"Fantastic," Coach Ferentz said excitingly to Mitch after his verbal commitment. "It is great to have you on board."
For Mitch King, there was no better feeling hearing the excitment in Ferentz's voice.
"My mother and I were just doing a little tour, and then she started feeling bad and went out to grab some aspirin," Mitch said. "I went back with the coaches, and told them I was pretty sure I had my mind made up, but I just needed to speak with my mother. After I got a final assurance from her, I told Coach (Norm) Parker I needed to talk to Coach Ferentz, and it all feel in place from there."
Mitch, also a standout in baseball and swimming at Burlington High, has seen a weight increase to 230 from his playing weight at 215 last fall.
I decided not to shy away in whether the weight should be recognized as good or bad weight as King rehabbed from an injury.
"Nah, I feel really fit," King added laughing.
"Coach Parker told me he sees me playing linebacker. However, he said if I put on too much size, with my speed, I'd make a good defensive end. We spoke about the current depth, and the incoming linebackers. It was good just to talk general football with him."
King, whom only particpated in seven and a half games this past fall, recorded 115 tackles (16 for loss) and two sacks.
Just what type of linebacker are the Hawks adding?
"I believe I bring a more physical game than others, whom may have more finesse or speed. Coach Parker said I was the most physical player he had seen on tape so far, and he really liked my aggressiveness. I feel I have a nose for the ball."
It is a very strong year in the state of Iowa for 2003, and you may find no better at linebacker than Mitch King.