Iowa 3A State Champion quarterback James Vandenberg has become third addition in less than 72 hours to the Hawkeyes' 2008 recruiting class. The 6-2, 180 pound prospect holds plenty of Iowa high school records and on Thursday, chose to play for Kirk Ferentz and the Iowa Hawkeyes.
"The biggest factor that made me commit to Iowa was my comfort level with the coaches," he said. "They've been very friendly, and I've gotten along great with them every time I've been able to meet with Coach O'Keefe, Coach Morgan, and Coach Ferentz. It's just a great group of guys, and I feel very comfortable with them. That was the biggest reason I committed."
Vandenberg, who didn't receive his Iowa offer until Mid-November, had been itching to pull the trigger for a while.
"I had it my mind for a week or two," he said. "[Iowa was] my top choice the whole time. I just wanted to make sure he was still going to be there."
Vandenberg, like many around the country, were anxious to hear whether Kirk Ferentz would be leaving the University of Iowa to fill the vacant head coaching position at the University of Michigan. Unlike the public, however, Vandenberg can go straight to the man in question.
"I asked [Coach Ferentz] and he gave me his word he'll be a Hawkeye," he said. "He said all that stuff is pure rumors, he's never even had an interview, I trust him and I think he will be a Hawkeye.]"
During an in-home visit late Thursday, Vandenberg felt like it was the right time to end the recruiting process.
"I asked my questions and they addressed them all," he said. "My dad and I talked about it, and I felt comfortable. I pulled the trigger, and I'm glad I did. I'm ready to be a Hawkeye."
Now that he's headed to the school he chose, Vandenberg is ready to settle into the end of his senior year.
"[Recruiting] is a great process, but it does drag on a long time," he said. "I'm glad it's over and I've made my choice. I'm glad the process of choosing is over."
Vandenberg said Nebraska was the runner-up for his services, after extending an offer a week before the Hawks.
Keokuk houses another top Iowa prospect, wide receiver James Hurt. Hurt has yet to receive an Iowa offer, but Vandenberg said Hurt may be taking an official visit to Iowa City on January, hoping for a late offer. Vandenberg also added he'll begin recruiting some of his fellow Iowa seniors to the Hawkeye team.
"I'm friends with all of them, we talk on the internet," he said. "I'm sure I'll drop them a word or two. Ultimately it'll come down to their choice, but hopefully I'll be able to influence them a little bit."