Jacob Sobotka is realistic. He understands his position on the recruiting landscape and is prepared to be patient.
"I'm a small school kid," the Mount Ayr (Iowa) High junior said. "It's not like they've (college scouts) seen me play against (West Des Moines) Valley or Ames High. But I have the speed of a kid that goes to a 4A school, so there's no difference."
The 6-foot-2, 210-pound Sobotka attended multiple games at Iowa and Iowa State last season. He took in the Hawkeyes' junior day in January.
"I thought it was great," Sobotka said. "I've grown up an Iowa fan so getting to see everything was an amazing experience. I liked meeting all of the coaches besides just Coach (Reese) Morgan. Getting a chance to talk to Greg Davis was great and hearing Coach (Kirk) Ferentz talk is always a great thing. I had a great time."
Sobotka still awaits his first scholarship offer. He knows it could take time playing at a school with a total enrollment of about 330 students.
"I feel like once (college recruiters) see my senior season that should convince them a little more (to offer a scholarship)," Sobotka said.
Uncertainty regarding his position at the next level also could have some schools taking a wait-and-see approach. He plays quarterback in a spread option (after being a running back as a freshman), linebacker, defensive end and defensive tackle for Mount Ayr.
Iowa is one of the schools deciding on where he would line up if he were a Hawkeye.
"For me, they want me to get in there and work hard on getting bigger, stronger, faster and being a better athlete all around," Sobotka said. "They'll figure out a position later. I have a body that could be versatile at a few spots.
"If I decided to go there, I'd probably take a redshirt and hopefully by the time I was a junior or a senior, I'd be on the field playing for them like I've always wanted to."
Sobotka feels like he fits well at Iowa. He shares the message the coaches delivered to the visitors at junior day.
"I liked how much they stressed hard work from their players and how much they reminded you that it's a struggle if you're going to play football for Iowa," Sobotka said. "I really didn't know that the culture of their program was that you better work hard or you're not going to get on the field."
Kansas State is recruiting Sobotka as a quarterback and linebacker. Northwestern, Northern Iowa and Northern Illinois also are consistently in contact with him, he said. He's also receiving attention from Yale, Harvard and Penn of the Ivy League.
Sobotka, who plays basketball and runs track for Mount Ayr, has been invited to Kansas State's junior day. Northwest Missouri State wants him to come there for a spring practice.
"They're pretty close (to offering a scholarship)," Sobotka said. "They don't really recruit juniors because they're a smaller school. I have a lot of ties with them.
"My position coach (Brad Elliott) in high school went there to run track. He's the track coach here. My lifting coach uses workouts from Northwestern Missouri State. I think they're pretty interested."
Sobotka plans to camp at Iowa, Iowa State, Kansas State, Northwestern and Northwest Missouri State this summer. The Cyclones are making a strong impression on him.
"Iowa State has been on me for some time," Sobotka said. "Their recruiting coach was down here when I was a sophomore. Iowa State has always been good about finding talent in the state of Iowa."
Sobotka said his most recent 40-yard dash was timed at 4.63 seconds. His best time was in the mid 4.5s. He runs the 200, 400 and 800 in track.
Sobotka is considering business, psychology and athletic training majors for college.