Julian Vandervelde has achieved a lot athletically during his short life, including a trip to the Little League World Series. Now he is being faced with making the ever so tough decision of where to play division one football.
"I'm going to sit down with my family this week and talk about my two different options," Vandervelde said. "Right now, I'm facing a decision between Stanford and Iowa, and I plan to have my decision made by Friday."
Well, in the case that Vandervelde selects Iowa later this week, Hawkeye fans will know who the first in-state commitment is this year. The only exception though, is Vandervelde will actually be considered part of the Class of 2007.
Iowa's lack of scholarships for this year as well as their well documented recruiting haul from last year, especially along the offensive and defensive lines, has made in state recruiting even more difficult this year. Some of the state's better players are at positions where Iowa loaded up one year ago.
"Iowa told me this is the lowest scholarship total they have had under Coach Ferentz. They are only going to be able to offer 15 to 18 rides this year, and that is a fluid number. They signed five lineman on each side of the ball last year, and only want to take one defensive end in this class, as well as one offensive tackle. Therefore, they have offered me a greyshirt situation," Vandervelde stated.
Iowa State has been one program to capitalize on the greyshirt situation in recent years, and this is the first time Iowa has used that approach. Vandervelde was willing to fill people in on the specifics.
"Well, I would only be a part-time student in the fall of 2006, and then when the second semester begins in the winter of 2007, I would be put on scholarship and still have five years left to play depending on whether I redshirt or not. I kind of like the situation because it gives me a head start on the remaining Class of 2007, and allows me to work more easily into the college atmosphere. It is something that I'm going to heavily consider as my parents have no problem supporting me that first semester." Vandervelde said.
Vandervelde just received a full ride scholarship offer from Stanford last week after attending their camp earlier this summer.
"Stanford was really impressed with my performance, and just the overall effort and intensity that I displayed," added Vandervelde, who has also received verbal offers from Toledo and Ball State. "They liked my attitude and what I have accomplished academically, which showed in the fact that they made the offer before my transcripts even cleared."
Despite not having seen his transcripts yet, there are no worries about his admittance into one of the top academic schools in this nation.
"Well, I had a good idea of my GPA, which is a 3.75, and I got my new SAT score, which is a 1910, so I shouldn't have much problem," said Vandervelde, who helped explain to me the new structure of the SAT that now allows you to score as highly as a 2400.
Julian also attended the Iowa camp this summer where he says he took advantage of the opportunity to learn from the best.
"It is a great coaching staff at Iowa, but not only that; even the guest coaches from other colleges and high schools they bring in do an effective job of teaching. The Iowa way of coaching the offensive line is obviously very effective as shown by the previous success they've had at the position," Vandervelde said.
Iowa left the door open as far as whether they'd play Julian on the offensive or defensive side of the ball, but primarily he is being looked upon as a guard or center.
"I really picked up on the footwork aspect at Iowa's camp. I really learned what steps to take during specific types of pass and run blocking, and really just to continue to drive with my feet. I have to make sure that my feet always have contact with the ground as I'll always have someone pushing on me, and I can't afford to take a big step that may throw me off balance." Vandervelde said.
Some Hawkeye fans had posted on the HawkeyeNation.com HN Clubhouse message boards this week that they felt good Iowa would be receiving a new verbal commitment this week.
While nothing is etched in stone quite yet, they will want to keep their attention tuned to HawkeyeNation.com later this week to find out where Vandervelde elects to play.