When the Insight Bowl announced on Sunday that Iowa and Oklahoma would be playing in their event, Cedar Falls (Iowa) High offensive lineman Ross Pierschbacher sent out a message of excitement on Twitter. Those two schools are among the programs recruiting the Class of 2014 member the hardest right now.
The Hawkeyes became the first BCS school to offer the 6-foot-5, 245-pound sophomore a scholarship. That happened around Thanksgiving. Northern Iowa also offered.
Pierschbacher has unofficially visited Oklahoma twice, the most recent being during Thanksgiving weekend. Former Hawkeye, Bruce Kittle, the Sooner offensive line coach, has led the program's pursuit of the recruit. Kittle attended Cedar Falls High.
The Iowa offer caught Pierschbacher off guard a little.
"I thought Iowa State would be first," he said. "With Iowa being the major college in Iowa, I thought they'd wait it out a little bit and see what other people do. I guess they just wanted to get in early.
"It really hasn't sunk in yet. It's kind of crazy to think I have an Iowa offer already. But I'm still looking around. I don't know what I want yet."
Pierschbacher plans to visit football camps in the Midwest this summer. He's also considering a trip to San Antonio for the national underclassmen combine, to which he's been invited.
After spending a few days during the summer in Norman and getting a tour from Kittle, Pierschbacher received a more extensive look at the program a few weeks ago.
"We got there (Thanksgiving) night," Pierschbacher said. "On Friday, we went to some of their practices and meetings. We saw their walk-through. He gave is another tour.
"Saturday, we did the recruiting thing. We watched the game and hung out with the other recruits."
Pierschbacher isn't quite sure where he stands with the Sooners.
"I think they're interested, but we haven't talked scholarship yet," he said. "I think if I get one, that will be later on down the road. I don't think Oklahoma is going to be one to offer real early."
Pierschbacher said he thought Iowa State had been in contact with his coaches recently.
"I don't know for sure, but I had no clue Iowa was going to offer, either," he said.
Pierschbacher is trying to keep this early attention from BCS schools in perspective.
"I can't disappoint now," he said. "I have more eyes on me. I just have to go out there and play like I don't have the attention.
"I need to stay humble. My dad preaches that to me."