Niemann Flips to Iowa

Ben Niemann picked up an Iowa scholarship offer last month after camping at the school. It also followed his verbal commitment to Northern Illinois. The Illinois athlete decided to switch his pledge to the Hawkeyes this week.

Ben Niemann was delighted when he picked up a scholarship offer at Iowa's camp last month. The opportunity came with consternation, however.

The Illinois athlete already had verbally committed to Northern Illinois, where his father, Jay Niemann, is the defensive coordinator. The Huskies recruited Ben as a wide receiver while the Hawkeyes saw him as an outside linebacker.

After some soul searching, Niemann decided this week that Iowa and defense was his calling. He confirmed via text on Saturday that he had flipped his verbal commitment from NIU to the Hawkeyes.

It what has been a difficult time for Ben, he declined to discuss his decision publicly beyond confirming his pledge via text.

"I'm sorry but with the situation the way it is at this time my family and I have decided that I'm not going to answer any questions on my decision," Ben wrote in a text.

Ben said he did not know at what time he'd feel comfortable talking about his switch.

Ben Niemann attended school in Indianola, Iowa through the sixth grade. The Sycamore (IL) High product became close friends with fellow '14 Hawkeye verbal, Keegan Render, and the two hung out this summer.

Jay Niemann, a native of Avoca, Iowa, spent much of his 26-year coaching career in his home state, with stops at Simpson (Iowa) College, the Northern Iowa and Drake. Niemann compiled a 32-29 record in his six seasons as head coach at Simpson (2002-07), where he led the Storm to the 2003 NCAA playoffs while also serving as defensive coordinator and defensive backs coach.

Ben Niemann's commitment brings the total to 12 known pledges in Iowa's '14 Class. The Hawkeyes are set to graduate their three projected starting linebackers after the upcoming season.

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