Prairie Grove (Ark.) tight end Dylan Soehner hopes a decision will come sooner rather than later, but the Arkansas prospect is still feeling his way through the recruiting process as Signing Day nears in less than three weeks.
To help him get there, Soehner is focused on two schools.
“I’ve heard a lot more from Iowa State and Illinois than anybody else, so I guess those are the schools I’m trying to visit since they’re holding up their end,” Soehner said of who he's focused on. “I talk to Iowa State regularly and I’m just ready to get up there. I haven’t been anywhere yet this year, so get up there and see it and kind of get a feel for the whole campus and see how it feels.”
Iowa State will be up first when he takes an official visit to Ames from Jan. 15-17, and Illinois will get his second visit Jan. 22-24.
The 6-foot-6, 260-pound Soehner is a versatile prospect who has been offered as both an offensive tackle and tight end, though both Iowa State and Illinois are recruiting him to play tight end at the next level. Iowa State and tight ends coach Alex Golesh, who stopped in Arkansas to see Soehner before the dead period, have prioritized him because of that versatility as a blocker and receiver.
“He’s saying that they need the tight end,” Soehner said of Golesh. “They need the tight end as a key piece to their offense right now and he’s telling me they don’t have time to develop one, so he wants me to get out there early and of course compete my tail off to play and get on the field and create mismatches. He wants a guy who can stay connected in on the line and get down and block and then also get out and create a mismatch. A lot of schools have different packages and stuff and sub different guys in for that kind of thing, so having one guy to do both is a plus.”
Purdue has shown interest in Soehner recently as well, stopping in to see the Arkansas prospect immediately following the dead period. Thus far, though, the Boilermakers haven’t made an offer clear and no visit is set.
So for now, Soehner's attention is on Iowa State and Illinois with the Cyclones grabbing his attention first out of the dead period.
“Iowa State, they’re a little bit closer to home than Illinois and the coaching staff that just came in, they’re a bunch of great dudes and they did a great job last year at Toledo and previously at Toledo. They’re great guys over there,” Soehner said. “The coaching staffs, they’re both great. One [school] is closer to home than the other.”
Ultimately, the key factors in Soehner’s decision will be comfort level, which he hopes to get a feel for in the two weekends ahead.
“[I want to find] just kind of somewhere I feel comfortable at because I’ve lived in the same area, same town my whole life,” Soehner said. “Living somewhere else is going to be different, so if I can feel comfortable somewhere that will help out a lot."
Soehner doesn’t have a clear timeline, but hopes a decision can come sooner rather than later instead of waiting until Signing Day draws close.
“I would love to know by Signing Day and I’m sure a lot of other people and a lot of coaches would love to know by Signing Day,” Soehner said. “It’s just kind of what happens after the visits and how that goes.”