2012 HI Intro: Robert Rathje - Benton OL/DL

After earning 2nd team 3A All-State last year, Benton offensive lineman Robert Rathje is hearing from a handful of schools, including Iowa. Come inside as we introduce Iowa fans to the local 6-foot-4, 270 pound product.

On offense, what positions have you played?
"I have played right guard and right tackle. I can sort of play anything. The only thing that I haven't played is center, but I'm always willing to learn."

How about defense? What position this year?
"I will probably play defensive end. We might have a new coach coming in, so I could be moved to defensive tackle or nose tackle. I wouldn't mind going anywhere or learning any position."

What are schools recruiting you as?
"I think most schools are recruiting me as a lineman in general. I think that it's more on the offensive side of the ball. When I earned my 2nd team All-State this past season, that is the position I was recognized for."

So what schools are recruiting you?
"Right now, I'm getting letters from Iowa, Iowa State, and Wisconsin has started sending me stuff as well. I'm also sending out my information to Missouri, Nebraska, and a bunch of D-II schools in Minnesota, I'm just trying to get my name out there."

So growing up in Iowa, what are you? A Hawk or a Cyclone?
"I'm definitely a Hawkeye."

So how hard is Iowa recruiting you at this point?
"They are recruiting me as hard as they can for me being only a junior. They are sending me three letters a week, generic ones and personal ones. "

Any junior day invites?
"Both Iowa State and Iowa invited me to junior day. State's is this upcoming Saturday, but I wasn't able to make it to Iowa's, I had something going on that weekend."

Did you go to any games this fall?
"I was able to take in a game at Iowa State. I thought it was a place I wanted to be in. The atmosphere was pretty intense. It gets your blood pumping. I liked it a lot."

What are you looking in a school when the offers do start coming in?
"I'm looking for quality coaching and the feeling that I will get the most out of going to that school. I also want a place with a great education. I need a place that can also set up my career after football. A whole bunch of little things as well, like the campus and tradition. "

Any schools sticking out to you?
"I would say right now Iowa and Iowa State are sticking out. Being in state and going to a D-1 school would be really huge, because I would be still close to my family. Iowa State also has a great engineering program, which is a big plus, because I want to be an engineer. Iowa is great, because of the prestige as a lineman going there. It's a pro factory, a lineman nation; a lot of linemen want to go there."

How would you describe your game if I was to a college coach?
"I would say that I'm determined. I do whatever I can to get better and beat my opponent."

What are your summer plans?
"I'm going to be doing a lot of lifting and building my muscles. I will also be working on some stuff that I need to work on. "

Final question, so if Iowa offers, you taking it?
"Yeah, I probably would. (laughter)"a

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