C.J. Beathard was a three-year starter for the Iowa football team.
The 2012 Iowa football recruiting was loaded with players that helped the team achieve a perfect 12-0 regular season in 2015. This class did not have that sexy 5-star recruit but was built on potential. That’s what makes Kirk Ferentz and his coaching staff so successful. They do a terrific job of seeing the potential in players that aren’t highly recruited and coach them into productive players with most going onto the NFL.
Jaleel Johnson was arguably the biggest get of this class as the 4-star defensive tackle from Lombard, Illinois and had his most productive year in 2016. In his senior season, Johnson, tallied 56 tackles, 10 tackles for loss and 7.5 sacks.
Other names in this class included Anthony Gair, C.J. Beathard, Tevaun Smith, Drew Ott, George Kittle, Riley McCarron, and Nate Meier. Beathard ultimately took the starting job from Jake Rudock and tallied a 58.1 completion percentage. He had 5,562 passing yards to go along with 40 touchdowns and just 19 interceptions in his collegiate career.
Beathard biggest receiving targets were Smith and Kittle. Smith hauled in the big 85-yard catch against Michigan State in the B1G Title Game and Kittle had his best seasons in 2015 and 2016 hauling in a combined 42 receptions for 604 yards with 10 touchdowns.
Ott was one of Iowa’s most dominant defensive linemen in 2013 and 2014, tallying 107 tackles with 18.5 tackles for loss and 10.5 sacks. He should have been granted a fifth year of eligibility after suffering a season-ending knee injury in 2015 but was denied by the NCAA.
Nate Meier was perhaps the most underrated recruit of this whole class. He came into Iowa as a 2-star linebacker and was rated 117th at the position, nationally. In 2015, Meier was a beast for Iowa as a defensive end recording 76 tackles, 10.5 tackles for loss, and 7 sacks.