By Tyler Devine
IOWA CITY, Iowa – Johnny Pascuzzi has always visualized being an Iowa football player, but he won’t have to do that much longer.
The 2021 Kansas City, Mo., tight end prospect announced Monday that he had accepted a preferred walk-on offer from the Hawkeyes.
“It feels great,” Pascuzzi said. “It definitely feels – for starters – like I made the right decision. So that is a good feeling. Definitely a dream come true. Definitely a lot of joy right now, to say the least.”
That visualization has been a big part of what took Pascuzzi from a player with little film after his junior year to a player with Power Five interest.
“My parents are big on visualization, just seeing what you want to happen,” Pascuzzi said. “Before a game, a couple days leading up, I’ll just visualize catching a touchdown or making a block or making a tackle, sack. But also, I read a lot about Russell Wilson and the way he thinks. His idea of staying neutral with the mind, which means you’re not negative, you’re not overly positive, you’re just neutral.”
Johnny isn’t the only Pascuzzi that grew up a Hawkeye fan.
His father, Bob Pascuzzi, is a 1982 graduate of West Des Moines Dowling, and the two made several trips to Iowa City for Hawkeye games when Johnny was younger.
“I think he got that visual in his mind,” Bob Pascuzzi said. “And of course it was always a special time to be at a Hawkeye game. I think it really kind of traces back to that. I think it became a dream for him that maybe he could play there someday.”
Johnny Pascuzzi also had preferred walk-on offers from Missouri, Kentucky, Kansas and Kansas State, but the 6-foot-4, 225-pounder Johnny Pascuzzi knows that he’s heading to a place where walk-ons have traditionally flourished.
“The way they develop players I know is bar none,” Johnny Pascuzzi said. “I think that definitely played into it. So, I know I’ll be getting the best development and I’ll be given an opportunity to go compete.”