Iowa standout becomes Husker for 2008

Just when you think the class of 2007 is shaping up, the class of 2008 is not doing too bad either. The big red had already gotten verbal commitments from two of the top players in the state. Well, they just got one from what could be one of the best in the entire Midwest.

Standing at 6 foot, 7 inches tall and weighing right around 290 pounds, Harlan, Iowa's Dan Hoch stands tall, both figuratively and literally.

His team isn't bad either.

Hoch and his teammates have been on a bit of a run, you might say, losing one game during Hoch's entire high school career. You can imagine part of that has something to do with Hoch himself, but he'd say that they just have a darn good team. "We just have a good team and we are just used to winning," he said. "We lost in the quarterfinals this year, and that's a hard one to take, because we just don't lose that often."

One loss in the last four years probably wouldn't bother too many people, but Hoch is used to dominating. And at his size, you can imagine that he does just that. It gets to the point where he knows he's going to win the one-on-one battles so much, sometimes he actually feels bad for the other guy. "When we get a chance to pull and come around the outside, that's the best, and it's better when you see you have an outside backer or a cornerback coming up on the line," he said.

"I almost feel bad for them, because I know what's about to happen to them. It's not going to be real pretty."

What isn't good for the opponent is good for him, and, of course, his team. But it's also been pretty darn nice for recruiting, Hoch already holding offers from schools like Nebraska, Kansas State and Iowa State.

Hoch has actually taken visits to see each of those schools, and before he even got into his senior year, he decided that he knew where he wanted to go. He knew he wanted to be a Husker. It begs the question, though, especially now, just what could make him pull the trigger this soon.

"I visited there and they have everything, the facilities are incredible and I really like coach (Dennis) Wagner a lot," Dan said of Nebraska's offensive line coach. "It was just one of those things where I knew where I wanted to go, so I didn't see any reason to waste time and go through a bunch of stuff I didn't need to."

That brings up another question in regard to timing, and especially with the other in-state school (Iowa) not having offered: What about the attention you might get? With Hoch being an absolutely dominating physical force and with an entire year to play, what if all the big names come o' running, begging for him to go to their school?

"If every single school in the country offered me between now and the time I graduate, I'd still be going to Nebraska," he said emphatically. "That's where I want to be, and everyone else is just too late."

Dan has a 3.9 GPA and joins Omaha Westside's Collins Okafor (running back) and Lincoln Southwest's Baker Steinkhuler (offensive line) as part of the class of 2008.

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