Iowa Offers First

Iowa offered Nebraska native Mike Shoff a scholarship last year. Now with the lineman's class next up to sign letters of intent, can the Hawkeyes hold off the Huskers?

When Mike Shoff hears the name he chuckles. He knows the recruiting story regarding Zach Sterup and agreed that his situation parallels that of his fellow Nebraska prep lineman.

Iowa offered both players scholarships before any other school. They grew up rooting mightily for the home state Huskers, however.

Sterup danced the dance with Iowa, who courted him aggressively. Nebraska finally came with an offer at the end of May, 2010. A month later, he chose the Huskers over the Hawkeyes.

Iowa extended the first, and to date, only scholarship offer to Shoff, when he was a sophomore. Like Sterup, Shoff has been considered by many to be the top talent in the state for his class.

"My grandparents live in Wisconsin, so we've been going through Iowa to get there all of my life," the 6-foot-6, 290-pound Shoff said. "I've been Iowa City a lot of times but never really seen the college. I really have built a good relationship with (Iowa Assistant) Reese Morgan. It's a great football program with a great tradition. I've followed Coach (Kirk) Ferentz for as long as I've followed football. That's kind of what I'm going off of right now."

Shoff attended Nebraska's junior day recently. The Husker coaches said they were still evaluating him.

Shoff admitted that it would be tough to turn his back on the Big Red if they offer a scholarship.

"Well, Nebraska is No. 1 on my list," the Cambridge resident said. "I dreamed about playing there since I was a little kid. I've watched every one of their games for as far back as I can remember. If they offer, it's going to be tough to say no. But if they don't, Iowa would be my first choice."

Nebraska projects Shoff as a offensive lineman while the Hawkeyes see him on defense right now, he said. The Husker coaches said at this point they had not seen enough of him on offense to pull the trigger on an offer.

Kansas State ranks as the third team in Shoff's Top 3. He plans to attend camps at all three schools this summer.

"I'm also getting letters from all the schools in the SEC, PAC-10, Big 12 and Big Ten," Shoff said.

Shoff captured his second consecutive wrestling state title recently, finishing the season at 36-0. He finished runner-up as a freshman.

"I think wrestling helps a lot with football in terms of forward pressure and staying low," he said.

Shoff said he's an aggressive player on the football field.

"I make a lot of plays," he said. "I can run a 4.7-(second), 40-(yard dash). There aren't a lot of guys my size that can do that."

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