Cyclones, Hawks Emerge as Favorites

Football recruiting may be taking a backseat right now for one of the state's top seniors-to-be, but it's likely to become more of a focus when the high school wrestling season has concluded and spring football and summer camps begin.

Iowa State recently joined Iowa as programs to have offered Walnut tight end/defensive end Tyler Blum, a star in the state's eight-man football ranks.

"Our assistant coach here told me that they had contacted him and asked me to call down," said Blum, referring to the phone conversation eight days ago. "At first I talked to Coach (Chris) Ash, who is the recruiter for southwest Iowa, then to Coach (Barney) Cotton for a little bit. I got transferred to Coach (Dan) McCarney and we talked for a little while. He told me they were going to give me a scholarship to play for them. I got the letter in the mail that just confirmed it."

While Blum is happy to see all of the early action from Division I programs, he also says he'll need some time to sort all of it out.

"I've been offered by Iowa and Iowa State," he said. "I'm not trying to pursue it real hard right now, because wrestling season is almost over. I definitely think about both of those schools everyday and could see myself playing for either one of them. It will pretty much come down to visiting those places, seeing where I feel most comfortable and fit the best."

His commitment could come after a stop at a spring football practice or summer football camp at either school.

"I play baseball during the summer, too, so I have to check my schedule," Blum said. "I don't like to miss a lot of it, but I want to hit Iowa and Iowa State (camps) both if it's possible. I went to Iowa last summer and it was OK. There were a lot of kids there. I heard a lot of good things about the Iowa State camp from guys that had been there. I want to get to both of them.

"I also want to visit both schools on unofficial visits this spring when I have more time, and sit down to talk with everybody and see what my feelings are."

Blum noted some of the positives for both the Cyclone and Hawkeye programs.

"I think last year was kind of a down year," he said, referring to ISU. "I've talked to some people. What Coach McCarney's been able to do there is amazing. I don't think last year is going to be what he's remembered by. I think they're going to go back up and be competitive. Both programs have good futures.

"You look at Iowa's program and what they've done the last two years – that's pretty much all I need to say. Coach (Kirk) Ferentz has taken them a long ways from where they were when he got there."

Blum also indicated that he has received mail from Nebraska and Notre Dame.

Regardless of where Blum ends up, he hopes to play one of two positions at the next level.

"A lot of people are saying offensive tackle, but I don't see myself playing there," he said. "I think I have enough talent and other tools that I can play tight end or defensive end, plus I think I'm fast enough. I have good enough hands at tight end. I think I would enjoy it more and would rather play there."

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