Waukee, Iowa is the fastest growing community in the state of Iowa, and also home to one of the fastest growing high school programs in the state. Waukee High School is not as storied or traditional as some area schools, but they are on the rise. Iowa State senior linebacker Jake Knott is a Waukee alum, and Ryan Glenn will be the next in line to represent Waukee as a Cyclone. Waukee has grown from Class 2A to Class 3A to Class 4A in the past decade and earned playoff berths in each classification under the same coaching staff. The team is expected to compete in the playoffs again this fall with a current record of 5-2.
As a senior leader, Glenn pours a lot of personal pride and effort into how he plays football.
"I have played football since I was eight, but I started out as a running back and quarterback," Glenn commented. "I remember leading my youth league in rushing for two years, and then I was a back-up quarterback. I kept getting bigger, and by 8th grade the coaches realized to put me on the line."
"I embraced it as it was a better position for me, and I got to hit people every play. It took me a couple years to get going, but by my sophomore year my coaches really began pushing me and saw my potential. I got their attention by playing physical and coming off the ball hitting defenders in their mouth."
Glenn only played junior varsity as a sophomore, but in his junior season, he emerged as one of the state's top offensive lineman prospects earning First Team All-CIML covering the largest metropolitan area in Iowa in Class 4A. The achievement helped Glenn's confidence toward achieving his goals this past off-season, evidenced by the work he put in to add more than 30-pounds of lean mass – going from 230-pounds as a junior year, to weighing in at 265-pounds for his senior year.
Part of Glenn's off-season regime also included visits to IMG Academy before his junior season and this past spring.
"I had a blast," said Glenn. "Everything you need is located all right there in one place, and I got to train using unbelievable facilities and learn from some of the best coaches. I learned a lot working with Coach Tom Nutten and Coach Michael Gruttadauria. They paid very close attention to detail and placed a huge emphasis on footwork. They helped me improve my footwork and how I use my hands. It was a great learning experience training alongside a couple of guys, David Knevel and Patrick Douchette, who will also play in college next fall."
"I worked with Coach Eric Grantham in the weight room. He came from the University of Alabama as a strength coach on their first national championship team under Coach Saban and taught me techniques that I applied to my every day workouts when I returned home. I learned the appropriate way to squat, one-legged squats and a great medicine ball dynamic warm-up that I use all the time. I picked up little things that have benefited my overall development."
Glenn showcased his talents this past summer when he attended camps at Iowa State and Northwestern – visiting the Cyclones' camp twice over the summer.
"I actually worked at defensive line during each camp," remarked Glenn. "I don't think it hurt my evaluation at all because the coaches could still determine if I had the explosion out of my stance, footwork, and hand placement to be an effective lineman. I performed well at their camps and knew they would continue to evaluate me through my senior season. Coach (Bill) Bleil attended one of my games early in the season, and after evaluating me as an offensive lineman in that game, they invited me to come up to their game against Western Illinois."
"After the game was over, my parents and I were set to meet with Coach (Paul) Rhodes. We were sitting outside his office with Coach Bleil, and he gave me the impression that I would not be receiving the news I wanted before I walked in. Once we got into Coach Rhodes office and got through the normal chatter, he looked at us and told us it was time to get down to business. He said they were filling up with spots in the current class, but were offering me a greyshirt scholarship honored for five and a half years, and that I would have to put in a lot of time and work but had an opportunity to join the Cyclones in January 2014."
"My mom started tearing up a bit, and immediately gave me a big hug. I wanted to say yes on the spot, but I decided to return home to discuss with my parents. When we stepped outside of Coach Rhodes office, Coach Bleil looked at me and knew he fooled me. It was a great feeling, and I knew I wanted to be at Iowa State," Glenn concluded.
That following Friday, Glenn called the Iowa State coaching staff to accept their scholarship offer. Glenn will enroll in January 2014 with an opportunity redshirt that following fall if the coaches elect. While Glenn will graduate in the Class of 2013, he will enter Iowa State's football team as a member of the Class of 2014.