Jay and Melissa Kallenberger have made the 240-mile trek from the Quad-Cities to Fort Dodge 30-plus times the past two years following their son Jack's football career at Iowa Central Community College.

So when their youngest son, Mark, committed to Iowa's football program last spring and Jack was uncertain where the next chapter of his career would unfold, there was concern they would spend their Saturday afternoons in the fall in separate vehicles and stadiums.

"The thing we really worried about was, how were we going to divide and conquer through the fall?" Jay said. "I travel a lot for work, so we don't have a ton of time together anyway."

The Kallenbergers can rest easy.

Three years after playing their final high school game together in the UNI-Dome for Bettendorf against Cedar Rapids Washington, Jack and Mark Kallenberger will be teammates again this fall.

Mark, a two-time all-state offensive lineman and three-star recruit by various publications, signed a national letter of intent with the Iowa Hawkeyes on Wednesday morning. Jack recently announced he has accepted a preferred walk-on opportunity at Iowa.

"After our last high school game together, I didn't feel good because I didn't think I'd play with him again," Mark said. "I know he made me a lot better. Getting to play with him at Iowa, it is a great, great feeling."

Mark said Jack barely spoke to him about the recruiting process. That was unless the discussion was about Iowa.

"I let him do his own thing," Mark said. "I didn't want to force his decision."

While both excelled at Bettendorf, they took contrasting paths to Iowa.

Mark, 6-foot-6 and 260 pounds, started as a sophomore for the Bulldogs and had plenty of recruiting attention by his junior season. He had more than a dozen scholarship offers by Football Bowl Subdivision programs.

Iowa eventually won out over Nebraska.

"We told coach (Kirk) Ferentz he owed Kaycee (Mark and Jack's sister) lunch or dinner because when Mark was weighing his decision, Kaycee would chase him around playing the Iowa fight song," Jay said.

Jack, a 6-5 and 245-pound defensive end, was an academic non-qualifier out of high school and was required to take the junior college route.

"Going the juco route really made me kind of grow up," Jack said. "In high school, you always hear that you're the greatest thing ever, but reality hits once you step on the field and play some college football. Mentally, I grew up."

Jack, finishing up his associate's degree work at Scott Community College this spring, was an all-conference player for Iowa Central this past season. He had conversations with the coaching staffs at Iowa, Iowa State, Northern Iowa and Eastern Illinois.

He admitted the most serious discussions were with Iowa and UNI.

"Dad tried to make it seem like he wasn't persuading me, but I could definitely tell it would make it easier on them if I chose Iowa," Jack said. "When it came down to it, the Iowa opportunity was too good to pass up."

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Jack and Mark have been around Iowa football for most of their upbringing. Jack remember his first trip inside Kinnick Stadium as an 8-year-old to watch the Hawkeyes play Minnesota.

"For both kids, the goal was to play in Kinnick," Jay said. "Wearing the black and gold was something both of them truly wanted to do and pursue."

Jay said his two sons have contrasting personalities.

He describes Jack as someone with no drama and a tireless work ethic. He labeled Mark a huge heart and truly funny.

"There has been a lot of press and media around them through this process, but neither one has sought it or been especially comfortable with it," Jay said. "They're just low-key kids that are appreciative of the opportunities that have happened."

There is one certainty. The two won't live together in Iowa City.

Mark will be required to live in the dormitories his first season. Jack, meanwhile, plans to get an apartment.

Still, Mark believes their bond will strengthen.

"Us being together, us working out again and practicing together again," Mark said, "that will bring us closer than we are right now."

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