Michael Malloy wasn't thinking much about college football. The Class of 2012 running back was completely wrapped up in celebrating his team's state semifinal victory at the UNI-Dome.
As the crowd started to break up and head to the locker room, Iowa Assistant Coach Reese Morgan introduced himself to Malloy. He offered one simple comment that opened the eyes of the high school junior.
"He just said who he was and that he would be recruiting me," Malloy recalled. "He didn't say much else."
Malloy experienced a breakout season for Heelan, who reached the Class 3A state final where it fell to Solon. In addition to Iowa, Wisconsin has been sending him frequent mail.
"I'm just letting it unfold," the 6-foot, 175-pound Malloy said. "I'm only a junior and I know I have to get a lot better. I'm paying attention to what I need to do and not really looking a lot at recruiting."
Malloy was hand timed running a 4.41-second, 40-yard dash before the season. He ran for 1,668 yards and 31 touchdowns (29 rushing) this season and also played outside linebacker. Fourteen of his touchdowns came in the playoffs.
"I would describe myself as speedy, at least that's what I hear from others," Malloy said. "With my running in the playoffs, it seemed people were impressed with my movement side to side (laterally)."
Malloy stepped into the starting lineup as a sophomore. He replaced Brandon Wegher as the team's feature back. Wegher set an all-time rushing touchdown record at Iowa in 2009 before sitting out this season for personal reasons.
"I've kind of paid attention to what the other (Heelan) guys have done and how they've handled the recruiting process," Malloy said. "I'm not really that far along yet, but I'm sure I'll talk to them for advice down the road."
Malloy also has athletics in his blood.
"I'm adopted, but my birth dad was a Division II football player," he said. "He played running back, too."
Malloy was invited and took an unofficial visit to Nebraska-Omaha at the beginning of the season. He planned to wait until the summer to check out more campuses as he'll be busy with basketball and track in the meantime.
"I'm going to try to get to a lot of camps this summer," Malloy said. "I want to see what the campuses are like and the football. I probably won't do much until then, though."