Tampa OL Likes ISU's Academics

Iowa State's football program and assistant coach Chris Ash are a big draw for a Tampa (Fla.) area tight end/offensive lineman, but the Engineering degree in Ames could be what ultimately lands him on campus as a part of Dan McCarney's Class of 2005.

Tampa Middleton standout Will Bergen currently has a pair of favorites, and both have a big thing in common – they offer Engineering degrees. But the 6-foot-4, 245-pounder with 4.9 speed thinks the Cyclones could have the overall edge with him.

"From what I've read in the books, Iowa State has a very good head coach right now," said Bergen, who has ISU and South Carolina at the top of his list right now. "It's a strong team that's building, so hopefully they'll be doing very well in the next few years.

"I plan on majoring in Engineering, and Iowa State has an excellent program. South Carolina also has a very good head coach and they have had some good teams, but the main thing that pushes me towards Iowa State more is the Engineering program they have. It's higher ranked than South Carolina's."

Bergen added that South Florida, Central Florida, Temple, Alabama-Birmingham, and New Mexico have also offered. He's looking at taking official visits to ISU, South Carolina, and Georgia Tech for now, with the Cyclones set for a trip sometime between early December and early January.

Ash has been pushing hard for Bergen since shortly before the start of his senior season. Middleton is currently 4-1 overall and ranked eighth in Class 4A, and Bergen is a big reason why. He's coming off a big junior year in which he earned honorable mention in the All-Hillsborough County game, and was the offensive player of the year for his team.

The Cyclone assistant has already made a pair of trips to Middleton to visit Bergen, who said he received five hand-written letters from Ames on Tuesday.

"Coach Ash has been recruiting me and is a great guy," Bergen said. "We've talked a lot on the past few visits when I've seen him, and also on the phone."

Bergen says another passion of his is to make the move from offensive line to tight end at the next level. Middleton moved him from quarterback to offensive line after his sophomore year, but catching passes has become something he's good at doing.

"I would like to play in college is tight end, and that's where I feel I can contribute," he said. "I'm 6-foot-4 and will not be the tallest guy on the field, but I have very good hands and feet. I'm probably the best offensive lineman on the team, so that's where I'm playing. But with my speed and everything, I get to play some tight end when we get up a little more."

But regardless of where he ends up at the next level, Bergen's program of choice should benefit from his better-than-average speed and feet.


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