A lot has happened with Iowa City West offensive lineman Alex Kleinow since he netted an Iowa State offer just more than 12 months ago before his junior season.
The 6-foot-6, 285-pound tackle has gotten much bigger, but he needed to prove himself to the new Iowa State coaching staff after a junior season in which he tore his meniscus and broke his tibia in his right leg. Kleinow’s opportunity to do that came at Iowa State’s Big Man camp on Monday, and his offer was reaffirmed just days later in offensive line coach Tom Manning’s office Saturday.
His decision? Well that took only 15 minutes.
“They really wanted to offer me for a long time, they just wanted to make sure, since I was injured my junior year,” Kleinow said of Iowa State. “The camp was a huge thing and they knew I was coming Friday to spend the night, so they waited and offered me [Saturday].”
Kleinow, who held offers from Colorado State, Buffalo, Toledo and a number of FCS programs to date, took some time to think on the offer before committing to the Cyclones on Saturday before his return trip to Iowa City.
“I just wanted to make sure and then I called my parents and I kind of just sat there thinking about my experience and everything,” Kleinow said. “He offered me in his office when we were sitting there and then we went in and told [Coach Matt] Campbell that I committed. I knew [the offer] was coming since they hinted at it for a long time. I knew they really wanted to, it was just great to know that and it was kind of just the right feel.
“[Manning] just about jumped over his desk when I told him in his office and then Campbell came up and he hugged me and he was really excited.”
Kleinow was impressive during Iowa State’s camp Monday. He has a good frame to develop into and was tough and physical during drills. While his injuries sustained last fall led to a lack of junior film and thus a slower recruitment, the Cyclones’ glimpse at him was enough to pull the trigger on an offer for the in-state prospect.
“He said that he just saw how competitive I was and that I played like a crazy shithead, but in a good way and [he] liked how aggressive I was in my play and everything,” Kleinow said of Manning. “[He said] the only person he’s ever seen that had as good of a camp as me was an offensive lineman who’s playing for the Houston Texas right now.”
While Kleinow had expected to wait through his season to make a decision, he had already seen and heard enough when the Iowa State offer came in.
“It feels like a huge relief, like a huge weight is lifted off my shoulder,” Kleinow said. “I don’t have to worry about all of the other recruiting BS, and I know I have a place in Ames.”