Blaise Gunnerson entered the summer looking to prove himself. He did that by earning scholarship offers from Iowa and Iowa State at their respective team camps.
The Carroll (IA) Kuemper Catholic defensive end returned to Iowa City last weekend for the team’s annual recruiting tailgate.
Iowa’s locker room and Kinnick Stadium stood out to him. So did the presentation from the strength and conditioning department.
“Coach (Chris) Doyle impressed me,” Gunnerson said of the Hawkeyes’ longtime strength guru.
He also met with head coach Kirk Ferentz, who was interested in Gunnerson’s injury. He tore the labrum in his hip, which has put his status for the upcoming season up in the air.
“Brian Ferentz sat and talked with me and my family for an hour during the brunch about life in general. Coach (Kelvin) Bell talked a lot of football and was just a casual guy to be around who I related well with. All of the coaches seemed very interested in getting me to be a Hawkeye and were a class act the whole day,” Gunnerson said.
Iowa’s biggest competition for Gunnerson could come from Ames. He said he likes both schools.
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“Iowa State and Iowa are both keeping in contact weekly while other schools have shown minimal interest,” he said.
He also holds an offer from South Dakota State.
Gunnerson plans on attending a few games at Kinnick Stadium this fall.
“I’ll for sure be there for Iowa vs. Iowa State,” he said.
As a sophomore, Gunnerson recorded 25.5 tackles, including 6.5 for loss. He added four sacks, one less than the team leader.
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Rivals and 247 rank Gunnerson as a three-star prospect. The latter sees him as the 22nd best strong-side defensive end nationally in the 2020 recruiting class and the No. 4 junior overall in the state for the cycle.
Here’s a look at Gunnerson’s sophomore highlights: