Jacob Oden previously reported scholarship offers from prominent college football programs like Michigan, Notre Dame and Oklahoma. The Class of 2024 safety from Harper Woods (MI) High claimed 21 opportunities in all.
Iowa’s offer on Thursday hit a little different, however. There was history. Good memories brought a smile.
Rod Oden, Jacob’s father and head coach at Harper Woods, previously led Detroit East English Village High, a program he built from the bottom up. Cornerback Desmond King and Chauncey Golston, a defensive end, played key roles in that process.
King went on to stardom at Iowa, where he won the Jim Thorpe Award as the nation’s top defensive back. He’s spent the last five seasons in the NFL. Golston earned first-team all-Big Ten honors with the Hawkeyes last season before being selected by the Dallas Cowboys with the 84th overall pick in April’s NFL Draft.
“I’ve been messing with Iowa since I was a kid watching players like Desmond and Chauncey play,” Jacob told HF.
Jacob Oden (6-1, 180) hung around his father’s practices and games. Iowa defensive coordinator Phil Parker would come through on recruiting trips. The young Oden has had the Hawkeyes on his mind for years.
“Coach Parker is like family. I’ve been knowing him for the longest. He was recruiting a few of my dad’s former players, and we’ve been cool ever since,” Jacob said.
Oden visited a number of campuses this season. The sophomore’s stops included Michigan, Cincinnati, Michigan State, Ohio State, Notre Dame and Louisville.
“I’m setting up a visit (to Iowa) now,” he said.
Oden said he is unsure about what he wants to study in college. He reports a 4.0 GPA.
According to his Hudl video, Oden recorded 44 tackles this fall. He totaled 15 pass breakups, two interceptions and a sack. He allowed just one completed pass.