Big Lineman From Minn. Visits Hawkeyes

Jonah Pirsig lives in the land of the Golden Gophers. While Minnesota remains in the mix for his services, the 2012 offensive lineman is looking hard at a couple of the Gophers biggest rivals - Iowa and Wisconsin.

Living in Minnesota, Jonah Pirsig hears plenty of people encouraging him to stay home for college. A dignitary in his hometown counters that pressure.

"The mayor (Robert Hammond) went to Iowa," Pirsig said. "He understands why I'm looking at them. He's been standing up for me."

Pirsig is emerging as a top offensive linemen in the Class of 2012. At 6-foot-9, 285 pounds, the Blue Earth (Mn.) Area High product holds offers from the Hawkeyes and Wisconsin. He's also frequently receiving mail from Alabama, Texas A&M and Northwestern.

"It's pretty crazy," Pirsig said of the early attention from prominent football programs. " I don't think it's really hit me yet. It's kind of the talk of the town in a way. It doesn't happen much around here."

Pirsig was told that the last Blue Earth (population is about 3,700) athlete to earn a Division I football scholarship did so in the 1960s. That player went to the University of Minnesota.

"I'm a little bit shaky on the Gophers right now," Pirsig said. "Now it kind of depends on who they bring in. I wasn't real sure when Coach (Tim) Brewster was there because of all the talk about him being let go. They're still an option, I guess."

The Minnesota football program has fallen on some hard times recently. The Gophers fired Brewster during this season.

Pirsig has visited Minnesota and Wisconsin twice. He took in the Iowa-Wisconsin game at Kinnick Stadium on Sept. 23.

"Iowa was just a terrific atmosphere," Pirsig said. "It was crazy. It's crazy how much the Hawkeye fans love Iowa football. It's what it's about down there."

Pirsig attended Iowa's open spring practice and also participated in an invitational camp this summer.

"They're definitely selling to me their offensive line tradition," Pirsig said of the Hawkeyes. "Coach (Kirk) Ferentz knows a lot about the position. They put a lot of guys in the pros."

At least early, this looks like another recruiting battle between Iowa and Wisconsin. The Badgers are working hard on Pirsig.

"They send me the most personal letters," Pirsig said. "I got a personal letter from every one of their coaches including the head coach. It's a bit overwhelming."

Pirsig is impressed with Wisconsin's offensive line tradition.

"It's pretty much the same thing as Iowa," he said.

There's a good chance that the Hawkeyes and the Badgers will be in the race for Pirsig until the end.

"I kind of want to stay closer to home," Pirsig said. "I would like for my family to come see me play a bunch of times. But in the end, I'm going to go where it's best for me."

Pirsig doesn't have a timeline for his decision.

"I'm just going to lay low and not commit yet," he said. "I'm just going to lay low until I know exactly what's out there."

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