Tough Choice Awaits Muscatine Prep

One final in-state recruiting battle between the Cyclones and Hawkeyes for a high school senior is underway, and a victor should be decided by this weekend.

Muscatine tight end Ben Barkema followed up an official visit to Iowa State on Jan. 17 with a trip to Iowa City last weekend. He has a scholarship offer from ISU, but Iowa has yet to come through on its end.

Regardless of scholarship offers, the 6-foot-4, 220-pounder says ISU and Iowa are even on his list of favorites right now.

"I'm going to decide probably at the end of the week," said Barkema, who caught 30 passes for more than yards and six touchdowns last fall. "It's between Iowa and Iowa State. Iowa State has already offered me a scholarship and Iowa's trying to get one for me.

"They're both great schools. Even players and coaches of both schools say good things about each other. I think they're equal. I don't really have a favorite right now and that's why I've got to decide pretty soon."

Barkema, whose older brother C.J. is a scholarship player for the Hawkeyes, was a first team all-state by the Iowa Newspaper Association in 2002.

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