Wisconsin offensive lineman interested in Iowa
ADDISON, Ill. – Offensive lineman Ezekiel Gueths lives in Wisconsin and is a big fan of the Wisconsin football team, literally and figuratively.
“Growing up in Wisconsin, I’ve always wanted to be a Badger, the 6-foot-6, 250-pound Gueths said Sunday while participating in The Opening Chicago Regional.
But just in case the Badgers don’t offer Gueths a scholarship, he is exploring other options, including the Iowa Hawkeyes. Gueths, who is a junior at Shawano High School in Shawano, Wis., took an unofficial visit to Iowa in February and was impressed.
“I saw, of course, their brand-new facilities, they’re real nice,” Gueths said. “And I like the coaches and the school. Being a 4.0 student, academics are important for me.”
Eastern Michigan is the only school to offer Gueths a scholarship at this point. But he is hearing from Western Illinois on a regular basis and stays in touch with Iowa and Wisconsin.
Iowa recruiting coordinator Seth Wallace recruits in Wisconsin and is expected to visit Gueths this spring in Gueths’ hometown.
“He says he’s going to come up to Shawano this spring and watch me work out and stuff,” Gueths said of Wallace.
Gueths grew up cheering for the Badgers, but that didn’t stop him from learning about the Hawkeyes. He is aware of Iowa’s tradition of developing star offensive linemen under veteran coach Kirk Ferentz.
Two of Iowa’s three players selected in the NFL draft last week were offensive linemen, including 2014 Outland Trophy winner Brandon Scherff, who was taken fifth overall in the first round by the Washington Redskins.
“To be a lineman there would be an honor because they’re such a big part of the program,” Gueths said.
In addition to football, Gueths also plays basketball and participates in track and field for his high school. He is a member of the Wisconsin Playground Elite AAU basketball team.
Gueths thinks he benefits as an offensive lineman from playing basketball.
“I’ve played basketball since the second grade,” Gueths said. “I didn’t even start playing football until sophomore year of high school.
“In basketball, obviously, the footwork helps with my speed, and my size is decent. I’m just working on my strength now.”
Gueths looked skinny compared to the other offensive linemen who attended Sunday’s one-day camp at Addison High School in suburban Chicago. He’s trying to change that.
"I’m working on getting my weight up,” he said. “I’m in the weight room working hard in there.”
And though Wisconsin is clearly his favorite school, Gueths is eager to see where the recruiting process takes him.
“Right now, I’m keeping all my options open,” he said. “I don’t want to turn anything down.”