By Pat Harty
IOWA CITY, Iowa – Kadyn Proctor almost seems too good to be true, but not just because of his incredible physical attributes.
It’s easy to get carried away about his size and athleticism because rarely do kids his age, or any age for that matter, have what Proctor has from a physical standpoint.
The Southeast Polk senior-to-be stands about 6-foot-8 and weighs about 330 pounds, and yet, still moves exceptionally well for somebody his size.
It was as if Proctor was born and raised to be an offensive lineman, or more specifically, a left tackle whose job is to protect the quarterback’s blind side.
Veteran recruiting analyst Tom Lemming gushed over Proctor on Thursday and just a few minutes after Proctor had committed to the Iowa football team. Lemming has been evaluating and ranking high school football recruits for 43 years.
“Size, athletic ability, production, he’s been all-state a couple years; he’s got long arms, great feet, he’s got everything that a good offensive line coach wants to develop into a number one draft choice,” said Lemming, who ranks Proctor the top high school offensive lineman in the country. “I’d be surprised if he doesn’t end up as a No. 1 draft choice.”
There is a lot more to this kid, however, than just what he brings as a football player.
And that’s coming from somebody who never has interviewed Proctor, or even seen him in person.
I’ve just watched enough of his interviews and read enough of his quotes to feel confident in saying that he is mature beyond his years and that he has no sense of entitlement despite being a five-star recruit and the highest ranked recruit to ever pick Iowa.
Proctor told KCCI Sports Director Scott Reister that he turned down a significant amount of NIL money to be a Hawkeye.
“I’ve had schools say a quarter million a year, a million a year,” Proctor said to Reister. “It’s just crazy to me.”
Proctor said it wasn’t hard turning down NIL money.
“Not at all. At the end of the day I’m going to school, and it’s my job to go to practice and go to school,” Proctor said to Reister. “I’ve had zero dollars before. It really doesn’t change that aspect.
“Yeah, making money is nice. But the goal is to get to the NFL where you make that money. So, it’s not really a big deal to me to make it in college.”
Proctor said NIL discussions haven’t been a big factor in his talks with Iowa, nor has he received a set offer from Iowa yet.
But he will.
It probably won’t make him an instant millionaire, but Iowa donors will come up with something for Proctor to have from a money standpoint.
Proctor seems more concerned about getting an education and about reaching his vast potential as an offensive lineman than getting rich fast, so Iowa is fortunate that NIL wasn’t a bigger factor in his recruitment.
His ultimate goal is to make the NFL and Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz has a long and distinguished track record of developing NFL offensive linemen, many of whom were unheralded recruits.
Proctor said he picked Iowa because of the school and because of his relationship with the Iowa players and coaches.
He turned down a chance to play for legendary head coach Nick Saban at Alabama because he believes Iowa is the best fit for him to excel on and off the field.
Proctor showed a sign of his maturity and unselfishness when he recently canceled official visits to Oregon, Michigan and Penn State because he knew that he would be committing to either Iowa or Alabama and didn’t want to waste the time or resources at those three schools.
He turned a chance to experience the red-carpet treatment from three elite programs because he didn’t want to give the false impression that he still was considering those programs.
That says a lot about Proctor’s character.
He could’ve basked in the spotlight, but instead chose to be transparent and honest.
And while those three schools were disappointed to lose Proctor, the coaches at Michigan, Penn State and Oregon had to appreciate his honesty and his unwillingness to lead them on just for attention.
Proctor also could’ve held a press conference to announce his commitment and played the hat game, as some five-star recruits like to do.
But instead, he just announced it on Twitter, thanking those who have helped him along the way and saying that he’s staying home.
Proctor has put his trust in Kirk Ferentz to make him the best player that he can be.
Being close to home and being reunited with former high school teammates Xavier Nwankpa and Gavin Williams were certainly factors that helped Iowa land Proctor.
But more than anything it just seems that Proctor is the perfect fit for what Kirk Ferentz wants as a player, a team-first guy who is willing to work for everything that he gets and who is more concerned with the journey than the destination.
The fact that Proctor is a five-star recruit is just a huge added bonus.
"I've had schools say a quarter million a year, a million a year."#Hawkeyes 5-star commit @KadynProctor1 opens up about #NIL, telling me how collectives from other schools offered to pay him a staggering amount if he chose their program. Passed it up to stay home. @KCCINewspic.twitter.com/1ukUEzA8o1
— Scott Reister (@scottreister) July 1, 2022