"They have sent me a lot of stuff and I went down to their camp this year. Their camp was awesome. I like Coach Ferentz a lot. I think he is a great coach," said O'Brien. "They have really good defensive line play and a very solid defensive line coach. Adrian Clayborn is a great player. I think they are really good.
"I'm definitely interested in Iowa. I want to learn more about the campus and the school."
As a sophomore, O'Brien registered 63 tackles and three sacks in 2009. His season has gotten off to a fast start, even if the Chargers haven't. Powers Catholic is 1-3 to start the season, but O'Brien has four sacks and 37 tackles through four games.
"I think that right now, our team is so young, so I'm just trying to be a leader. I'm not worried about the recruiting process, but more about how I can help my team win," said O'Brien. "I'm excited to go on college visits, but I'm trying to pull everyone together."
The junior has already visited Michigan twice this season and has more visits scheduled.
"I'm going to Notre Dame's match-up against Stanford, and then I'm going to watch Alabama and Tennessee later in the year," said the four-star DT. "After that, it will just be junior days and maybe some unofficial visits. I definitely want to check out some campuses.....I'm looking for a place where I'm comfortable with the coaches and the campus. Both are important to me."
At this point, O'Brien's list of interested schools is in the 20s, with a verbal offer from Tennessee. New NCAA rules prohibit official offers for recruits until Sept. 1 of their senior year.
What did the junior work on most about his game this off season?
"My strength and I worked on getting bigger more like the guys at the second level," said the junior. "Right now, I'm about 6-foot-3, 286 pounds, I think I want to go into the next level about 295 to 300 pounds."
HawkeyeInsider.com will monitor O'Brien's recruitment this fall and inform Hawkeye fans if anything breaks, including a visit to Iowa in the future?