My first encounter with Brandon Myers came in the summer of 2002. I was in Indianapolis, attending the Nike All American Basketball camp.
Myers had completed his sophomore year of high school and had been invited to the camp.
He did not have the best showing, though he would still be recruiting by mid-major programs like Southern Illinois during his senior year of high school.
But along the way, something happened. The 6-foot-4 ½, 220-pound Myers found that he was able to play football at a high level.
His skills on the gridiron garnered the attention of the University of Iowa, Northern Iowa and some other schools.
While Iowa had not offered Myers into late January, UNI stepped up with a full ride, and Myers accepted it.
But literally at the 11th hour of the 2004 recruiting clock, Iowa offered Myers a scholarship, and he accepted it.
Myers just completed a signing announcement at Prairie City-Monore High School today, shocking his fellow classmates with this big black and gold surprise.
Hawkeyenation.com was able to speak with PCM coach Todd Jones this morning prior to the announcement with the promise that we would not make the information public until 1pm.
My first question for Jones was if he was surprised that football ended up being the sport that Myers chose to continue at the college level.
"No, not really. A lot of this had to do with the fact that I think he realized that he was not getting a whole lot taller and that he had a lot of potential in football once he decided to do some focusing there and he has a tremendous amount of talent there." Jones said. "He could go far in basketball, but I think physically, he has a better shot at football. So I am not real surprised."
So when did this ‘focus' on football take place?
"Last year at the end of the season; he had a great year. He made the Iowa writer's first team all state at tight end and he began to realize that people had begun to take notice in his football skills at that time. So I think it became a goal at that point."
As we mentioned, Iowa was in contact with Myers, but they had not extended an offer well into the recruiting process. So was Jones surprised that the Hawkeyes came through for his player literally hours before National Signing Day?
"Well, yes and no. Iowa had been working on him for quite a while. They were really good about it and they kept him informed the whole way in an honest fashion. But it got tough there towards the end because UNI stepped into the picture and they were really working with him and they had a scholarship offer for him, too." Jones said.
"It was a very, very difficult decision for him. In the end, it really came down to that he has always wanted to be a Hawkeye. Once they offered him the scholarship, it was really hard for him because UNI had been good to him. But bottom line, he wanted to be a Hawkeye."
Jones says that Iowa intends to start Myers out at tight end.
"I believe they are looking to move him up to the 240-245-pound mark as far as his weight goes, so that he still keeps his running ability."
Jones feels that Myers has the frame to put on those pounds.
"There is no question about that. I think that was one of the calling cards for him is the fact that he has that frame. He is done growing as far as height, and you can tell the muscle development is there. He has the potential to put on some weight. I don't know if he has the potential to put on 40-pounds, but certainly 20-25 pounds would not be too much for him."
Jones says that he has recently clocked Myers between 4.65 and 4.70 in the 40-yard dash.
Under the direction of Iowa Strength and Conditioning coach Chris Doyle, former Iowa all American tight end Dallas Clark ran a sub 4.6 second 40-yard dash at last year's NFL combine. When Clark arrived at Iowa, he ran a hand held 4.7.
In Iowa's 2000 media guide, Clark was listed at 6-4, 235-pounds. He was not that much bigger than Myers will be as a freshman when Clark walked on to the Iowa program. Jones feels that Myers is more in the mold of a Dallas Clark than say, an Erik Jensen.
"He will probably be more of a receiving tight end than a blocking tight end."
With this commitment, the 2004 recruiting class now sits at 20 members strong. Receiver Chris Vaughn will choose between Iowa and Notre Dame late this afternoon, and barring any unforeseen developments, Iowa's class will not likely exceed 21 members.
If there are any changes, Hawkeyenation.com will certainly keep you informed.