A Fresh Perspective

Growing up, Ames was enemy territory to an Eastern Iowa native grown and groomed in Hawkeye country like Ben Lamaak. However, after spending some time around Iowa State, Big Ben is beginning to take a liking to the Cyclones.

For as long as he can remember Ben Lamaak has had a place at Kinnick Stadium; his parents have been Iowa season ticket holders for the past 23 years. But the good news for Cyclone fans is it doesn't necessarily mean Lamaak will suit up for the black and gold in the fall of 2006.


"I didn't really like Iowa State until I came here," Lamaak said "It's a lot different once you come here."


Coming to Iowa State games last year gave the 6-foot-4, 250 pound tight end/defensive end a different perspective on the Cyclones.


"Here you have the blue collared workers and there's something about Iowa State that I just like about it," he said.


Considered by many one of the top 20 prospects in the state, Lamaak is attending Iowa State's padded camp for the first time.


"I didn't get a chance to come last year because I played baseball," he said. "I gave that up this year because I want to play football in college. It was one of those things that I had to move on."


A four sport athlete at Cedar Rapids Kennedy, Lamaak broke his left leg seven games into the football season.


"I'm about 95%," he said. "There's still strength things I'm working on. I have a personal trainer now, so he takes care of that. It's a lot of hard work."


Lamaak has already attended camps at Kansas State, Kansas and Iowa. He'll be on his way to Wisconsin, Nebraska and Northern Iowa before months end.


"We just gained interest in Wisconsin in the last couple of days," said Ben's father, Charles Lamaak. "We didn't realize they got a new offensive coordinator from Oregon State. Ben wants to play tight end but he knows he might be moved to the line with his size, ability to gain weight and his footwork. He's got good soft hands for a big guy."


About 15-20 schools, including Miami (Fla.) and Oklahoma have also shown interest, but the Lamaak's have since ruled them out.


"I think he's a Midwest guy and he wants to stay in the Midwest," Charles said. "We have a younger son, and it's important for us to be able to go to Ben's games on Saturday, but also follow our other son through his high school career."


Charles said a lot of the schools have equally great football staffs and academics, so they're trying to find the best fit for Ben.


"He's out there like a lot of other people trying to show the coaches what he can do athletically," Charles said. "So hopefully it'll work out for him."

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