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Iowa Football Recruiting: Hawkeyes Land Commitment from 3-Star LB Landyn Van Kekerix

The Hawkeyes add their highest rated recruit in nearly two decades.

Image via @BHRVfootball

The Iowa Hawkeyes have built their program on the back of player development. Iowa doesn’t typically reel in a slew of high profile prep prospects, though that does happen from time to time. Instead, the current on field success has been built on identifying under recruited prospects who show the potential to be better than their star rating.

Oftentimes, that has come in the form of a prospect the staff identifies during their senior season who is showing signs of late development. Maybe it’s some physical growth, maybe it’s some new flashes of burst that weren’t there previously. Whatever it might be, it results in a later Iowa offer and a potential diamond in the rough.

Enter Rock Valley, Iowa linebacker Landyn Van Kekerix. He’s a pure athlete who is physically somewhere between a wide receiver, safety and linebacker. He’s likely not quite quick enough to be a receiver at the high-major level, but that’s not to say he’s slow. Far from it.

That in between physical stature has kept Van Kekerix under recruited to this point, but the Iowa Hawkeyes liked what they saw on senior film. They extended an offer and an official invite in recent days and the NW Iowa product made the trek to Iowa City last weekend.

Today, he’s officially a Hawkeye.

The term athlete gets thrown out a lot in the recruiting world. After all, everyone is an athlete to some degree. But Van Kekerix is an athlete in the truest sense of the word. He does it all. And well.

As a senior at Rock Valley, he put up an absurd 1574 total yards on 102 total touches and 36 touchdowns on offense as a receiver. That includes 18 rushing touchdowns where he averaged over 10 yards per carry, 15 receiving touchdowns on 25 yards per reception (the most in Iowa’s class 3A) and two kick returns for a touchdown. Oh, and for good measure, he threw a touchdown pass this year.

On the defensive side of the ball, Van Kekerix led the Nighthawks with 76 tackles, including 11.5 tackles for loss, and 3 sacks. And that’s where the Iowa coaching staff sees an opportunity.

LVK measures in at 6’2” and 195 pounds as a senior in high school. That’s on the smaller side for a linebacker, but not far from where Iowa’s staring linebacker Seth Benson was as a senior in 2018 (6’1” and 210 pounds). And there’s the rub.

Van Kekerix has all the physical tools athletically to project to a very solid linebacker at the next level if he can maintain his current burst and athleticism while adding 25+ pounds to his frame.

Don’t bet against him. Talking with, Van Kekerix’s high school coach Cory Brandt described the prospect as essentially a coach’s dream:

“He does things that you can’t coach, I’ll say it that way. Landyn is just an incredible athlete. He’s really kind of grown into himself this year. He does things that we can’t explain, that we can’t coach, and he works really hard to get himself in the right position to do those things, because that’s what he’s going to do for his team.”

Brandt went on to describe a player with the type of motor we’ve seen time and again be successful in the Iowa program.

“When he’s on the field, or on anything, his dad kind of taught him, you go as hard as you can all the time in no matter what you do. It doesn’t matter what it is. And he does, he just loves to play. He just always gives 100%, and he doesn’t have a whole lot to say. He just goes out there and talks with his pads, and gets it done his way. He doesn’t take a play off, ever.”

Van Kekerix ultimately chose the Hawkeyes over offers from South Dakota and South Dakota State. That’s not dissimilar from his cousin, Andrew Van Ginkel, who went to South Dakota before terrorizing the Hawkeyes at Wisconsin and going on to the NFL. Can Kekerix doesn’t have quite the length of Van Ginkel, but is reportedly a better athlete. Here’s hoping for a similar career, minus the transfer to Wisconsin.

Welcome to the Iowa Hawkeyes Landyn Van Kekerix!

Landyn Van Kekerix, LB
Ht: 6’2”
Wt: 195 lbs
Hometown: Rock Valley, Iowa (Boyden-Hull/Rock Valley)
Stars: 247 Sports - 3; Rivals - 2