Now that Iowa fans have seen the amazing recruiting windfall that the Hawkeyes received during Saturday's US Army All American Bowl, we can publish an interview that Jon Miller held with Jake Christensen on Wednesday of this week.
Though Jake committed to Iowa back in June, he has been working extremely hard for the Hawkeyes in the role of a recruiter. There is no doubt that his efforts and abilities helped Iowa land perhaps its best recruiting class in school history. Jake's father, Jeff, has also been very instrumental in helping Iowa targets see the opportunities that await them in Iowa City.
I was elated. To know that I will have those two guys on the corners protecting me, that is something that every quarterback knows that he needs and that is what every offense needs to be successful, and we have two of the top in the country.
Does it make it more special considering the bond that you and Dan have been able to forge over the past 12 months? (NOTE: They met for the first time at the 2004 US Army Junior Combine)
Yeah, it helps a lot. Dan and me have become real, real close and it's something that I can see paying off in the future. We will have a lot of great players on our team; with Dace, Dan and me, we have become close, and hopefully our team can see that and build from that.
Ryan Bain is another new teammate of yours, and you played against him at the high school level. Were you excited when your learned that he would be joining you at Iowa?
Oh yeah, I was real excited. He is a different breed. He is a guy who is going to get it done no matter what, and you can't tell him different. Talking about a guy like Bain, it gives me chills. I know that he is a guy that I want in my corner in the fourth quarter or in a dark alley, because he has that toughness that I love and that we all love.
On the field, he becomes a different animal. I played against him this year, and he was gunning for me, I will tell you that much. Every time he had a chance to get a hit in on me, he did it. That is something that Big Ten quarterbacks are going to have to fear for the next five years; I feel sorry for them.
You and your father certainly did not shy away from the recruiting process after you had committed. Did you enjoy being a part of that?
I liked it a lot, because the guys that we are recruiting, there are no celebrities. The guys that Iowa recruits, they are not reading their press clippings; that is not what Iowa is about. They are about integrity and great people, and that is what these guys are about. So it has been a joy to talk with them on the phone and see them at things like this. They are not guys that you will ever get sick of; you just want to be around them more and more.
Do you think that your father will be disappointed once this recruiting class is all signed and delivered? He was a big part of it, and he certainly helped Iowa's cause. Do you think he will miss it?
I think he might get bored and he might have to just enjoy it for once.
Was this special for you to be working on the same ‘team' as your father, and sharing the entire process with him?
I can't put it into words how important it is and how much it has helped me. Not many guys have a father that played in the NFL and know so much about the game. He is just a person who will observe for a good five to ten minutes, and he will see everything. He can judge me in every phase of the game and that really helps me. Without him, I don't know where I would be.
How is that going to feel at the next level and your father is not right there beside you?
It will be different for a little bit, but hopefully he will have the same seat for every game, so I will be able to give him a head nod. But we will be on the phone a lot and he will be with me every step of the way
Do you ever see college as a chance to make your own name for yourself as opposed to being the son of a former NFL quarterback?
That has never been a concern. He never made me feel like I was in a shadow. Nothing has come easy for me because of that. He just wants the best for me.
But it's something I am proud of. It has never been a pressure to me. He deserves a lot of the credit for where I am at, and it's a joy to share this with him.
I was talking with Tony Moeaki and he told me that he has never caught passes like yours.
To be honest, when in doubt down here, I throw to Tony. His hands are so soft, he is so smooth and he always gets open. He is beating DB's, guys who receivers cannot even get around. He and Trey (Stross)…I really don't know what to say. It's going to be great.
When you got down here, you knew that Trey would be joining you at Iowa. You two have hooked up a lot during practices. Does that give you guys a head start on your Iowa career?
It helps a lot, because we get to know one another. He may play next year and I may play later, but we will have that great head start, and it's almost like going to school together for another year. We are getting an extra ‘year' out here together, and that will help out a lot.