FL Commits Solid

Rick Kaczenski helped Iowa land two verbal commitments from Florida in the 2012 Class. Despite his departure for Nebraska, Daumantas Venckus and Greg Mabin said they are sticking with the Hawkeyes.

Daumantas Venckus was advised as what to expect during the recruiting process. The 2012 defensive lineman from Florida looked into various aspects of the schools he was considering. He realized that some things change without warning.

Rick Kaczenski, who recruited Venckus and Fort Lauderdale receiver Greg Mabin to Iowa, left the Hawkeyes to become the defensive line coach at Nebraska last month.

"It was shocking, but I know that happens in college football," the 6-foot-5, 220-pound Venckus said. "I didn't choose a school just for the coach because I know they can change. I hear about these things happening, but I didn't think it would happen to the team I committed to.

"I'm still solid with Iowa. When I went up there, they made me feel like part of the family. I'm sticking with Iowa."

Kaczenski was Iowa's lead recruiter in Florida.

"I was definitely surprised," Mabin said. "It wasn't something I expected. I guess it doesn't affect me too much because he's not my position coach.

"It's just weird because I'm probably never going to talk to him again and he was the one that recruited me to Iowa."

Mabin said he is still solid with the Hawkeyes. He and Venckus are expecting in-home visits with Iowa Recruiting Coordinator Eric Johnson this week.

"Coach Johnson and Coach (Erik) Campbell have taken over recruiting me and they keep in touch," Mabin said. "They told me that I have nothing to worry about. Coach K is a good guy, he's just going to a better situation for him."

Said Venckus: "They just told me it was a good opportunity for Coach K. They'll find someone to replace him that is just as good. They know what they're doing and I shouldn't worry about anything."

Venckus, who also was hearing from Maryland and Northwestern when he committed to Iowa in November, believes Iowa will find strong replacements for Kaczenski and retiring defensive coordinator Norm Parker.

"When I went up there, I like the way they get things done," he said. "They're honest, hard-working and they do things the right way. I feel like they have a tradition of that. I feel like that whatever coaches come in, the tradition will carry on. When you do things the right way, excellence follows."


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