Solon junior-to-be Jacob Coons isn’t doing interviews at the present time, but his talent as a football recruit apparently speaks loudly.
The 6-foot-4, 220-pound Coons is coming off a week in which he received scholarship offers from Iowa State and Iowa after participating in camps at both schools over the weekend.
The Cyclones were the first to offer Coons on Saturday, followed by Iowa on Sunday.
“Blessed to have received my second offer from the University of Iowa. All thanks to my Lord and Savior. #Hawkeyes,” Coons said of Twitter.
Coons was a key performer for the Spartans as a sophomore last season, playing both tight end and outside linebacker for a team that finished 9-2. He declined an interview request on Monday, but Solon football coach Kevin Miller spoke highly of Coons, who caught 17 passes for 198 yards and two touchdowns last season.
“I think that’s what people like about him, his versatility,” Miller said of Coons, who also plays basketball for the Spartans. “He can play with his hand down or in space.”
The fact that Iowa offered Coons a scholarship this early in the recruiting process speaks volumes.
"We’re just really excited for him," Miller said.
Coons is believed to be at least the fourth player from in state in the 2017 senior class to receive an Iowa offer.
The others are Madrid defensive end Coy Kirkpatrick, who committed to Iowa last week; North Fayette defensive tackle Juan Harris, who twice has committed and then de-committed from Iowa and Mount Vernon offensive lineman Tristan Wirfs.
Iowa also has offered scholarships to at least five players from instate in the 2016 senior class. Two of the players – Cedar Falls offensive lineman Spencer Williams and Algona offensive lineman Cole Banwart – committed to Iowa shortly after being offered a scholarship.
The other three players in the 2016 class with Iowa offers are West Des Moines Valley offensive lineman John Raridon, who is committed to Nebraska, Pella defensive end Austin Schulte and Chariton tight end T.J. Hockensen.
Iowa recruiting coordinator Seth Wallace said in April that the Iowa staff was being more aggressive with regard to making scholarship offers.
"Yeah, I guess we’ve fallen in love with some kids a little bit earlier than we have in the past, but a lot of that goes back to we’ve had conversations, we’ve had them on the phone; we’ve spoken to high school coaches,” Wallace said. “We have an opportunity to speak with parents in some cases.
"But again, the whole aggressiveness is more on the front end. It has provided us with time, time to get to know these guys, whether they’ve been here on campus or we’re able to at least see them in person when we were out in the evaluation or the contact period in December and January.”
NCAA rules prohibit college coaches from talking publicly about a specific recruit before the recruit has signed a national letter of intent. The national signing day for recruits like Coons, who are entering their junior year of high school, will be on the first Wednesday in February 2017.