Ethan Hurkett Finds Perfect Match with Hawkeyes

February 18, 2019

Written by Rob Howe

Ethan Hurkett headed to Iowa Saturday ready for a visit to learn more about the school and program. Assistant Scott Southmayd greeted the Class of 2020 Cedar Rapids Xavier standout and his parents when they arrived on campus. He told them that head coach Kirk Ferentz wanted to talk with the family at the end of the day.

Shortly after that, they learned that Ferentz wanted to meet with them right away. He welcomed them into his office.

The legendary coach let Hurkett know that the Hawkeyes liked him as a football player and a person. He extended a scholarship offer. It shocked Hurkett.

“I was kind of speechless. I just said thanks. I didn’t know what to say,” he told HN.

Once he gathered himself, Hurkett knew what he wanted to do.

“Later on when we were in the weight room with coach (Chris) Doyle, I just went and found coach (Reese) Morgan and Coach (Kelvin) Bell and told them I wanted to commit. At the end of the day, I went back to coach Ferentz and told him, too,” he said.

Notre Dame, Iowa State, Northwestern, Purdue, Ivy League schools and others were showing him interest. Iowa became the first to offer. And that’s all it took.

“I don’t think I can describe how I feel. To hear Coach Ferentz say, “We want you to play at Iowa. We want you to be a Hawk. We are offering you a full scholarship.” I’m still processing it,” Hurkett said.

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He feels grateful that he can turn his attention toward preparing for his senior season of football. The Saints will be seeking their third Class 3A state championship in a row this fall.

“The recruiting process is crazy. I know my parents are relieved that we don’t have to spend more time and money going all over, especially since Iowa was our top pick,” Hurkett said.

“We spent a lot of time reaching out to schools and coaches. To be finished with it all after working on the process for the past three years, it’s a huge relief.”

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Iowa has enjoyed a strong relationship with Xavier and its head coach, Duane Schulte, for years. Matt Nelson just finished up a strong career with the Hawkeyes. Schulte’s two sons, Bryce and Quinn Schulte, walked on at Iowa. Hurkett has known Kevin Nelson, Matt’s brother, since they were in middle school together.

“Coach Schulte knows the Iowa program. I think I will be able to fit in, too. Iowa might think the same way, too. They know Coach Schulte well and trust him. They probably know they can count on us to do our jobs,” Hurkett said.

Hurkett (6-3, 230) recorded 64 tackles, 10.5 of which went for loss, as a junior. He added two sacks from his outside linebacker spot.

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“Coach Ferentz, coach Morgan and coach Bell said they aren’t sure where they will put me yet; probably defensive line, maybe linebacker. I’ll do whatever,” he said.

Hurkett plans on majoring Business when he arrives at college. He could be joined at Iowa by one of his classmates.

Josh Volk, a Xavier offensive lineman who holds offers from the Hawkeyes, Iowa State and Nebraska, is a frequent visitor to Iowa.

“I did talk to Josh after junior day. I told him it’d be great to have him play at Iowa with his Xavier brothers,” Hurkett said.

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