Pella’s Noah Clayberg Weighing Iowa Grayshirt, Walk-on Offers

January 19, 2016

Written by Rob Howe

Hawkeye Nation

Iowa Head Coach Kirk Ferentz and Assistant Reese Morgan spent about two hours on Monday visiting with Noah Clayberg and his parents. They presented the Pella (IA) High senior athlete with another option to their preferred walk-on offer.

The Hawkeye staff put forth an opportunity for a grayshirt, meaning he would pay for his first semester of school and be furnished a scholarship next January. NCAA won’t allow him to be with the team in the fall but he’d retain his five-years-to-play-four eligibility.

As a preferred walk-on, Clayberg (5-foot-11, 200 pounds) could join the team this summer. He’d have use of all the facilities, be able to practice and eventually earn a scholarship.

“I view both of them as opportunities and I am grateful to have those as options,” Clayberg said. “Right now, I am still in the processing stage and weighing the pros and cons of each because there are definitely some for each. I was definitely surprised with the grayshirt because honestly I forgot about that was an option.”

Clayberg, who stood out at quarterback but is being recruited by Iowa as a safety, led Pella to its second consecutive Class 3A state title in the fall. This season, Iowa’s Gatorade High School Player of the Year combined to pass and run for 3,541 yards and 51 touchdowns. As a linebacker, he accumulated 44 tackles (9.5 for loss), two sacks and an interception.

“(Ferentz and Morgan) said that they have been impressed with my athleticism and my success in high school and they also see intangibles in me that not everybody has,” Clayberg said. “They know I will work super hard for them and they said they think I could be a guy to rise up in the program.

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“Overall, they have said that they are confident in my ability to play at that level, and they think I am very comparable to many players who have been successful with the Hawks.”

Brandon Snyder walked on the Hawkeye program from Inwood West Lyon High two years ago and was listed as the team’s starting free safety on the depth chart released this month. Sean Considine, Derek Pagel and Brett Greenwood were among the other players to walk on and start at safety for Iowa.

“I thought I’d be a strong safety there but they have not completely specified. My best guess would be strong,” Clayberg said.

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Clayberg also stands out in basketball and soccer. He carries a 3.70 weighted GPA and is a member of the National Honor Society.

South Dakota, South Dakota State and Western Illinois have offered scholarships to Clayberg. Northern Iowa said its wants him to take an official visit before offering and five-time defending FCS national champion North Dakota State was scheduled to come by Pella High on Wednesday.

If Clayberg were to choose one of Iowa’s offers, he would be reunited with former teammates Garret Jansen (’15) and Austin Schulte (’16), both defensive linemen.

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“Gray shirting would preserve all of my eligibility and put me on full scholarship but I would have to sit a season of football out and train on my own,” Clayberg said. “Walking on comes with its own risks, but at the same time I would be able to practice and lift and be like all the others right away and possibly earn a scholarship down the road.”

Tough decisions like the Clayberg faces take time.

“I will wait for sure until after my official visit this weekend at Iowa, but what happens after that is still to be determined,” he said.

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