Iowa Makes Strong Impression on Jonathan Odom

March 6, 2019

Written by Rob Howe

Back in the fall, Iowa became one of the first schools to offer Jonathan Odom a scholarship. Since then, his recruitment has soared.

Name brands like Alabama, Auburn, Florida, Florida State, Miami, Michigan and Penn State have extended opportunities to the 2020 Tampa (FL) Jesuit tight end. Nebraska, Wisconsin, Louisville, Iowa State and Georgia Tech also were among the more than 30 offers on the table.

Odom hasn’t forgotten the programs that wanted him first. Iowa saw something before a lot of the other schools did.

He and his family showed their gratitude this past weekend, spending two days on campus. He came away feeling even better about the Hawkeyes.

“Leaving Iowa, I was very impressed with every aspect of Iowa, had an amazing visit and may very possibly be back,” he said.

Odom (6-6, 230) spent an hour on Saturday talking with head coach Kirk Ferentz. He then toured the football facilities and went to the Iowa basketball game at Carver-Hawkeye Arena.

Sunday, Odom received one-on-one time with offensive coordinator/tight ends coach Brian Ferentz.

“He talked about how I can make an impact in their pass game and run game, and he just answered all the questions from me and my family,” Odom said.

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A campus tour, photo shoot and more conversations with the coaches followed.

“I really loved talking to all the coaches. The coaches answered all my questions and told me how well I fit in,” Odom said.

His visit coincided with former Iowa tight ends Noah Fant and T.J. Hockenson dominating the NFL combine in Indianapolis. He learned more about them, current all-pro George Kittle and the strong history at the position.

“The tight end tradition there is great. They obviously can show that with the two best tight ends in the draft this year both being from Iowa,” Odom said.

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A built-in recruiter is helping the Hawkeyes down in Florida. Tampa Jesuit safety Dane Belton is a member of Iowa’s ’19 recruiting class.

“Dane is one of my great friends. He’s been pushing for me to go to Iowa a lot. But he also wants the best for me, even though we all know he wants me at Iowa as well,” Odom said with a chuckle.

Odom experienced what an Iowa winter feels like during his visit. Temperatures dipped below zero with the wind chill.

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“Man, it was cold, but the weather doesn’t matter in my decision. I’ll be going wherever is best for me. That could be in nice weather year-round, freezing or hot. It doesn’t matter,” he said.

As a junior, Odom caught 20 passes for 275 yards and nine touchdowns.

He is the son of former Florida and NFL offensive lineman, Jason Odom.

Here’s a look at Jonathan’s highlights from the fall:

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