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56 (?) Days Until Hawkeye Football: Nick DeJong

Could the walk-on be the next to find a spot along Iowa’s line

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Middle Tennessee v Iowa Photo by Matthew Holst/Getty Images

The countdown to the Iowa Hawkeyes’ planned matchup with the Minnesota Golden Gophers continues!

According to Scott Dochterman’s offseason countdown, the best #56 in Hawkeye history is Eric Steinbach. He recently ranked third in Matt Reisener’s “Best of the Black and Gold” when it came to offensive linemen.

Nick DeJong - RS Freshman
Pella, IA (Pella)
6’6”, 290 lbs
2020 Projection: Reserve offensive lineman

The 2019 recruit committed to Iowa over scholarship offers from Air Force and a number of FCS schools, including North Dakota State and Northern Iowa. In an interview with HawkeyeReport, he called the decision to turn down a scholarship “a tough decision but right” for him.

Digging up some old tape, which was a little tricky to come by, he lines up primarily at TE to maximize both his run blocking ability and size in the passing game. A three sport athlete, he hits a lot of the prerequisites of past Hawkeyes.

Though he was just a true freshman last year, he was one of eight to get playing time (in the Hawks’ blowout of Middle Tennessee State). His recruiting weight was 250 and is much more in line with offensive lineman at 290 now. All of this projects well for his future despite the walk-on status.

It’s tough to say whether he projects outside or inside, but opportunity is likely to come his way in 2021 after Alaric Jackson and Coy Cronk (and maybe Tyler Linderbaum?) leave the ranks.