Small Town Getz Elated to Be a Hawkeye

Dakota Getz's story parallel's that of Brandon Myers, Allen Reisner and several other tight ends from Iowa's past; overlooked by BCS conference schools, a great athlete who received a late offer from the University of Iowa. Myers and Reisner were ticketed to Northern Iowa until the Hawks came through, and Getz was on his way to Western Illinois before receiving an offer and committing on Sunday

Putting up over 4,200 total yards and being responsible for 51 touchdowns is usually good for several scholarship offers…that is, if you play in large class football.

But when you put up those numbers at a small school, the old adage is that you have to stick out like a sore thumb to get noticed.

Dakota Getz of Meridian High School (Macon, Illinois) had an unbelievable senior season and he was a man amongst boys on the field, yet the colleges didn't beat down his door.

Prior to taking his visit to Iowa this past weekend, Getz had verbally committed to Western Illinois University and felt that he was probably ticketed to be a Leatherneck for the next four or five years of his life.

However, the Iowa Hawkeyes had been keeping their eye on him all fall and winter and when they came through with an offer this past weekend, he couldn't refuse it.

"I was really excited," Getz said. "They want me to play tight end for them. Their tradition is so great; it seems they put out all conference tight ends every year."

While Getz was turning heads in small class football this year, he didn't let the fact that few larger schools were paying him much attention.

" I play hard every play; I will give you 110 percent each down. It was frustrating a little bit. But the way the recruiting process works, it can be a little frustrating," Getz said.

"Maybe some schools thought I wasn't willing to play another position, that I just wanted to play quarterback. I told everyone I would play whatever they felt would best help their team."

Helping the Hawkeyes succeed is next in line for Getz, a player that his high school coach Eric Hurelbrink could talk all day about.

"Simply put, he is the best football player I have ever coached, bar none. He is a great competitor, a great athlete. He played quarterback for us, and he will move to tight end up there. He is a heck of a kid, too. For as good of a player he is, he is a better person."

If those words sound familiar, it's because you could apply such comments to so many of the unheralded players Iowa's coaching staff has brought to Iowa City through the years, many of them coming in without much fanfare or high major conference scholarship offers. Hurelbrink has his own opinions on why his star player might have been overlooked this year.

"Honestly, I think a lot of it has to do with the fact that Dakota is pretty young. He turned 17 just before we started school this year. I think this fall, he really matured as a senior quarterback for us," Hurelbrink said. "He is still growing and developing. I think that hurt him a little bit with regards to getting more attention. He put up good numbers as a junior, but not outstanding numbers, so he didn't get early attention. In a way, that kind of hurt his recruitment a bit. I think he would tell you, and I don't hesitate to say, he is thrilled to death with how it worked out. He won't argue with it at all."

Iowa fans have seen some unheralded preps come to campus on the same path Getz will take; few stars and not much notoriety. Many of those players have stated that they arrived on campus with a bit of a chip on their shoulder, wanting to prove some people wrong.

"That might motivate me some, but I am going to work anyway," said Getz, who is 6-4, 220 pounds and runs a 4.70 second 40-yard dash. "That will be in the back of my mind and provide more motivation for me to work even harder."

That being said, Getz's story is one of those ‘all's well that ends well' affairs, in his eyes and in the eyes of his coach.

"He came by the house to see me after he committed," Hurelbrink said. "Dakota is a pretty low key kid. Sometimes he is hard to read about what he is thinking and feeling, but the smile on his face I saw last night was as good indication of how happy he is. He is excited, because I think he feels like a big school is going to give him a chance to play football at a higher level and he is looking forward to the challenge of it."

"He knows it will take a lot of hard work. Making that step from here to a school like Iowa, I think it was beyond his wildest dreams. He had always hoped for it, but in the back of his mind, maybe he wasn't sure it would ever really happen. He is thrilled to death; there is no doubt about that."

For Getz, he will finish basketball season and then totally concentrate on his transition to the University of Iowa.

"Once I sign, I think Coach Doyle is going to send me information on how to best prepare to arrive at Iowa," Getz said. "It will be along the lines of what to do in the weight room and how to eat right. Nutrition is the most important thing, I think."

Getz is also aware of the rivalries that will play out on the field, including the rivalry Iowa has with the University of Illinois.

"Yeah, I grew up rooting for the Illini, being from this state," Getz reluctantly acknowledged. "My friends aren't giving me too much grief about that right now."

"But all of that is going to be changing, because I am a Hawkeye now."

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