West Branch linebacker Bo Bower had a difficult decision to make this week. The 6-foot-2, 208-pound all-state selection had narrowed his college choices down to UNI, who was offering a full ride, and Iowa, who could only promise a preferred walk-on opportunity. In the end, a childhood dream to play for the Hawkeyes won out.
"I actually was kind of struggling with the decision, so I went and saw the pastor at my church, Pastor Hartwig," said Bower. "We talked for a while and after hearing what he had to say, I just decided that it would be best for my family and me if I stayed closer to home and walked on to be a Hawkeye."
"It's always been a dream of mine, so I just decided to take it," he continued. "I'm going to be a Hawk."
After the Hawkeyes hosted Bower on an official visit last week, UNI head coach Mark Farley upped his offer from a partial scholarship to a full scholarship. That gave the two-star prospect even more to think about, but the chance to play at Iowa under linebackers coach LeVar Woods was too much to pass up.
"First, I called Coach Woods and then I called Coach Ferentz and told them I decided that I wanted to be a Hawkeye," Bower said. "Coach Woods was ecstatic. He has really been great through the whole recruiting process. We've been in close contact and already have a bond, so I'm excited to work under him and learn everything that I can. Coach Ferentz was really excited when I told him too."
The Iowa coaching staff projects Bower at outside linebacker in college. As a senior, he finished this past season with 57 tackles, six tackles for loss, and four interceptions on defense plus had 810 yards rushing and 11 touchdowns on offense.
With his college decision made, Bower says it feels like a weight has been lifted off his shoulders and now he can look forward to the future, which will take him to Iowa City in August when he starts camp with the Hawkeyes.
"I'm really happy with it," said Bower. "All of my stress is gone now. It's good to know where I'm going, I'm excited about it, and now I'm just ready to go. I'm ready to play football and ready to do everything that I can to help the team."
Iowa's 2013 Walk-On Class:
Alden Haffar - 5-foot-10, 213-pound K from West Des Moines, IA (Iowa Central CC)
Andrew Stone - 5-foot-10, 175-pound WR from Cedar Falls, IA (Iowa Western CC)
Tyler Kluver - 6-foot-0, 220-pound LS from Marshalltown, IA (Marshalltown HS)
Corbin Blythe - 6-foot-1, 235-pound DL from Williamsburg, IA (Williamsburg HS)
Boone Myers - 6-foot-5, 255-pound OL from Webster City, IA (Webster City HS)
Chad Gilson - 6-foot-0, 223-pound LB from Urbandale, IA (UNI transfer)
Drake Kulick - 6-foot-2, 205-pound LB from Muscatine, IA (Muscatine HS)
Connor Keane - 6-foot-1, 185-pound WR from St. Paul, MN (Cretin-Derham Hall)
Paul Brown - 5-foot-10, 190-pound DB from Spirit Lake, IA (Spirit Lake HS)
Bo Bower - 6-foot-2, 208-pound LB from West Branch, IA (West Branch HS)