Iowa football had Saturday off after Keith Duncan ended Nebraska's season on Friday, but recruiting never sleeps. And Iowa added another member to its 2021 recruiting haul by landing a verbal commitment from an in-state prospect:
Beyond excited to announce that I will be continuing my academic and athletic career with the Iowa Hawkeyes!! @RStoryScores @RS_Norsemen @RSFBCoachStens @RolandStoryFB @Iowa_Recruiting @Coach_Niemann @CoachSWallace pic.twitter.com/5ZaHkJETLI— Zach Twedt (@TwedtZach) November 30, 2019
Twedt, listed at 6'3", 216 lbs, is rated a 3* prospect by both Rivals and 247. He took an interesting path to his decision to commit to Iowa. Twedt plays at Roland-Story High School in Story City, which is a stone's throw away from Ames. In fact, Twedt originally gave a verbal commitment to Iowa State in January of this year. He remained verbally committed to Iowa State until earlier this month -- but he had been showing a lot of interest in Iowa, making four visits to Iowa City between June and October. So it didn't come as a huge surprise when he backed off his Iowa State commitment. Nor did it come as much of a shock that he formally switched his commitment to Iowa. But that certainly doesn't make it any less satisfying to beat out Iowa State for an in-state recruit they wanted, especially one from their backyard.
So what pulled Twedt in Iowa's direction? I mean, other than playing for the superior team in the state. As he told Hawkeye Report:
"It was most definitely the culture, the coaching staff, and the program in general," Twedt told HawkeyeReport.com about his decision. "There is something about this Iowa culture that can’t be found anywhere else."
Hard to argue with that. Ferentz and the Iowa staff have spent a lot of time developing the culture at Iowa and that work pays dividends when it comes to recruiting in-state prospects like Twedt.
Twedt is listed as a linebacker for now, but it's no guarantee that he'll wind up at that position in college. As Aaron Stensland, his high school coach, told Hawkeye Insider, one of Twedt's greatest strengths is his versatility:
"I would describe Zach as versatile. This year he played RB, WR, TE, LB, SS, and he kicked off and long snapped for us at times. His strengths are his work ethic and his leadership. Both on and off the field are amazing, true team player. Works relentlessly both at football and on his family farm."
"Iowa has recruited him as an outside backer but he could be a tight end too. It's really it’s about his development. Zach will do whatever the Iowa staff tells him to do, their track record for developing players is unmatched.
A hybrid RB-WR-TE-LB-SS-kicker-long-snapper? If he can work in a little punting, he might Ferentz's dream recruit. TE and LB look like the most likely positions for him, as Stensland said. Given that he's just a high school junior, there's some time before Twedt needs to make any position decisions -- he can't officially sign with Iowa for another year and won't be on campus (barring an early entry) for another 18 months. And at 216 lbs, Twedt's first year at Iowa is likely to involve plenty of time with Chris Doyle.
Twedt's highlights (from his sophomore season in 2018) show off that versatility:
You can get a glimpse of Twedt as a running back, receiver, and, yes, kick returner there. There are also a few clips of him on defense. From these clips, at least, Twedt shows some genuine intrigue as a tight end prospect; he looks like he has solid wheels and good hands -- and he's a very enthusiastic blocker. There are several moments of Twedt engaging defenders and driving them into the ground.
Whatever position Twedt ends up at, we wish him the best. He's already made us big fans of him by ditching Iowa State to suit up in black and gold in college. Welcome to Iowa, Zach.