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Urbandale’s Max Llewellyn Discusses New Offer from Hawkeyes

March 26, 2020

Written by Rob Howe

Hawkeye Nation

The message was received. Iowa made it clear to Max Llewellyn his path to a scholarship offer.

The Hawkeyes told him they would visit him at school in May and watch him lift weights. They invited him to a spring practice so he could see how they ran their operation. They asked him to compete at a team camp in June.

Then, things changed. The coronavirus canceled spring practice and placed in-person recruiting on hold. Plans were altered.

Iowa contacted Llewellyn on Tuesday and offered him a scholarship. The move surprised the Urbandale (IA) High junior.

“First off, I was completely shocked because Iowa has always been very truthful and transparent with me. The coaches said that their process was different from other schools, meaning they wanted me to come up for a practice, they wanted to watch me lift and go to camp. The offer completely caught me off guard,” he told HN.

Llewellyn (6-5, 230) also reports scholarship offers from Iowa State, Kansas, Nebraska along with six other programs. Some schools view him as a tight end but the Hawkeyes picture him coming off the defensive edge. He likes the sound of that.

“A.J. Epenesa had a monster year at end and that really sticks out. He was already a monster to begin with, but he couldn’t of been where he was without the development of (Iowa strength coach Chris) Doyle and their program,” Llewellyn said.

As a junior, Llewellyn recorded four sacks and 11 solo tackles for loss. He recovered two fumbles and posted 25 total tackles. He caught five passes for 78 yards as a tight end.

Iowa’s offer put it squarely in the hunt for Llewellyn’s services. He’s visited campus twice, including a March 1 stop before COVID-19 shut down the sports world.

“Iowa football is business. Their program isn’t for anyone who doesn’t want to be the best. I’m all about that,” he said.

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“Their program is also notorious for the development of their players. That’s a huge factor for me when it comes to picking a school.”

Llewellyn visited the Cyclones in February shortly after they offered a scholarship. He didn’t grow up on one side of the Iowa-Iowa State rivalry.

“As a kid, I liked both schools. I never really had a favorite,” he said.

Despite being the most recent school to offer, Iowa isn’t playing catchup with Llewellyn. It’s built a relationship with him throughout the recruiting process and all 10 of his scholarship opportunities have come since Jan. 15, including Nebraska, which also offered on Tuesday.

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“Coach (Jay) Niemann has been the leading recruiter (for the Hawkeyes). I call him all the time to talk about football and life in general. He’s a great dude and knows his stuff,” Llewellyn said.

Llewellyn also shares a strong bond with high school teammate Jaden Harrell, a linebacker who verbally committed with the Hawkeyes in July.

“Iowa will be one of my officials. I hope to get to know every coach more than I already do and really take in what I see so I can use that to make a decision,” Llewellyn said.

Llewellyn is considering a college major in Business but that could change. Academics rank highly on his list of desires when picking a place for his future.

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“The most important thing to me in choosing a school is if I’m the right fit. If the coaches have that family feel as well as my teammates, I’ll feel like I fit,” he said.

Before the COVID-19 shutdown, Llewellyn felt like he had a timeline in place for his commitment. It’s changed.

“At first I was planning on making my decision extremely early, no later than the end of May. But now the virus has changed a few things. I’m not so sure when I’ll make a decision,” he said.

Rivals and 247 rank Llewellyn as a three-star prospect. The latter sees him as the No. 44 tight end nationally in the ’21 class and the No. 15 player regardless of position in Iowa for the cycle.

Here’s a look at Llewellyn’s junior highlight video:

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