June 23, 2013

Niemann adds Iowa offer

For the most part, Ben Niemann grew up in the state of Iowa, mostly in Indianola when his father, Jay, was the head coach at Simpson College. Now, his dad is the defensive coordinator at Northern Illinois, which is where Ben verbally committed to early on in the recruiting process. This past week, things got a little more interesting when the Iowa Hawkeyes decided to offer Niemann after seeing him in person at their camp on Wednesday. That was followed up by a two-day visit to Iowa City and now the 6-foot-3, 185-pound Niemann has a lot to think about. We caught up with him to get the very latest.

Q: First, can you just talk about the visit to Iowa over the weekend? What were some of the highlights for you?

NIEMANN: Well, first of all, I went to their camp on Wednesday and then they offered. Then I went to the visit on Friday and when we first got there, we ate dinner in the indoor facility. I went with some of the players and spent some time with them before going back to the hotel. On Saturday, we came back and toured all of the facilities and everything. We went around campus a little bit and ate lunch and then went back home. It was good.

Q: Was it outside linebacker you played at their camp?

NIEMANN: Yeah. Originally, I went to camp as kind of an athlete. They didn't really have any scholarship spots at receiver, but they had seen my film and stuff and thought I was athletic enough to play other positions. So I was going to go as either a safety or a linebacker. I started out with the linebackers and I was doing well enough there I guess that they just decided to keep me there for the rest of camp and then I ended up getting an offer.

Q: Is that your second offer overall or do you have more?

NIEMANN: That's my fourth. At receiver, I have offers from NIU, Eastern Michigan, and Illinois State, and then Iowa offered me as a LEO outside linebacker.

Q: After their camp, did you spend some time back in Indianola for a couple days?

NIEMANN: Yeah. I actually met two of my friends from Indianola at the Iowa camp, so we went back and then I came back to Iowa on Friday with Keegan Render. I met my mom there on Friday.

Q: What was that like, spending some time with Keegan who you went to school with for quite a while, just knowing you both have offers at Iowa now?

NIEMANN: Yeah, we went to school together from kindergarten to sixth grade and played on the same peewee football team. He was the center and I was the quarterback. It's kind of nice to know that if I would choose to go there that I would have a close friend like that on the team, but obviously Keegan is not going to be my deciding factor on where I go to play ball.

Q: What were just your initial thoughts on getting the offer from Iowa?

NIEMANN: It was exciting because it was my first BCS offer and stuff. Even though it is at a position I'm not as familiar with because I've never played it before, it's still exciting and it's something I'm going to have to consider.

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