"He recruited me in the eighties when he was on Hayden Fry's staff," Hentges said. "I thought very highly of him then and the meetings we've had with him (recently) haven't changed that. He's a genuine person."
Hentges, who ended up playing fullback at Iowa State, has a son that is receiving a lot of attention on the recruiting trail. Hale Hentges, a 6-foot-5, 220-pound tight end/defensive end from Jefferson City (MO) Helias Catholic, boasts scholarship offers from Iowa, Arkansas, Iowa State, Missouri and Wisconsin. He's only a sophomore.
"At this point, I'm just trying to survey all of my options," Hale said. "I want to look at all of the schools in the most serious way that I can. Last year was more of an introduction process. Now, it's getting a little bit more serious."
Hentges, who is looking to major in science (biology), views academics and program stability as key factors in picking a school. He also would prefer to play closer to home and keep the process from dragging out.
"I would like to have it done by the time my senior season started so I can really enjoy it and not have to worry about recruiting," he said.
Hentges earned all-state honors as a tight end and a defensive end this season. And while he has led his school in sacks the last two years, he has dreamed about playing offense in college.
"I like that you get the glory of being on the line and getting to mix it up with the defensive ends," Hentges said of tight end. "I also like to catch passes in the open field and being one-on-one with somebody. I like the diversity of the position."
Hentges is planning return trips this spring to the five schools that have offered him a scholarship. He is heading to Northwestern on Friday.
Iowa has played host to Hentges on two occasions.
"I really like their style of offense," he said. "I like the coaching staff. I think they're fantastic. I like the atmosphere up there. They have a good fan base. The amount of people they put into the NFL is very impressive. Overall, they're just a really solid program."