Land of 10 has embarked on a series of “Next Generation” articles, a project that aims to bring our readers greater insight into the Class of 2017 signees. Land of 10 Iowa writers Scott Dochterman and Bobby La Gesse are hard at work visiting the Iowa incoming freshman class to show you more than its 40-yard dash times and recruiting rankings. Though the series officially will debut in March, we talked with 3-star OL Coy Kirkpatrick to give you a sneak peek about what you can expect.
MADRID, Iowa — Let’s backtrack 10 years. You walk into the Kirkpatrick house and open the door into Coy’s room. Posters, flags and license plates for one in-state program fill the walls.
Yes, the 2017 Iowa football signee grew up wearing cardinal and gold.
“I had Iowa State everything,” Kirkpatrick said. “I didn’t want an Iowa thing in my room.”
In time, things would change. But before that, Kirkpatrick had to grow up in a house divided. His father, Craig, went to Iowa State as a thrower but was raised in a big Hawkeyes household. His mother, Natalie, went to Iowa State, too. She was the Cyclones fan in the family.
“That’s me,” Natalie said. “I’m why it happened with Coy.”
Iowa or Iowa State?
The Kirkpatricks let their kids root for either team, but come the Cy-Hawk showdown they needed to pick sides.
One of Coy’s older brothers, Cade, became a huge Iowa fan. Coy picked Iowa State, but he didn’t really live and die with the Cyclones. He likes Seneca Wallace (even met him once), but he doesn’t have a favorite player. Kirkpatrick would go to Cyclones games with family and friends, playing football on the old hillside seats still among his favorite memories.
“He wasn’t that die-hard of a Cyclone,” Natalie said of her son. “He probably couldn’t even tell you who the coaches were when he was younger.”
Growing up in Madrid, and living 20 miles from Jack Trice Stadium, played as big of a role in the team Kirkpatrick cheered for as anything. It is Cyclones country, and plenty of his friends obsessed over the local team.
“Everyone else cheered for Iowa State, so why wouldn’t I?” Kirkpatrick said.
Fast forward a few years. Cory is a Division-I football prospect, and Iowa State is showing interest.
In the summer of 2015, he went to camp at the other Iowa school, where the Hawkeyes staff couldn’t look away from the kid who would become a 6-foot-5, 275-pound lineman and display a rare combination of size, athleticism and toughness. Defensive line coach Reese Morgan spoke with Kirkpatrick before he left. Iowa would be in touch.
Now Kirkpatrick needed to start viewing the Hawkeyes through the lens of a recruit, not that of a fan. He said the switch was easy, possibly because his Iowa fandom was casual or because black and gold was already in his house.
“It wasn’t a big deal for him,” Natalie said.
Becoming a Hawkeye
Kirkpatrick did his homework, learning about Iowa’s history of developing linemen on both sides of the ball. He initially projected as a defensive end but will play offensive line at Iowa. He didn’t need long to make a decision. He accepted Iowa’s scholarship the same day it was offered, becoming the first member of the 2017 class on June 8, 2015.
“I felt deep down that is where I’m going,” Kirkpatrick said.
Once he became a Hawkeye, everything changed. Iowa State was out, and his new favorite colors were black and gold.
“It was a pretty easy transition,” Kirkpatrick said. “It really wasn’t that difficult for me.”
Said Natalie: “Coy just goes with the flow.”
And now, if you walk into his bedroom it looks a lot like his brother’s, covered in Iowa memorabilia.
“All you have to do is wipe out the Iowa State stuff and put Iowa stuff in my room,” Coy said. “That is all we did.”
In one move, his transformation from Cyclone to Hawkeye became complete.
For the complete Iowa NextGen series, click this link.