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. Next up is a young man with a famous last name in Hawkeye Country, outside linebacker recruit Dillon Doyle.
For Hawkeye fans, Dillon Doyle’s name should ring a bell. Especially when you notice that he played his high school ball at Iowa City West. Dillon, of course, is the son of legendary Hawkeye strength and conditioning coach Chris Doyle. It’s safe to say the Hawkeyes didn’t have any real competition in the recruitment of this young man. His dream school was always Iowa.
— Dillon Doyle (@dillondoyle_) December 20, 2017
At 6’3 220 lbs, Doyle will enter the Iowa program with great size. Of course he’s probably been getting “Doylized” for years now so that shouldn’t be shocking to anyone. Rivals has Doyle as a 3 star recruit. He’s listed as the second best player in the state of Iowa in the 2018 class (behind fellow Hawkeye commit John Waggoner). Doyle chose the Hawkeyes over offers from Northern Illinois, Central Florida, and South Dakota.
Quick side note… I would caution you to not look too far into his lack of high major offers. This young man is Chris Doyle’s son. One would imagine that many schools didn’t even want to waste their time recruiting him. They knew he was going to be a Hawkeye.
The first thing that jumps out at you when watching Doyle play is his length and his stride. He’s a tall linebacker, at least in Iowa’s system, but his height doesn’t slow him down at all. He’s able to cover a lot of ground with his long stride. In fact, there are a couple highlights in this video showing him chase down smaller players from behind.
It’s evident that Doyle is a coach’s kid. Check out the play at the 1:15 mark. He knew what the offense was going to do as soon as they jumped into this formation. If the ball hadn’t been knocked out of his arms he would have had an easy pick 6.
The easy comparison to make here is Ben Niemann, who also happens to be a coach’s kid. Niemann was 6’3 185 lbs coming out of high school. Obviously at 220 lbs Doyle is a little bit more “ready made” than Niemann was, but again, that’s what happens when your father is Chris Doyle. Niemann was a hell of an athlete for being 6’3. I’m not sure Doyle is the same caliber of athlete yet. It’s hard to tell when he’s playing against competition that he’s so much better than, but it’s likely he’ll end up playing the same OLB position that Niemann did. Which means he’ll be expected to cover a lot of WR’s in the slot so I certainly hope he has similar athleticism.
Doyle is stepping into the Iowa program as the next LB recruit to wear the #43. The same number that Josey Jewell and Pat Angerer wore before him. Those are big shoes to fill, but who better to fill them than Chris Doyle’s son? Seriously though… that’s pretty cool right? Soon, the term being “Doylized” might have a new meaning. It may be what Hawkeye fans call it when Dillon unleashes his fury on a weary WR who has the nerve to run a shallow cross in front of him.
I expect it will take Doyle a full year or two before he’s in the starting lineup. There is a big transition to make between Iowa high school ball and the Big Ten. He’ll have an opportunity to make an impact on special teams as either a true freshman or redshirt freshman. He has the tools and the genes to be a great one though. I think he will live up to the reputation of the #43 before his career is all said and done. He’s a good kid, with a great work ethic, and a ton of talent. The future is bright for him in a Hawkeye uniform.
Welcome to the Hawkeye family Dillon!