Big things continue to come in small-town packages for the Iowa football program.
Iowa landed its fourth offensive line commitment from an instate player on Wednesday night when Brett Waechter, a 6-foot-5, 250-pound lineman from Hartley, Iowa, accepted a scholarship offer he received a little over 24 hours earlier from Hawkeye coaches.
“There wasn’t any need to wait. Once Iowa offered, I knew in my heart what my decision. There wasn’t any need to look any more. I knew where I wanted to go,’’ Waechter said. “I’m excited to be a Hawkeye.’’
He announced his decision on Twitter.
“Proud to say I’m upping the 2015 #NWIA Hawkeyes commit count to 4,’’ Waechter wrote.
Waechter, whose only other offer was from South Dakota although he was seeing recruiting interest from Iowa State, Minnesota and Nebraska, is the ninth player to commit to Iowa’s 2015 recruiting class.
He shares similarities with the other three linemen who have announced they will sign with the Hawkeyes next February.
Waechter attends Hartley-Melvin-Sanborn High School in northwest Iowa, which with its 2014-15 enrollment figure of 161 ranks 203rd in size among the 371 high schools in the state.
It competes in the same Class 1A district as West Lyon of Inwood, which also has an enrollment of 161 and is where 6-2, 271-pound future Hawkeye lineman Jacob Newborg is preparing for his senior season.
In nearby Moville, Iowa, twins Landan and Levi Paulsen anchor the line for Woodbury Central, a school with an enrollment of 131 which competes at the Class A level. Both stand 6-6, with Landan weighing five pounds more than his brother at 270.
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To put it in perspective, there are 64 high schools in Iowa with enrollments larger than the combined enrollment of the three schools the four Hawkeye recruits will compete for this fall.
“A lot of small-town guys have gone to Iowa and done well,’’ Waechter said. “They want guys who can play the game, who aren’t afraid to work. There are a lot of good players in northwest Iowa right now and I’m glad to get the chance to be on the same team with them in college. We’re going to do big things.’’
The quartet helps Iowa fill a need for offensive linemen in its 2015 recruiting class.
While coach Kirk Ferentz cannot under NCAA rules discuss individual recruits until after they sign letters of intent, he did address the Hawkeyes’ need for additional linemen during the spring.
“We’ve been cutting it pretty close over the last couple of years recruiting for that position, so that is one area we need to make sure we really address,’’ Ferentz said, adding that finding a sufficient number of offensive line recruits was first and foremost on his mind as Iowa builds its 2015 recruiting class.