out to me the most. Ince doesn’t give up. He’s relentless. It’s obvious why the Hawkeye coaches saw a young man that they can mold into a player for them.
The size discrepancy between Ince and his opponents on his high school tape makes it a bit challenging to evaluate him. He completely dominates at the point of attack on both offense and defense. For being such a big kid he has an impressive first step when pulling to make blocks on offense. It looks like he has a habit of standing up a bit, but he gets away with it at the high school level because of his size and strength. There will be a learning curve when he starts competing against defensive lineman who have similar size and strength.
Keegan Render and Ross Reynolds are two current Hawkeyes whom I would compare Ince to. He has the same size and flexibility as these guys, and he has the workmanlike attitude where he’ll be willing to do whatever it takes to get on the field.
Again, in my opinion Ince is a better fit as a tackle, but he has flexibility that would allow him to start out as a guard at Iowa and then move to tackle if or when the depth chart allows. In Ince’s case, the Hawkeye coaches recruited an offensive lineman they believe fits their system. They’ll figure out where to put him.
Iowa has a lot of talent on the depth chart at the tackle position. It’s rare when you see a young man like Tristan Wirfs get on the field immediately as a freshman. The only other offensive linemen recruited in Ince’s class, Jeff Jenkins and Jack Plumb, will both likely end up at the tackle position. Even though I believe he’s a better fit at tackle I think the best route to playing time for Ince will be on the interior as a guard.
I expect Ince to redshirt his freshman year, and then work his way into playing time on special teams. Iowa is so strong on the offensive line that it will likely take a couple seasons before Ince is able to crack the depth chart on offense. That’s precious time that Ince can use to refine his skills/fundamentals, improve his quickness, and add some weight. They’ll likely want him playing around 300-310 lbs. I expect Ince to be pushing for a starting position by the time his junior season rolls around.
In Cody Ince, the Hawkeye coaches found a young man who fits what they are looking for in an offensive lineman, and if history is any indicator Ince will end up being a force in the black and gold.