2012 QB Speaks Highly of Hawkeye Visit

Zeke Pike holds a special place in his mind for Iowa, who was the first school to heavily recruit him. The 2012 QB prospect from Kentucky saw Iowa City for the first time last week when he attended a one-day camp. He left town with a scholarship offer and a lot of nice things to say about the Hawkeyes. Get the latest in this Hawkeye Insider update.

Zeke Pike was unsure how the recruiting process would go. As a high school sophomore, he wasn't even schooled on how it started.

Then, the Hawkeyes came along.

"Iowa was the first school to show a lot of interest, I'd say back in December," the 2012 quarterback prospect said. "They were the first to give me feedback and really asked for me to get out there in person.

"They really gave me an idea of how recruiting goes. They also jumped started things for me."

Pike finally got to visit Iowa City last week. He left town with a verbal scholarship offer from the Hawkeyes.

"It went really well," the 6-foot-5, 225-pound Kentucky resident said. "I really like Kirk Ferentz and Ken O'Keefe and it was a real friendly environment. I see it as a good fit for me."

Ferentz and O'Keefe evaluated Pike as he threw to receivers at a one-day camp. Then, they offered him a scholarship.

"A lot of the schools want to see you throw and get to meet with you face-to-face to see what type of kid you are and what type of leadership skills you might have," Pike said. "As a quarterback, I understand that. They want to make sure they're not recruiting some kind of knucklehead."

Pike added his Iowa offer to a group that included Purdue, Texas A&M, Louisville, Kentucky, Cincinnati, Eastern Illinois, Ohio and Toledo. The signal caller planned to meet with the Boilermakers on Friday before heading to Oklahoma State from West Lafayette a day later. He also set up visits to Louisville, Michigan State, Indiana and Auburn this summer and hoped to get to A&M.

Pike visited South Carolina after Iowa last week. He said he's hasn't considered distance from his home as a factor in making a decision.

"A lot of people think Kentucky to Iowa and aren't sure," Pike said. "We got there in six hours. It was a really easy drive."

Pike hears people say that Iowa is a running back school, but he sees the Hawkeyes has more than a grind-it-out program.

"They get good talent at receiver," he said. "Coach O'Keefe talked about getting the ball to the receivers and throwing the ball. It's a balanced attack.

"I think I fit well into that system. I run some draws and can move, but I'm more of a pocket quarterback than a runner."

Pike hitting it off with Ferentz and O'Keefe should help Iowa's chances.

"Really, the most important thing for me is the relationship with the head coach and the position coach," he said. "How you relate with the coach is important because that's like your dad when you're away from home."

Pike said he hoped to wrap up his recruitment before his senior year of high school.

"I don't want to have that distraction," he said. "It might even happen the summer before my senior year if I feel like I've found the right place. On these visits, I'm trying to get a feel as much as I can. Even if football was out of the equation, I want to be in an environment I like because I'm going to be there four or five years."

The Iowa staff talked to Pike about returning to Iowa City for a game-day visit so he can get a feel for Kinnick Stadium.

"Coach Ferentz invited me up for the Penn State game," Pike said. "It's a night game on national TV. I'll get up there for that. Like I said, it's an easy drive."

Zeke is the son of former Georgia Tech and Buffalo Bill, Mark Pike.

Zeke has been playing linebacker as he waits his turn at quarterback, the position many project him to play at the next level.

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