However, after building a strong relationship with Scarlet Knights coach Greg Schiano, the 6-foot-1, 295-pound Hendrikson had no question he was making the right choice when he committed to Rutgers late Monday night.
The final piece of the puzzle took place a week ago, when Schiano and assistant coach Robb Smith spent the day in Iowa. The two coaches visited not only with Hendrikson, but also with his parents. Schiano was the only head coach to visit Iowa.
Asked to gauge the importance and significance of Schiano's visit to see Hendrikson's parents, Hendrikson didn't downplay it.
"Very big," he said. "Not saying I wouldn't have gone there anyway, but they really enjoyed him visiting and he's a good person, and they really liked him, too."
Hendrikson is eyeing a agricultural business major, and when he was at Rutgers he received a tour of the Cook campus to learn about the programs offered.
"It'll be a good fit for me," Hendrikson said. "It'll be what I need to get my major."
Equally as important for Hendrikson was the time he spent with Schiano, who made time in his schedule despite the Scarlet Knights hosting Syracuse that weekend. Schiano and Hendrikson also held frequent discussions on the phone.
"On our visit, he spent a lot of time with us," said Hendrikson, who visited with teammate and offensive tackle Dan Heiar. "He called me some, and we just got along and I enjoyed him and the type of person he is, and he's a good guy.
"Obviously ,with the head coach coming out, it showed he was pretty interested."
The reason Hendrikson ultimately felt comfortable with Rutgers was the way he was treated by Schiano and the football staff.
"It's the support they have as far as getting me acclimated out there, the need for me," Hendrikson said, "and it's a good situation to get into."