Zusevics Verbals To Hawkeyes

Markus Zusevics, a 6-5, 255 pound OL out of Mount Prospect, Ill. had collected an impressive group of offers, but ultimately decided to go with his heart and chose the Iowa Hawkeyes. Read more on Markus in this premium recruiting update.

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Markus Zusevics, a 3-star OL recruit out of Prospect HS in Mount Prospect Ill. has given his verbal commitment to the Iowa Hawkeyes, according to his Coach, Brent Pearlman.

Zusevics, who stands 6-5 and weights 255 pounds, started seeing plenty of attention from colleges during his junior and senior years, receiving offers from Miami (Fl.), Nebraska, Purdue, Boston College, Indiana, Michigan State, and Iowa.

"(Zusevics) didn't start getting heavily recruited until the beginning of this season," Pearlman said. "Last year he had a few offers. It seemed as the season went on, he just started piling on offers. His process might have been more accelerated than some others.

"It seemed to me like he'd narrowed it down to Purdue and Iowa. Those were the schools most interested in him. I know he has a brother and a sister at Iowa. I know he's very impressed with both facilities and both coaching staffs. Something in his heart was really pulling him toward Iowa. I can't pinpoint that and tell you exactly what it was, but in the conversations we had, he was definitely having a tough time making a decision, but that he may have been leaning toward Iowa."

Pearlman added that Zusevics is very close with his family, including his brother Eriks and his sister Melita, both attending Iowa currently. Pearlman said it was a factor in Zusevics' decision.

Entering his high school career, Zusevics didn't seem to project as a typical offensive lineman.

"He was actually kind of a chunky kid," Pearlman said. "He didn't have the tremendous height. By the end of his sophomore year, we knew he had the size potential for a division one football player. By mid-season, I had no doubt this kid was a division one football player."

Pearlman, who had been a part of the Iowa football clinic two years ago, was very impressed with the Iowa coaching staff, especially their demeanor off the football field.

"I was extremely impressed, not only when I spoke to them, but i got to watch them practice," Pearlman said. "I was extremely impressed with the way they conduct themselves, Coach Ferentz as well. If you bumped into them in the hall, you're just talking to another guy out there.

"(Markus is) a person that's big on loyalty, and he wants guys he can talk to. If he's got a problem, he wants to tell you. If things are going well, he'll tell ya. Lester Erb recruited him, and he does a great job. Every coach I met there, everything I saw down there was extremely impressive."

Pearlman believes that Markus will fit right in with the staff at Iowa, particularly when it comes to his attitude.

"(He has) tremendous work ethic," Pearlman said of Zusevics. "One of the few kids I've seen that can find a way to make it fun no matter what's going on. It can be the most critical play of the game or it could be the 2nd hour of practice, this kid's always got a smile on his face, always having fun.

"He's a tough kid, a very tough kid. he plays with a very nasty disposition. His athleticism for his size is just incredible. He's a 6-5 kid that is as athletic as any small skill kid we've had. I'm pretty sure this guy was going to find a way onto the field no matter where he ended up. "

Markus is a two-sport athlete Prospect, which may have been a factor in keeping some weight off his frame, according to Pearlman.

"He's still developing. This is a kid that's going to add a significant amount of body weight in the next 18-24 months of his life. He's a 2-sport athlete that stays very busy. Once this guy gets on a football-only regimen, he'll gain a tremendous amount of body weight."

Pearlman praised Zusevics' agility and quickness, which he said helped him develop into an unbelievable lineman. Pearlman also said that if their offense had a spot for a tight end, Markus would have been that tight end.

Markus will be coming in as a grayshirt, which means during Fall 2007, he will not be on scholarship and will not be allowed to participate with the team, but will be given a scholarship the following semester. Most recently, Julian Vandervelde took this route, but was given a scholarship in the fall after a player or two left the team.

This will be the second Mount Prospect product on the Iowa Hawkeye team. Junior college transfer Bryon Gattas attended Mount Prospect before enrolling at Harper Junior College.

Look for a premium Q&A with Markus later this evening.

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