When Iowa offered a scholarship to Class of 2018 prospect Will Farniok in June, it opened the door for him possibly playing with his older brother in college. The Hawkeyes already had extended an opportunity to ’16 Matt Farniok.
A Farniok daily double would represent a recruiting coup for Iowa. It also would depart from a family trend.
Oldest brother Tom Farniok started 47 games at Iowa State before finishing up his career last fall. Next in line, Derek Farniok, a fifth-year senior, has started three games at left guard for Oklahoma this fall.
Matt (6-5, 319) has emerged as the highest-rated prospect among the siblings. Rivals has tabbed him as the No. 33 offensive tackle in the country for ’16. He reported offers from, among others, Arizona State, California, Florida, Florida State, Iowa, Iowa State, Michigan, Michigan State, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Penn State, Stanford, Vanderbilt and Wisconsin.
Will (6-2, 235) camped at Iowa this summer and impressed the coaches enough to receive an offer. He told AllHawkeyes.com Tuesday night that the Hawkeyes have shown him the most interest to date.
While their older brothers traveled different paths to college, Matt and Will are intrigued by the idea of playing at the same school.
"I think that would be very cool," Will said.
Iowa joins Florida State, Michigan State and Nebraska in Matt’s Top 4.
"I think it would be awesome if we’re able to go and play at the same college," Matt said.
Watching Matt navigate the recruiting process is aiding Will. Though his contact with college coaches is restricted by NCAA rules until he becomes a junior, he feels like he has a good handle on the Hawkeyes from their interactions with his older brother.
"I really like them and they seem cool," Will said of the coaches. "They know what they’re doing and they have a great O-line history."
Matt has limited his involvement in recruitment this fall while he focuses on his senior season. Washington (6-1) has risen to No. 1 in the Class 11AAA South Dakota Public Broadcasting poll.
Iowa’s 7-0 start has impressed Matt as he thinks, in the back of his mind, about his future home. The Hawkeyes entered the season with uncertainty about the future of the program but Matt said he’s more comfortable with that after seeing their rise.
"I’ve watched them and I think it’s going really well for them," he said. "It kind of has impacted my process."
It said a lot about Iowa that it remained in the picture for Matt before the season against such strong competition.
"I like that they have a long history of developing good linemen. I’ve really enjoyed meeting the coaches and getting to know them," he said.
Will has had a head start in building a relationship with the Hawkeye staff as it recruits his brother. He camped at Iowa in June and enjoyed what he saw.
"I thought it was all very nice there," he said. "They have great facilities and I liked the town."
Having had three brothers go through the recruiting process, Will has received a lot of advice.
"I think the best I’ve gotten is to not let it get to your heard and that you control the process and it doesn’t control you," he said.
Having three older siblings play the position, Will, who projects at guard, can lean on them to improve himself.
"I need to keep getting stronger. Overall, O-Line is a never ending technique process so I just need to keep working on everything," he said.
Iowa has shown a propensity for adding brothers to its roster. LeShun and James Daniels have played together this season and ’16 prospects Nick Niemann and Kyle Taylor have committed to joining their siblings, Ben Niemann and Miles Taylor, next year.
Perhaps the Farnioks will keep the trend going.
"I’m thinking about officially visiting Iowa and when that might be," Matt said. "I’m hoping to make my commitment somewhere in late December or early January."