Chase Abbington flew under the recruiting radar for most of his high school career. He struggled as a sophomore and despite performing much better last fall, his mailbox remained empty of college letters.
Then, the Class of 2013 running back from St. Louis utilized a connection. His teammate at Fort Zumwalt South (St. Peters, MO) High, Gerald McBurrows Jr., talked to his father, a former NFL player with the Rams and Atlanta Falcons.
"(Gerald Sr.) sent my film to a buddy of his," Abbington said. "After that one friend saw it, it kind of just exploded from there."
Abbington looks more like a wide out than he does a running back. At 6-foot-4, 210-pounds, schools are coming around to him being in the backfield.
"I don't run much like anybody else because I'm so tall," Abbington said. "With my body size, I can get more done by seeing things develop in front of me."
Abbington doesn't want those people who haven't seen him carry the ball to think he totes it while upright.
"I'm just tall," he said. "When impact comes, I get down low. When I get free, I run like a track runner."
Abbington began playing tailback and full back as an eighth-grader.
"After that, I just stayed there." he said. "I definitely looked more like a running back then, size wise. My sophomore year, I kind of shot up."
Abbington's height also allows his coaches to get creative.
"One of my main assets is if you line me up wide, I can make plays, too," he said. "I also can run it, so I'd say I'm a dual threat."
Abbington reports scholarship offers from Arkansas, Illinois, Iowa, Iowa State, Missouri, Nebraska and UCLA.
"I want to see where I fit in best," he said. "I want the ball in my hands. I can play safety, too. Wherever they want me at. I also want to check into the academics."
Abbington, who is hoping to study physical therapy in college, doesn't have a timeline in mind for his college decision.
"I want to wait to see if I get bigger schools like Alabama interested," he said. "Other than that, I'm not really sure."
Eric Johnson is leading the Hawkeyes' recruitment of Abbington.
"I've talked to him a couple of times," Abbington said. "We've communicated well. He's trying to get me to come out there and see the facilities and all that. We talked about schooling and academics. We've been developing a friendship, so we'll see."
Abbington likes Iowa's offensive style.
"They run the ball a lot," he said. "They're a good school. I've heard from friends what they do. They're a smash-mouth running team."
In track, Abbington reports times of 11.0 seconds in the 100, 22.8 in the 200 and 4.4 in the 40.
"I can play in a system that puts me in the slot," he said. "If it's just straight up running back, I can do that. I can play in the spread or the pistol or the I. It doesn't matter to me, As long as the ball is in my hands."