Jake Christensen has ‘been in the truck' now for quite some time. He verbally committed to the Iowa Hawkeyes back in June, and was the first of several highly rated prospects to make their pledge to Iowa.
The Hawkeyes are now 15 known commitments into the class of 2005, and Christensen has even had something to do with that.
Jake and his father, Jeff, have spoken with several of Iowa's top targets either on the phone or in Iowa City this fall and winter, as they made several unofficial trips to Iowa football games and then again on December 10th for Jake's official visit.
"I think we have a real good chance with the top recruits that we are still after. We have a great offensive line coming in, and I think there is a chance that it could get even better," said Christensen from a cell phone in New York City on Sunday night.
"I have just noticed that it's real exciting around Iowa City because of the potential that we have coming in. But that is just potential; we still have to work. Potential is only what you make of it and it only gets you in the door."
Turning potential into Big Ten championship talent almost seems routine at Iowa these days, as the Hawkeyes have shared two of the last three league titles without having the ‘benefit' of nationally regarded recruiting classes.
There is a slogan that is near the Iowa weight room that reads, ‘Hard work beats talent when talent doesn't work hard'. Now, the Hawkeyes are going to be faced with a talent laden recruiting class, but the hard work does not stop.
"All of the guys at Iowa work extremely hard at being the best, and now that is what we have to do as the new class."
Iowa's recruiting class is rated as the 12th best in the nation as of December 20th by Scout.com, our parent network. To see these sortable rankings, CLICK HERE
While in Iowa City, Jake Christensen was hosted by All Big Ten quarterback Drew Tate.
"We got along fine. It was better than I expected. He is a nice guy. We are pretty much alike at quarterback. I think that things are going to be good for the next four or five years at quarterback." Christensen said.
Jake feels that having visited Iowa City so many times has helped him in his role as a quasi-recruiter for Iowa.
"It has been great, because the more I go to Iowa, the more it feels like home. I am completely comfortable at Iowa, I am used to everything now. That helps me to talk to the recruits they have in when I am there or on the phone and to be able to tell them sincerely how I feel about Iowa." Christensen said.
Jake sat in ‘pole position' for Iowa's basketball game with Iowa State two weeks ago. He sat next to Kirk Ferentz for nearly the entire game.
"We were just talking about certain players. I also talked with him about why I didn't like any other school but Iowa. We were just talking, and starting our ‘coach/player' relationship." Christensen said.
"Coach Ferentz is a straight up kind of guy and easy to talk to. He is more concerned about your life more than he is what kind of player you are right now."
Christensen was named to the US Army All American Bowl, co-sponsored by Scout.com. The game will be played on January 15th in San Antonio and broadcast to a national television audience on NBC.
After that, Jake will get a chance to do something he has not done in a long time; just be a kid.
"I am definitely looking forward to catching up with my family, friends, girlfriend and stuff like that. You know, doing things that every teenager gets to do." Christensen said.
You might be wondering what Jake is doing in New York.
He and his father flew to the Big Apple on Friday afternoon. They were actually going to fly out of Cedar Rapids, as they were making a special trip over to Iowa City to meet with Iowa recruiting target David Nelson on Friday morning. Nelson did not make his first plane and arrived in Iowa City later in the day, so the Christensen's had to change plans.
They were in New York as Jake is one of four finalists for a National Player of the Year Award that will be announced on January 14th, just prior to the All American Bowl.
"This is my first time in New York. It's OK, but the traffic gets me aggravated. Time Square and the Statue of Liberty are really cool, though." Christensen said.
"We are having a great time, we are doing some media spots. Hanging out with the guys and getting to know them has been great."
Christensen rated as the seventh best quarterback in the nation by Scout.com and the fifth best by ESPN Recruiting Analyst Tom Lemming.
To view film on Christensen, CLICK HERE, then scroll down and look in the lower left area for the four camera icons.