DT Alex Willcox was not one of the most highly regarded in-state prospects entering this season, but it has not taken him long to find his name on the list. After anchoring a strong defense to help Valley's 4-0 start, Alex found himself in the position of receiving a Hawkeye offer early last week.
"I committed to Iowa just a few minutes ago," Alex stated to HTO.com. "I received a phone call form Coach Morgan and I gave him the good news. I also spoke with Coach Ferentz, Aiken, and (Norm) Parker. I liked the school the best because of the coaches and environment. I just had a better feeling while at Iowa."
This has been a wacky year for in-state recruiting. Iowa and Iowa State have both taken more than an average number of in-state prospects with many of their commitments not receiving an offer from the in-state rival. Was Iowa State close to offering Alex?
"Iowa State had not stated a reason for no offer yet, but I did not get a good feeling from them."
Was Alex anxiously awaiting an offer from the Cyclones?
"It was not a big deal to me. I did not like their program at all compared to Iowa's. I grew up a Hawkeye fan. I don't believe this is a Cyclone state because of the recent victories at all. It is still the Hawkeye state."
Alex has already qualified on the ACT and combines that with a 3.2 GPA. Alex has stood out as one of the toughest to come through Valley on and off the field, including a 310 bench and 500 squat in the weight room. His tough attitude was a large part of the Hawkeyes late offer.
"They told me that they saw how physical I was out on the field. They said I had a great attitude, and they loved my character. They let me know that I was the type of person and player they want in their program."
So what type of DT have the Hawkeyes just landed?
"I'm quick with good fundamentals. I shed blocks well and gain good separation. The main thing for me will be putting on size and continuing to get stronger and stronger."
Some intially viewed Alex early in his career as an impact offensive lineman, is there any chance he could fit that mold at Iowa?
"They said in the past that they were looking at me as an offensive lineman," Alex noted. "Now, they are strictly recruiting me as a defensive lineman. However, I do know if I made the move to OL that it would be at center."
Brian's intangibles should remind many of Coach Ferentz's son, Brian, whom the Hawkeyes signed two classes ago. Both may have been overlooked a bit because of their size, but it'll be hard to match their heart and toughness.
Alex has started out this season with 25 tackles, 5 sacks, and 6 tackles for loss. He also is a star performer in track & field, in which he has thrown a personal best in the shot of 53'6.
Speaking of West Des Moines Valley, Alex did indicate to HTO.com that he will also be trying to help get another former Valley prep to Iowa City.
"Champ Davis and I are real good friends. I probably have not spoken to him in around a year, but that will be in my plans very shortly," Alex indicated.
Alex is another tough-nosed player that Coach Ferentz has added to this team. Not only will he help the Hawks on and off the field, but this helps the Hawkeyes continue their pipeline to one of the strongest programs in Iowa at WDM Valley.