February 1, 2011

Lowdermilk talks Iowa commitment

Usually the path to signing day for a recruit includes a number of trips to a prospects high school, in-home visits from coaches, and an official visit by the prospect. Johnny Lowdermilk is taking the road less traveled in his commitment to the University of Iowa. On Monday night, the Ohio prep made his verbal commitment to the Hawkeyes without a visit thanks to his father's relationship with Coach Kirk Ferentz.

Four years ago, Johnny Lowdermilk was just starting high school and his dad, Kirk Lowdermilk told his son, "If you are going to play college football for anyone it should be for Kirk Ferentz at Iowa."
Four years later, that statement was realized.

Lowdermilk's father played for Ohio State in the early to mid-80's and was a third round draft pick of the Minnesota Vikings, where he remained until 1992. Lowdermilk was a free agent after the 1992 season and one of the places he considered playing at was with the Cleveland Browns and offensive line coach Kirk Ferentz. Lowdermilk eventually signed with the Indianapolis Colts, but Ferentz certainly left his mark.

"My dad has known Coach Ferentz for quite a while and he has had nothing but good things to say about him. He said the Iowa staff is hard working and that Coach Ferentz is a great guy," said Johnny Lowdermilk.

After making an official visit to Kent State this past weekend, it appeared that Lowdermilk would be headed there until Coach Ferentz called on Monday evening to offer a scholarship.

"Coach Ferentz and Coach Phil Parker have been talking to me dad and my head coach. They said I might get an offer late, but they weren't sure. Then last night Coach Ferentz called and said he was offering. I accepted it right away and he said he wasn't going to give me a chance to re-think it," he said with a laugh.

Lowdermilk says he plans on visiting Iowa soon and that Coach Ferentz projects him to play either linebacker or safety, depending on how much weight he puts on during his time in Iowa City. This past season Lowdermilk played quarterback and linebacker for his high school team in Carrollton, Ohio.

"I'm not the most athletic kid, but I love to hit people. I'm a real hard working guy that just wants to get the job done."

He might be downplaying his athletic ability as Lowdermilk ran a 4.58 in the 40 this past summer at a camp.

Living in the heart of Buckeye country, the news of his commitment to Iowa has been warmly received by everyone in his community.

"Everyone here is really excited for me," he said. "They said they are going to get some Hawkeye gear and support me and the Hawkeyes. My coach and assistant coach are big Ohio State fans, but they said they are going to start rooting for Iowa now."

That also includes his father, who played for the Buckeyes.

"He's says he is a Hawkeye now."


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