Antonio Fondren Jr. returned to Iowa Football on Tuesday after visiting the school in November for a Hawkeye game at Kinnick Stadium. He came away impressed both times.
“Their facilities were second to none,” the Osseo (MN) High defensive lineman told HN. “Besides the match day tour, I was able to learn more about the culture and history of the team during the facility tour (Tuesday).”
ESPN.com lists 40 former Hawkeyes as being on NFL rosters. By contrast, Big Ten foes Illinois and Indiana have 22 listed alumni.
“The number of players they had on an active roster or had already put in the league shocked me,” Fondren Jr said.
Louisville, Florida A&M, eastern Kentucky and southern Alabama would have offered the 6-foot-5, 270-pound scholarships. Minnesota, where he went on Saturday, and Notre Dame have shown interest.
Iowa defensive line coach Kelvin Bell and assistant Ladell Betts, who recruits Minnesota to the program, lead the pursuit of Fondren Jr.
Scroll to continue
“Coach Bell mentioned that he thought I would fit in very well in their defensive tackle position. They have me very high on their (recruitment) board. couldn’t attend camp there last year, that set me back a bit. But this summer, I should earn my offer to their camp,” Fondren Jr.
“I think I fit very well into their scheme. I think I can definitely see myself there.”
Fondren Jr. expects to unofficially visit Iowa again after camping out at the school in June.
“I would like to learn a little more academically. My parents and I really appreciate that. I would like to major in psychology,” he said.
Fondren Jr. is scheduled to visit northern Iowa on April 16 and the state of North Dakota on April 23.
You can watch his best junior moments HERE.