Faced with the same decision so many in-state athletes have weighed in the past, Sam Brincks followed his heart. The standout performer from Carroll Kuemper chose a preferred walk-on opportunity at FBS Iowa ahead of a partial scholarship to FCS Northern Iowa.
"I've always wanted to play at the highest level, and I grew up an Iowa fan so when the opportunity came up I just didn't want to pass it up," the 6-foot-6, 220-pound Brincks said. "A scholarship wasn't available (at Iowa), so this was the next best option."
The Hawkeyes are bringing in Brincks as a defensive end but he said the coaches told him there could be a position switch to tight end or offensive tackle. He spoke with assistant Reese Morgan about earning a scholarship down the line.
"It's definitely possible, I think," said Brincks, who helped Kuemper with the Class 2A state title this year. "He just said I need to develop a bit and work hard to earn one; try and work my way up the depth chart."
The Iowa Newspaper Association awarded Brincks first-team all-state honors as an offensive lineman after the 2013 season. He's also stood out on the Kuemper basketball and track teams.
"Coach Morgan visited me last year and this past summer I had gone to (Iowa) camp and performed pretty well," Brincks said "He was pleased so we kind of just kept in touch throughout the season. After talking and a couple more visits to our school, I decided Iowa was where I wanted to be."
Brincks also considered attending JUCO power, Iowa Western, in Council Bluffs. In the end, his love for the Hawkeyes trumped the other options.
"I've been to games throughout the years and was there for a visit day for prospects in August," Brincks said. "I went on a game day visit the weekend they played Michigan. I'll take an official after basketball."
Brincks is undecided on his college major but is considering the business and engineering fields.