Jon Wisnieski set a goal for himself last summer of earning a scholarship offer within a year. On Monday, the Class of 2013 prospect achieved it ahead of schedule.
Iowa offered the West Des Moines (Iowa) Dowling Catholic junior a full ride. It represented the first scholarship opporunity for the tight end/linebacker.
"I knew they were impressed with my film," the 6-foot-5, 215-pounder said. "They came to a couple of basketball practices and they really liked that, too. But I had no idea what to expect. It was definitely a little bit of a surprise to me."
Dowling Coach Tom Wilson found out on Saturday that the Hawkeyes would be offerng his standout. Wisnieski called Iowa Coach Kirk Ferentz on Monday to receive the good news.
"He said he was just very impressed with the film that they saw and the basketball practices they saw," Wisnieski said. "He just said that he was, overall, just really impressed."
Ferentz didn't say what position he saw Wisnieski playing in college. The Hawkeyes have been recruiting him as a tight end.
"I would play anywhere they think I can most help the team," he said."I prefer tight end and I think that's where they see me, but you never know."
Wisnieski's parents attended Iowa State and he grew up rooting for the Cyclones.
"I was kind of an Iowa State fan, but I wasn't a die-hard fan," he said. "I just kind of liked watching good football. I'm excited to get an offer from Iowa or any school."
Wisnieski attended an Iowa State practice the other day as the Cyclones were preparing for the Pinstripe Bowl in New York City.
"We know a couple of their coaches pretty well here at Dowling," Wisnieski. "Things have been going pretty well. They haven't shown as much interest as Iowa has to this point, but I'm hoping it picks up in the coming months."
Other schools are showing interest in Wisnieski.
"I've been receiving mail on a pretty consistent basis from Wisconsin," he said. "Notre Dame has been sending me stuff, too. I went to a game there. It was a blast. I also got invited to the Nebraska game when they played Iowa."
Wisnieski, who visited Wisconsin during the season, plans to hit some junior days this winter.
"As far as I know, most of the junior days are on Sundays," he said. "Normally that's not a problem because we don't have basketball on Sundays. Our coach for basketball is pretty understanding, too. He knows the whole deal because he had to go through it with Amara (Darboh)."
Darboh is a senior receiver at Dowling. He is verbally committed to Michigan after having the Hawkeyes in his final five schools of considertaion.
"Hopefully (the Iowa offer) will open up some doors at some other schools as well," Wisnieski said. "I'm just going to take it how it comes, going with the flow, keep and working and see where it ends up.
"I normally take quite a while to make decisions. This will be one of the biggest decisions of my life. If I had to guess right now, it will be later rather than sooner, but you never know."