Josh Mueller hasn’t played offensive tackle since he started playing football as a high school sophomore, but that hasn’t kept schools from projecting him there.
Mueller, a 6-foot-6, 260-pound defensive end at Mequon Homestead (Wisc.), has netted several offers and picked up his biggest one to date Thursday when Iowa State offered to become his first Power 5 offer. Illinois joined the mix Friday.
“I’ve been getting letters from them about camps and just the normal letters,” Mueller told AllCyclones.com of Iowa State. “That probably started a month ago and then Coach [Brandon] Blaney actually came and watched me work out in the morning on Wednesday. I called him and he said he talked to the head coach and they both thought that they should offer me right now.”
While the mix is 50-50 among his offers, Iowa State is offering Mueller as an offensive tackle with the projection that his size and speed would translate to the college level better on an offensive line than a defensive one.
Mueller played both offensive line and defensive line in fifth and sixth grades, but since restarting football as a sophomore, he has been strictly a defensive end. The soon-to-be senior doesn’t have a preference at the college level, and feels the transition could be seamless.
The Iowa State offer was special. While the likes of Hawaii, Eastern Michigan, Buffalo, Ball State, New Mexico and Western Michigan among others had previously offered, Iowa State marked the first school from a major conference to offer before the Illini offered less than 24 hours later.
“I’ve been waiting for my first one to see where it takes me,” Mueller said of the Power 5 offer. “I was surprised when they offered me. I was really excited. I’ve watched Iowa State over the past couple of years and I would love to play there. I’ve just got to see how the school fits.”
That will come with a visit either this summer or next season. Mueller is still working with his coach and parents on a possible schedule and timeline.
“I’m thinking about visiting,” he said. “We haven’t really talked about when. I still have to figure out when I can make it down there.”