Leidner in Iowa City This Week

Mitch Leidner might be a late bloomer at QB, but the Minnesota prep believes he can help colleges at the position. The Class of 2012 product will be in Iowa City this week to show his talents to the Hawkeye staff.

With the research done, Mitch Leidner is awaiting the opportunity.

"When I got my first letter from Iowa, I started looking into the school," the Lakeville (MN) South High quarterback said. "I've already done the pros-and-cons list and all of that. It's always been a goal of mine to get an offer from them."

Leidner will get his chance to show his stuff to the Hawkeye coaches when he camps at the school Saturday. It's the only camp he has scheduled so far.

"If I got an offer, I'd ask them when I might have a chance to compete for the starting job," he said. "If they told me two years, I'd probably commit."

The 6-foot-4 1/2, 225-pound Leidner believes he stands a good chance of getting an Iowa offer.

"They've basically told me that me and Gunner Kiel (the No. 1 QB in the class) have the two strongest arms they've seen," Leidner said. "They told me this spring that I'm up there with their Top 4 guys and a few of them have committed. I think I'm in the mix.

"They said they have three offers out right now and during camps they would be handing out more. As soon as they get one that commits, they're done."

Lakeville finished 8-4 last season and lost in the first round of the playoffs. Leidner threw for 2,100 yards and 17 touchdowns with a 56 percent completion percentage in his first year as a starter. He also rushed for six scores.

"We run a pro-style offense like they do at Iowa," Leidner said. "My coach said he could see me in that offense at Iowa."

Leidner is awaiting his first scholarship offer. Minnesota is recruiting him as an athlete, most likely to play tight end. Iowa, Toledo, Air Force, Northern Illinois, Cincinnati and Akron are scouting him as a quarterback. He also has interest from Ivy League programs.

Leidner attended last year's Iowa-Wisconsin game at Kinnick Stadium. He returned for a junior day in April.

"That's what got me. I loved the atmosphere at that game," Leidner said. "I really like the coaching staff a lot. I like Coach (Ken) O'Keefe. They're all really down to earth."

Leidner likes the story of former Iowa quarterback Ricky Stanzi. The Ohio native completed his eligibility last season and then was drafted by the Kansas City Chiefs.

"He's a guy that kind of flew under the radar like I am," Leidner said. "I didn't start my sophomore year, and I'm sure that hurt me in the recruiting process. I'm a hard-working kid like him that fights hard to reach my goals.

" I think Iowa sees that. They see the improvements I'm trying to make from the first time they saw me."

The main area in which Leidner seeks improvement is his footwork.

"I'm at 6 a.m. every day working on it," he said. "Then after school I lift and do plyometrics with the team."


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