Iowa signed 22 football players for its 2017 class. As part of the ongoing Next Generation series, looking at the players about to join the Hawkeyes, Land of 10 Iowa reporters Scott Dochterman and Bobby La Gesse take a look back at the recruiting process for members of the class. Up today is 3-star Madrid (Iowa) High School offensive lineman Coy Kirkpatrick.
Q: You attended an Iowa camp and it keyed your commitment. What happened?
A: I tore it up there. Coaches loved me. [Iowa defensive line] Coach [Reese] Morgan loved me. It was awesome. I was going against some seniors that they thought I didn’t have a chance up against an,d then I just blew them away. It was great.
Coach Morgan wanted me to call him that Wednesday. I think the camp was a Sunday. I thought he just wanted to talk to me, get to know me a little more.
Then I went to work Monday. I worked as a ranch hand on a farm. I was bailing hay that day, as a matter of fact, and my dad texted me and said, ‘This is coach Morgan’s number, call him right now.’
But this was two days before [I was supposed to call]. So I … called my dad. I said, ‘It’s two days before; I wasn’t supposed to call him.’ He was like it must be something pretty big or serious. He just said, ‘Coy, I don’t know if this is going to happen.’ He said if he somehow offers you just thank him and say, ‘I’d have to talk it over with my parents.’
His voice, you could tell he had an idea what might be coming. I had no idea. I had never even talked to a college coach on the phone before.
I called. ‘Hey, coach, how are you doing? This is Coy.’ This, and this and that. He kind of started going over stuff. How am I doing? How is the family and all that? He didn’t jump into the scholarship right away. Coach Morgan is really good about talking about how you are doing and how your family is doing. He wants to know you more as a football player and a person. He wants to know about you before you become his football player, which is what I love about him. He is a great guy. I couldn’t say enough good things about him.
This is kind of the time where he goes, ‘Hey, I would like to offer you a full-ride scholarship to play for the University of Iowa.’ I couldn’t even talk.
I was saying thank you, doing this and doing that. I had no idea what to do. He went, ‘Calm down, calm down. Go talk it over with your parents.’ My boss was a huge Iowa fan and the kid I was working with was a huge Iowa fan. So I get off early. I was happy with that.
I called my dad right after it happened, and he started crying and stuff. He didn’t know what to say. I knew it was a big deal, but it never hit me at that point.
Q: That all happened on June 8, 2015. What happened next?
A: It didn’t sink in. My dad couldn’t even believe what he heard. I went home and everyone was home and I told them what happened. My mom’s sister’s husband is a huge Iowa fan. My cousin came out. They just congratulated me.
It was less than six hours, 8 o’clock at night, and I said, yeah. I committed literally that day I got offered.
Q: You committed early. What was the rest of your recruitment like?
A: A lot of big schools recruited me. They sent me letters about scholarships and come to this camp, but I didn’t.
Q: Iowa State also recruited you, correct?
A: I would have got offered. I was supposed to go to the Iowa State camp the next week. Then I didn’t end up going to the Iowa State camp … They offered me in September [2015, his junior year]. That is when [then-Iowa State coach] Paul Rhoads came to my game [at Des Moines Christian]. He had to jump around to all these games in Des Moines.
He contacted me the next day. As a matter of fact, I was on my way to a volleyball game. He offered me then. I told him thank you. I didn’t tell him anything like no. I was just being respectful.