Hometown (High School): Jewell, IA (South Hamilton)
247 Composite Ranking: 3-STARS, 136TH-RANKED OLB
Other Offers: NDSU, North Dakota, SDSU, South Dakota, UNI, Cornell
To the untrained eye, this wouldn't be a remarkable signing. Klemp, the 11th-ranked prospect in Iowa, comes from a 1A school in Hamilton County, about a half-hour up the road from ISU who never considered him worthy of an offer. Indeed, Iowa was the only FBS school to extend a scholarship, and that only happened on February 2—at which point Klemp immediately committed.
And yet, as noted in Klemp's commitment post, this script sure seems familiar, doesn't it? Reese Morgan combs the cornfields north of Highway 30 and plucks out a prospect few would have even considered, and you might as well start writing his progression plan to starting on defense now. For crying out loud, his town is even called Jewell. Klemp (which is such a linebacker name) played both ways at South Hamilton, as seen in the highlights, but Iowa's projecting him as an OLB and he does his best work in pursuit on the edge. One interesting note from his recruiting profile—he also had six interceptions as a sophomore, then just one the rest of his HS career, so presumably he's got some coverage instincts as well.
The only downside is that the February Specials rarely come to Iowa City ready to hit the ground running, and Klemp looks like a mortal lock to redshirt. Iowa's linebacker depth is the most pressing short-term problem on the roster, and while adding a potential long-term piece to that mix is great, there's still a short-term problem. With fellow OLB Jayden McDonald also committing recently out of Suwanee, Georgia — in one of the most talent-rich counties in the nation — the mix becomes even more complicated.
Still, we're excited to see Klemp join the team and work his way into a role. We've seen this staff work with this type of recruit far too many times to worry about a light offer sheet. Welcome aboard.