With a father who suited up for the Hawkeyes, Clear Creek-Amana Class of 2021 defensive end T.J. Bollers is familiar with the Iowa program, but had a chance to see everything up close for himself this weekend while visiting for their game against Penn State.
“I thought everything at Iowa with their facilities were beautiful," said Bollers. "Being in there, the stadium is electric during the whole game. The weight room is like nothing I’ve ever seen before. We got to see the game rooms and all the food that was served. Everything was amazing.”
Bollers continued to pour praise on the Iowa program overall with what he continues to learn about it.
“I’ve been able to watch plenty of games there over the years," Bollers said. "It is definitely a top-level team. All of the facilities were top notch. The coaches are top notch. The staff is amazing. Overall, it was just great.”
The Hawkeye staff was able to start building a relationship with Bollers despite the fact that his freshman year of high school just started.
“It was actually a lot of fun to stop and talk with some of the coaches," he said. "We talked about our work and what we need to do. They talked about taking care of academics before athletics. If you do that, football will be easy for you because you have your grades down.”
Bollers is unsure exactly where he will end up as a recruit but knows where the Hawkeyes project him at in college.
“Right now, I am playing defensive end and wide receiver at the varsity level," said Bollers. "Down the road, it really depends on how my body grows. I think I’ll put on some weight and probably end up being defensive end and tight end as a junior and senior in high school. What they mainly said is that I am a 2021 defensive end. I am pretty sure that is what they are looking at me as.”
The experience was even more unique for Bollers than other recruits as his father, Trevor, was able to talk about his time at Iowa.
“Being back there with him, it was a lot of fun," Bollers said. "We went back to where everyone hangs out and they have their bowl games listed. He was telling me which bowl games he played in. He was telling me about what they didn’t have when he was there and the new facilities blew him away. It was a lot of fun.”
Bollers has spent his childhood around the game of football with a father who played in the Big Ten.
“I was always pushed to go the extra mile, " he said. "We would go out in the backyard and work do some defensive stuff. We would work on recognition for pass blocking and run blocking. We would work on moves and just doing a lot of technique stuff.”
The Hawkeyes are among two schools that Bollers has kept a close eye on since he was younger.
“With my dad going to Iowa, it really has been Iowa," said Bollers. "I’ve also always liked Stanford. They are big on what I want to go into. Probably the Hawks and Stanford are the main two.”
Bollers is focused on helping the Clippers excel this fall at the high school level and likes the direction that they are headed in.
“Our team is coming together," Bollers said. "We are all working hard. We all are doing what we need to do. We are all learning together. It is just going to keep getting better from here.”