JUCO Center Signs NLI

Iowa Western center Dallas Hendrikson completed his recruitment Wednesday when he signed a binding national letter of intent today. He and his position coach talked to ScarletReport.com about how he fits with Rutgers offense.

Iowa Western Community College center Dallas Hendrikson knows the expectation of Rutgers fans is for him to win a starting spot in the spring, and be the anchor of the offensive line in the fall.

He is planning the same, but the 6-foot-1, 295-pound Hendrikson isn't taking anything for granted. His first step in the process came today when he signed a binding national letter of intent, the first day junior college players could do so.

"I'll just go in and word hard and hopefully I'll get the spot that they told me I will," Hendrikson said. "We were a shot-gun spread. I know they run a lot of shot-gun. I think I'll fit in. We watch a lot of film, and we take care of business."

Iowa Western interior offensive line coach Donnie Woods, who played at Maryland, is familiar with Rutgers' offensive philosophy and system, and he doesn't think Hendrikson will have any issue transitioning to a pro-set style.

"I think he'll fit very well," said Woods, who played at the University of Maryland. "I know coming from Maryland, and knowing the types of kids Rutgers recruits sometimes, I think he's going to fit in extremely well. I think he's going to be, hopefully, with the spring ball under his belt, be able to push somebody, or be a starter for those guys."

Hendrikson will enroll at Rutgers in mid-January and participate in spring practice, where he will compete with David Osei and perhaps Caleb Ruch for the starting spot.

"Knowing that not everyone runs the spread offense, we worked on under-center snaps," Woods said. "It's not like he's never done it. We try to work that stuff every day in practice, so when it's time to do it, he knows how to do it and he's comfortable with it.

"He hasn't had a bad exchange since he's been here."

Hendrikson's coaches say the Scarlet Knights are getting a gritty, smart, tough and athletic player. He was a standout at St. Ansgar (Iowa) High in wrestling, the shot put, baseball and football.

However, there was no question which sport he wanted to play in college.

"It was kind of my mentality and build, so I thought (football) should be my thing," Hendrikson said. "I didn't have a baseball build. I probably could have wrestled somewhere, but the competition for wrestling is a lot different in college.

"I didn't exactly have the body for baseball. I did all right in (the shot put), but it's not as exciting as football."

Hendrikson acknowledged early frustration about coaches backing off because he of his height.

"But I heard from some pretty good coaches that they coached guys my size and moved on," he said. "Not that I'm gonna, but it shows guys can do it."

After committing to Rutgers late Monday night, Hendrikson said he spoke to current Scarlet Knights right guard Caleb Ruch.

"I'm happy and can focus on finals now and go on break for a little while," Hendrikson said. "Yeah, I'm excited. It's already a huge sigh of relief."

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