Pike Likes Iowa Gameday Atmosphere

Zeke Pike is one of the top quarterback prospects in the 2012 recruiting class. The Kentucky signal caller visited Iowa City for the second time this weekend and saw his first Hawkeye game. HI.com caught up with the junior to find out how it went and get the latest on his recruitment.

Zeke Pike has collected an impressive list of scholarship offers. As the kids like to say, he's blown up.

The Class of 2012 quarterback surely will be ranked among the top players in America when those ratings surface in the next few months. Many scouts will project him ending up at Alabama, Auburn, LSU, Arkansas or another SEC power located in the Kentucky native's region of the country.

While that might ultimately end up being the case, don't be surprised to see Iowa hang around in contention for his services until the final decision is made.

"Iowa definitely is in the picture," the 6-foot-5, 225 pound Pike said. "When I went there in the spring, it jumped out at me as a place I could see myself being. This thing is a lot about relationships for me. I felt comfortable with the Iowa coaches right away and have built it since then.

"I like Coach (Kirk) Ferentz a lot. He's been there for awhile. I know if I go there, that he'll be there."

Pike and his parents saw their first Hawkeye game in person on Saturday. Iowa thumped then-No. 5 Michigan State, 37-6.

"That was just an outstanding atmosphere," Pike said. "It gave me a great sense of what the Hawkeyes mean to the fans there and I got a sense of what it would be like to win a game as a Hawkeye. I've been to Kentucky, Louisville and Purdue, and that was the craziest game-day atmosphere."

Pike has been rated as a four-star recruit on Scout.com's five-star scale. Before last weekend's action, Pike had thrown for 1,850 yards and run for 950 yards more. He had 18 passing touchdowns and 14 scores on the ground.

"We're 5-5 this year," Pike said of his Dixie Heights High team. "We've had a lot of injuries to key players. But the playoffs start this week and we're 0-0 now."

Pike hasn't let the recruiting process interfere with his dedication to his prep teammates.

"You've got to be humble," he said. "All of this is just a blessing and you can't let it get to you. It's still about playing high school football for me."

Pike also can lean on his father for advice. Mark Pike is an alumnus of the Georgia Tech football program and a 12-year veteran of the NFL's Buffalo Bills, with whom he played linebacker and defensive end.

"After the season, I'm going to try to get my list down to a Top 10," Zeke said. "I'll concentrate on those schools and start building better relationships with them. I'm not going to change my mind, so when I commit that will be it.

"I'd like to commit before my senior season starts so it's not a distraction. I'm hoping I'm ready to pull the trigger by then."

And Iowa should feel good about its chances.

"They throw the ball and they rely on the quarterback a lot in that offense," Pike said. "It's an offense that fits me. They also do everything they can to prepare players for the next level. I know that's a long way off, but there are a lot of Iowa players in the NFL."

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