Ask Coach (Ron) Aiken his thoughts on the new prototypical Hawkeye defensive end, and you will instantly know he wants ball hawks. He wants ends with that first step to explode by the offensive lineman, and the hands to help manuever into the flat for pressure. It should come as no surprise that Kenneth Iwebema became the first defensive end commitment for the Iowa Hawkeyes.
"Iowa is getting a great player," Bowie Head Coach Anthony Criss stated. "Kenneth has tremendous upside. At 6'4 225, he still has the ability to run a 4.65 in the forty. He will end up playing at around 250/255 and not lose a step. He can really become a special player at Iowa."
The Hawkeye staff and strength coach Chris Doyle let Kenneth know, too, that 225 would not be his playing weight.
"They have a real nice strength program at Iowa," Kenneth alerted HTO.com. "They let me know I will be gaining ten or more pounds likely each year. I will start out at defensive end with the possibility of playing linebacker."
While at 225, many Hawks may envision a player who is sufficently weaker those most counterparts on the offensive line. Size does not merit strength and determination on a lot of cases, and it has not once again with Kenneth.
"He is consistenly cleaning around 270 pounds with a bench press right around 320," Coach Criss added. "Match his strength with an exceptional first step and you have a good player. I told the Iowa coaches they were getting a good player, and now it will be their job to turn him into a great player."
Matching his abilities on the field, Kenneth's mature stature off the field helped him gain the success he is reaping now.
"He is a very quality person, also. He comes from a good family, and is an older brother always watching out for his sister. I know Coach Ferentz remarked on how much he enjoyed Kenneth's family on the visit."
Coach Criss also mentioned that Kenneth had the potential to really stand out on the hardwood, also, but decided to concentrate solely on football. His ability in other sports, such as track, also stood out to the Hawks in their offer of a scholarship around Thanksgiving.
As a sophmore, Kenneth finished second in discuss at districts with 147 feet. He is expected to win districts this year, and even potentially earn a spot at the state track meet with consistently throwing around the 175 neighborhood.
"Kenneth is a very good overall athlete. He entered our program as a sophmore at only 180, rose to 205 last fall, and now is 225. He puts in the work needed to achieve."
Kenneth also received a first hand opportunity to examine the amount of work put in by a Hawkeye during practice. He and all the official visitors watched the Hawks preparation for the Orange Bowl with a practice on Saturday, and it went a long way in helping secure a verbal.
"Coaches were honest with me the whole time," Kenneth said. "The biggest thing that stood out was while I was watching practice. They ran practice like they always do, and did not change their attitudes to try and impress me while I was in attendance. I liked the whole school and program. There were zero negatives."
Kenneth wrapped up the 2002 season with 54 tackles, including 12 for a loss, and 10 sacks.
Now looking ahead, much like Hawk fans did last year with Clint Solomon and the Fort Worth area, will their be cause for the Hawks to re-enter Arlington?
"This was the first time Coach Aiken recruited Bowie High School. I met both Coach Jackson and he while I was at Fort Worth O.D Wyatt High School, and I took the head coach vacany here three years ago. They followed me over, and now have landed Kenneth. Next year, we have a couple of lineman and cornerbacks that will likely be recruited by many across the country."
So welcome Kenneth Iwebema Jr. and his family! He is another tremendous addition for this recruiting class. Kenneth certainly fits the mold for this class of quality athletes and good citizens.