Kevin Kasper and Jerry Montgomery were Iowa Footballl teammates two decades ago. They returned to campus this week as fathers of sons being recruited by the Hawkeyes.
During the visit, Kyler Kasper, a Class of 2023 receiver, and Jayden Montgomery, a '22 linebacker, were putting on Iowa uniforms for a photo shoot.
No words were necessary for what their dads were feeling.
"We were just looking at each other like, this is awesome. We kind of did a fist bump," Kevin Kasper told HN.
Jayden Montgomery received a scholarship offer from the Hawkeyes during the visit and verbally committed. Iowa offered Kyler Kasper last October.
Time will tell if this week's reunion in Iowa City results in a pair of pledges. If it doesn't, it's a special experience everyone involved will remember fondly for a lifetime.
"I know Jerry feels the same way. These were some of the coolest few days that I've experienced," Kevin Kasper said. "I bleed Black and Gold, and I'm a Hawkeye through and through. To see (Kyler) get the chance to walk into Kinnick Stadium, walk down the tunnel and talk with the coaches was amazing."
Iowa recruiting Kyler Kasper comes with a unique dynamic. Head coach Kirk Ferentz coached Kevin, who played in the program with current assistants LeVar Woods and Ladell Betts, two of his closest friends. Woods was the first person other than family to hold Kyler after he was born.
So, as much as the staff would love Kyler to be part of the program, his happiness trumps that desire.
"They want what's best for him just like I do," Kevin said. "Instead of pressuring him into coming to Iowa, they told him they'd love to have him there but they wanted what was best for him. That starts from Kirk Ferentz and trickles down.
"I know for sure that he wants the best for Kyler, myself and my family."
The competition for Kyler's services already is stiff and figures to get stiffer. The 6-foot-5, 200-pound junior-to-be at Gilbert (AZ) Williams Field High possesses his father's freakish athletic ability in a bigger package.
Missouri became the latest school to offer a scholarship, doing so Thursday morning. Arizona, Arizona State, Cal, Iowa State, Michigan State, Nebraska, Oregon State, Utah and Vanderbilt also have offered.
Rivals ranks Kyler as a four-star prospect and the No. 95 player nationally regardless of position in the '23 Class. 247Sports sees him as the No. 15 receiver in the country for the cycle.
Kevin's wife and Kyler's mother, Lisa (Cleppe) Kasper, also attended Iowa. She grew up in Ely, Iowa and attended Cedar Rapids Prairie.
"At the end of the day, as big of Hawkeye fans as my wife and I are, we just want for him to do what's best for him and for him be where he feels most comfortable," Kevin said. "We tell him all the time that we just want to make sure he's comfortable and he's happy so wherever he ends up it's going to be a great experience.
"So, we're not telling him to go to Iowa because it's the best place for him. This is his decision. We're just trying to keep his options open so he can make the best decision for him."
Kevin estimates that his son might have a decision by next summer but also realizes it's a fluid process. And with half of his high school career left to play, there's no rush.
Kyler has visited Arizona State, about 30 minutes from home, and Iowa so far. He's planned stops at USC and Arizona this month, while schools like Ohio State, Michigan and many others have tried to line up campus visits.
The Kaspers desire a steady pace as opposed to cramming in visits. Kyler wants to work out with his teammates this summer and fit college stops around that. He can also visit campuses for games in the fall.
"He's focused on Williams Field High school. He's committed to that team, where all his buddies are," Kevin said.
Dad is getting advice in navigating the recruiting from former Hawkeyes like Epenesa Epenesa, whose three sons are Power 5-level players. The Kaspers are limiting Kyler's media interviews so he can focus on his academics, athletics and being a kid.
Kyler has big dreams despite being on a different path than his father, who walked on at Iowa and turned himself into an NFL player.
"He's focused on improving and hopes to somebody reach the NFL like he saw me do. He's really even-keeled and really chill until he puts his spikes on. He's a competitor, which I love to see. He's handling all this stuff really well," Kevin said.
Iowa receiver coach Kelton Copeland and offensive coordinator Brian Ferentz connected with Kyler on the visit. The Kaspers also met with academic advisors with a focus on a Business degree.
Until Kyler makes chooses a college, like other Iowa fans, his parents will be cheering on the Hawkeyes and hoping they end up being the best fit for their son. And if they don't, that's ok, too.
"I have a tremendous amount of respect for coach Ferentz. I know he would love the opportunity to coach my son and I would love that, too. For him to tell us that all he wants is Kyler to be happy is really cool," Kevin said.
Here's a look at Kyler Kasper's sophomore highlights: