Jack Nickel already had secured scholarship offers from an impressive list of college football programs. When Iowa extended one to him on Friday, it arrrived with added significance.
“I’m very excited because of Iowa’s success with tight ends. Iowa’s tradition with tight ends is one of the best in the country, for sure, and I’m definitely interested because of that,” he told HN.
From Marv Cook to Dallas Clark to George Kittle and beyond, the Hawkeye tight end legacy is rich. That reputation reaches to Milton (GA) High, where Nickel preps.
Last season, he caught 27 passes for 327 yards and three touchdowns as a sophomore. He earned all-state honors from the Georgia Coaches Association in the state’s largest school class.
Boston College, Colorado, Florida State, Georgia Tech, Kentucky, Louisville, Maryland, Miami (FL), Michigan State, Nebraska, North Carolina State, Notre Dame, Oregon, Purdue, South Carolina, Vanderbilt, Virginia Tech, Wisconsin and others have offered scholarships.
While Iowa offered its scholarship after those other schools, it was building a relationship with Nickel for some time. Assistant Derrick Foster has led the way.
“I like Coach Foster a lot. He’s been very straight forward since December, which is when we started talking,” he said.
Rivals and 247 ranks Nickel (6-4, 230) as a three-star recruit. The latter sees him as the No. 12 tight end nationally in the 2022 class and the No. 19 player regardless of position in talent-rich Georgia.
Now that the Hawkeyes have offered, Nickel is researching the school in greater detail.
“I’d really like to learn more about the academics because that’s very important to me I’m not completely sure what I want to study, but probably something relating to business,” he said.
This week, the NCAA extended a recruiting dead period that began in mid-March through the end of August because of COVID-19 concerns. It’s prevented face-to-face meetings between college coaches and prospects.
Ohio quarterback Joey Labas still visited Iowa City this spring without being able to see coaches and receive a tour of the facilities. He then committed to the Hawkeyes’ ’21 class.
Nickel could follow a similar plan in finding out about the town and campus on his own.
“I’m going to be in Chicago next week, so I may have time to visit Iowa. I wouldn’t be able to see coaches, but I want to see the campus. If not, I’ll come up for a game. I was going to visit in March, but the dead periods canceled my visits,” he said.
Nickel will be examining a lot of fine programs during the rest of his recruiting process. The newest program to offer sits firmly in the mix for his services.
“Iowa is definitely up there for schools that I’m going to be seriously looking at,” he said.
Here’s a look at Nickel’s sophomore highlights: