The Hawkeyes offered Cedar Falls athlete Ike Boettger after a performance in Iowa’s prep camp at Kinnick Stadium in June.
Boettger, 6-5, 220, played QB one day, went home and grabbed some pads and played tight end the next. If everything stays on course, Iowa will have six tight ends on scholarship in 2013.
“I’ve been talking about it a lot with my family and just figured why not. I mean I love the coaches, love the campus, and love everything about it, so I just decided to go ahead and do it today,” Boettger, who threw for 750 yards, nine TDs and one interception at QB for the Tigers last season, told HawkeyeReport.com.
Boettger planned to visit in July and decide then, but decided he had seen enough. He didn’t have any other scholarship offers, drawing interest from Iowa State.
Boettger makes it back-to-back Cedar Falls Tigers to pick the Hawkeyes. He’ll join freshman Barkley Hill, a highly productive running back for Cedar Falls who’ll be a freshman at Iowa this fall. It's a year away, but highly touted O-lineman Ross Pierschbacher would make it back-to-back-to-back for Cedar Falls preps to Iowa City.
“I actually just talked to Barkley and he’s excited for me to come down there with him next year,” Boettger said. “He said he loves it down there. He’s working out with the team and everything is going great.”
Boettger played quarterback his junior year, but switched to TE his senior year and led the Tigers with 33 receptions for 452 yards and four TDs.
Scouting snippets (from ESPN.com)
The Positive: We feel he could stay on offense and a move to tight end could be a good fit for him with development. He has good height and solid bulk at this stage for a tight end prospect and looks to have a frame that could allow him to add a good deal more bulk with time in a college weight program. Obviously has experience handling the ball and displays good ball skills, but his hands and ability to consistently extend and catch the ball is a bit of a question at this stage. He does flash solid speed and after-the-catch ability to be able to elude defenders and create some yards.
The Pause: He will need to adjust to having to play with his hand down at times and will likely need considerable development as a blocker, especially from an in-line position, but does flash the willingness to be physical and lower his shoulder and deliver a blow. Boettger as a quarterback has some tools, but a position change is likely for him at the college level. With a change in position comes some questions, but he does flash ability to work with. Developmental prospect but with some patience and work we wouldn't be surprised if he grew into a productive tight end.
What Iowa said . . .
Recruiting coordinator Eric Johnson: "He came to our one-day camps twice. The first day he was a quarterback. We asked him to come the next day as a tight end. Excellent athlete. He did a lot of things well. We offered him out of our camp and feel really good about him as a tight end prospect." Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz said Iowa needed DEs in this class. Boettger could end up there, but right now . . . "There's always wiggle room, but right now, we're recruiting him as a tight end."
What Rivals.com said . . .
Midwest recruiting coordinator Josh Helmholdt: "He's a guy we moved up [in star rating, from two to three] in our last rankings. After seeing his senior film, we gave him a little bump up because he is athletic, he is versatile, he's a guy who could project to several different positions on the college level. Those guys are always valuable, because they can fill spots. I think they're planning on tight end, but he can be versatile. He's 6-5, 220. He's a natural pass catcher. He can be a TE at Iowa, but if they need a defensive end, he has a skill set that, with some coaching and development, he could fill a need there as well."
What I think (FWIW, obviously) . . .
Lots of people saying big and athletic. That's hard to beat. A lot of people take a look at the offers list and vote thumbs up or down. That's a quick, easy gauge and you can't knock it. I think the picture changes a little bit with Boettger because of his Iowa camp experience. He came in as a QB, was asked to come back as a TE and then was asked to put on the pads and block. That was a chore, but that's the story of most Iowa classes. Some part of the picture still needs some development. I used to automatically think DE switch. That would depend how married to TE he is.