July 9, 2010

Iowa getting a great one in Duzey

Jake Duzey already had a bit of link to the Iowa Football program before he committed to the Hawkeyes on Wednesday evening. His high school coach, Josh Heppner, was born in Clinton, IA and his father played football for the Hawkeyes in the early 70's. Heppner kept his love of the Hawkeyes out of the process, but he was very happy to see his star player pick the black and gold and thinks he is a great fit for Iowa.

Q: Tell us about Jake Duzey and the type of player he is?

Heppner: He is an extremely versatile and an extremely explosive athlete. He is a great combination of size and speed. He gets listed lighter than he actually is most of the time. He is actually 230 pounds and can run a 4.4. He had a 36 inch vertical and can do just about anything you ask on a football field. The kid is just great player.

Q: What kind of a person is he?

Heppner: He is a soft spoken kid off the field. He has become more of a vocal leader in the past year. He basically becomes a different kid when he puts on the pads and you see him flip the switch. If you stood next to him all day off the field, you would never know about his competitive drive and how good of a football player he is because he is such a soft spoken kid. He is a real down to earth and humble kid.

Q: Where you surprised he picked Iowa, especially after Michigan State had offered?

Heppner: In a way, I guess, but of all the offers that he had and Michigan State coming on late, I guess I not too surprised. I was just surprised with his top three and he didn't want me to list those. I am glad he made the decision because I know it has been weighing on him.

Q: Can you talk about Iowa's approach to recruiting him and your impressions of that approach?

Heppner: Iowa is a class act. I grew up a big Iowa fan my entire life. My dad played for Iowa and we have been following the program for a long time. Coach Ferentz is a class act. Phil Parker and Eric Johnson made us feel at home and that is one thing that Jake really liked about Iowa. Every time that he went back they made him feel at home and felt 20 times better about the program and school after every visit. He just liked Iowa more and more.

Q: Your school has the same Tiger Hawk logo as Iowa, so I would guess that made him feel comfortable too. (laugh)

Heppner: (laugh) Yeah, I had a hand in that. I was able to redesign our new Red Hawk and there are a lot of similarities to the Tiger Hawk.

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