Mick Ellis performed well enough Friday at Yale's camp to earn a scholarship offer. The Texas kicker could see that one coming. That opportunity was followed up with a surprise.
"I left Yale and was heading to New York for a family vacation," Ellis said. "I was on the train when Chris Sailer, my main kicking coach, told me to call Iowa. I called and they gave me the offer. I was very excited, to say the least."
Sailer ranks Ellis fourth nationally among kickers in the 2014 recruiting class. On his web site, the teacher writes about his pupil:
Mick is simply an outstanding kicker. He has one of the biggest legs in his class and kicks with excellent consistency off the ground. Field goals are D1 ready right now. He is also big on kickoffs. Kicks very well under pressure. A focused and mentally ready kicker. Mick is a fine young man with a great attitude and work ethic. He should have a huge spring and summer and pick up offers soon. Excellent D1 prospect. Offer Now!!!
Iowa took Sailer's advice. The Hawkeyes had not watched Ellis kick in person.
"They had seen my tape and my stats," Ellis said. "They worked close with Chris Sailer. They trusted their gut with him.
"They had a camp earlier in June and didn't find the guy. I guess they trusted Chris Sailer and liked what they saw on my tapes."
Ellis (5-9, 190) earned second-team all-state laurels in Class 4A as a junior. He connected on 13 of 17 field goal attempts with makes from 53, 52 and 49 yards. He also posted 34 touchbacks on kickoffs.
Iowa special teams/running backs coach Chris White delivered the offer to Ellis on the phone.
"I'm trying to get out there as soon as I can to see the school," Ellis said. "I went through all the virtual tours. I looked at a bunch of films from the games to see how the crowd is.
"I'm just trying to get out there to see the school and see if it's a good fit for me. I know they have a pretty good business school."
"I'm in the Top 2 or 3 on the list of all those schools," Ellis said. "For me, I would like to have it decided by summer. I'm not in a big rush to figure it out. I don't want to make the wrong choice."
Ellis is unsure if he will attend more camps.
"I have not decided yet," he said. "I want to get out to Iowa. I don't want to risk losing that opportunity by going to these other camps."