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
State until I came here," Lamaak said
"It's a lot different once you come here."
State games last year gave the
6-foot-4, 250 pound tight end/defensive end a different perspective on the
"Here you have the blue collared
workers and there's something about
State that I just like about it," he
Considered by many one of the top
20 prospects in the state, Lamaak is attending
State's padded camp for the first
"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
A four sport athlete at Cedar
Rapids Kennedy, Lamaak broke his left leg seven games into the football
"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,
Iowa. He'll be on his way to
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
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."