Iowa Plays Host to '17 City High QB

The recruiting process is underway for Iowa City High quarterback Nate Wieland. The Class of 2017 prospect stayed local for his first campus visit, stopping at Iowa on Sunday. He talked with HI about the stop.

Wieland Evaluation

Nate Wieland likes watching film of A.J. Derby. The current starting quarterback at Iowa City High sees a lot of himself in the former Little Hawks signal caller.

Derby just finished his college career as an Arkansas tight end. He began it as a Iowa quarterback before transferring. He led City to its last state championship in 2010 and earned an invitation to the prestigious US Army All-American game in Texas.

As a classic dual-threat quarterback, Derby threw for more than 3,000 yards while exceeding 1,800 on the ground during his final two years of high school. He tossed 34 TD passes and had more than 20 rushing in that time.

Wieland took over as City's starting quarterback this fall. The sophomore rushed 126 times for 753 yards and seven touchdowns while also completing 104 of 201 passes for 1,093 yards and five scores. He was intercepted nine times and the Little Hawks, at 2-7, were a far cry from the teams on which Derby played.

"I went to a lot of his games when I was in junior high," Wieland said of Derby. "Watching him definitely helped. We still have film on him. We talk about how I can be up there with him, how he was as a junior and senior. Right now, I see my running skills being up with his but I need to improve my passing."

Iowa has taken notice of the 6-foot-3, 190-pound Wieland. The Hawkeyes played host to him Sunday for his first college visit.

"I really love going to Iowa games. I love the atmosphere. (Sunday), going and touring the facilities, that was nice. I really liked all the facilities. It just felt like a fun place to be," he said.

Chet Wieland, Nate's father, works in facilities at Iowa and tackles Hawkeye football game day duties. Chet has brought his son to Kinnick Stadium for years.

Nate Wieland's recruitment is just getting underway. He benefits from longtime City High Coach Dan Sabers' experience going through the process with a lot of previous players, including Derby.

From what he's heard, the Hawkeyes are looking at Wieland to play quarterback. He also lines up as a defensive back in high school.

"I haven't talked to any of the (Iowa) coaches yet," Wieland said. "I'm not sure at all how they feel about me. I feel like they see me at quarterback, although I'm not 100 percent sure on that.

"I'd like to play quarterback but I can adapt to whatever position they put me at."

Iowa invited Wieland to its summer prospect camp in June. He said he'll attend it and hoped to line up more with other programs.

Wieland averages 10.4 points and 4.6 rebounds as a starter on the varsity basketball team this season. He plans on running track this spring for the first time.

Wieland, who also is hearing from Drake for football, always has favored football over other sports. Even during other seasons, he's worked on becoming better on the gridiron.

"I need to focus more on my pocket passing and becoming more of a pass-first quarterback than running first and moving out of the pocket to throw," he said.

Academics will factor into Wieland's college decision as much football, he said.

"School is more important than athletics to me. When I go into college, I'm looking to major in business. It's just something that enjoy. I have a lot of classes in business now. It's also what my dad majored in," Wieland said.

Chet Wieland attended Iowa State. His wife, Mindy Wieland, Nate's mother, graduated from Iowa. It's made for interesting times when the rivals play in September every season.

"It gets pretty heated in the household," Nate said.

Perhaps Nate will end up breaking the tie.

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