California QB Cameron Ely Eyes Iowa

Iowa fans are no longer surprised to read a recruit talk about how Drew Tate's pass to Warren Holloway in the Capital One Bowl was something they took notice of last year. However, it's mildly surprising in July of 2005 to hear a prospect comment on how Nathan Chandler opened his eyes to the Iowa football program. That is the case with regards to Cameron Ely. We spoke with Ely about his impressions of Iowa as the Hawkeyes recently wrote him a hand-written letter.

Cameron Ely of San Marcos High School (Santa Barbara, Calif.) stands 6-feet-6 and weighs 210-pounds. He is a quarterback that has run the option (4.75 forty) as well as being able to throw on the run.

He recently received a hand written letter from Iowa and is interested in learning more about the school and its football program.

"My dad and I are looking at heading out and visiting several colleges yet this summer, and I definitely think we will hit the Midwest." Ely told on Wednesday.

"I got a letter from them a few weeks ago, but I really only saw it a few days ago. I have been getting a lot of mail. I had heard from other schools in the Big Ten like Northwestern, Michigan State and Illinois, but Iowa just came into the picture."

"It was a handwritten letter from Coach (Eric) Johnson, who is their Tight Ends coach and Recruiting Coordinator. He said that if I had any questions about Iowa to give him a call."

This was not the first time that he had paid notice to Iowa, as the 2003 Hawkeyes, namely 6-7 quarterback Nathan Chandler grabbed his attention.

"The thing that caught my eye about their program was Nathan Chandler in the 2003 season, because he is a big quarterback and I am the same way. I am just under 6-6. I also saw the highlights of Iowa's Capital One game on Sportscenter. From talk that I have heard that Iowa might be the best fit for me in the Big Ten, based on what I have seen of Nathan Chandler. He was big as well as mobile. Plus I have been given advice from recruiters and people I trust." Ely said.

"I watched a few of their games in a row in 2003 with my dad at our home, and we spotted him and my dad made a few comments and at the time I was probably just 6-3, but I knew that I was going to keep growing. So I watched him, and I did grow and now I am his height. I feel like I can be a quarterback like he was at Iowa. They were always talking about how he was the tallest quarterback in the country."

Another thing Ely has noticed regarding Iowa's football program is how they have started a new quarterback in nearly every year of the Kirk Ferentz era.

"They use what they have in their players. They had so many new quarterbacks over the years, so that makes you think that they know what they are doing with their people," said the senior to be Ely who will turn 17 in late October.

"Like here at my school, my first two years of football here, we ran the option, something we have done since the 1950's, because we never had a throwing quarterback. In the youth leagues I was a passer, and as I grew, I got stronger and my coach saw me throwing during spring football before my junior year and my coach decided to completed change our offense. So we changed our offense based on the personnel we have, and I think Iowa does that, too.

Another aspect of Iowa's offense that Ely has noticed is how Hawkeye quarterbacks throw on the run.

"Throwing on the run is something I do well. We run a lot of plays like that, and we do a lot of roll out options, where I can run or throw. I love throwing on the run, and I think I do that as good as anything else.

Though Ely has yet to gain any high-major offers, he believes that will happen at some point and he is trying to take as much away from the recruiting process as he can.

"This entire process has been eye opening. I am learning a lot at the camps and combines that I have attended. Some of the things you wish you knew before, and some of the things you are glad to know for the future. I am just eager to get an opportunity at a good school."

Ely's schools of interest, in no particular order are Oregon, Stanford, Cal, Arizona, Arizona State, NC State, Iowa, Tennessee, Colorado and Colorado State.

As for distance from home being a factor, Ely had this to say:

"Not really. My parents feel that whatever is the best fit for me, distance does not get in the way of that. I feel the same way; that is what planes are for."

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