Kittle Going Home

HI.com Publisher
Posted Feb 1, 2012


George Kittle dreamed about playing D-I football for a long time. If that happened to be at Iowa, all the better. The Hawkeye legacy realized his goal on Wednesday when he signed with Iowa.

George Kittle was getting his feet wet in high school football without much fanfare. As a 6-foot, 160-pound safety at Iowa City West, he blended in with the crowd.

Then, Kittle moved with his father, Bruce, a former Iowa player, to Norman, Oklahoma. Bruce was hired as the offensive line coach for the Sooners.

At Norman High, the young Kittle blossomed. He grew to 6-5, 210 pounds and turned into a college prospect.

Hawkeye Head Coach Kirk Ferentz, who coached Bruce at Iowa, called George to offer him a scholarship Wednesday morning. He accepted the invitation.

""It's literally a dream come true," George Kittle said. "When Coach Ferentz called, I had to sit down. My knees got weak.

"I've been imaging this day since I've been in the fifth grade playing tackle football for the first time with my dad as the coach. The second (Ferentz) called me, the legs got weak. I had to sit down."

Kittle planned on accepting a scholarship from Weber State. He also was offered by the Air Force and Navy.

"I think that's something you have to look at when you look at George," Norman High Coach Greg Nation said. "He fits the entire bill. He's got size. He's got athleticism. He's also an outstanding student. He posted a 3.9 GPA. He had a 28 on the ACT."

Kittle wants to study journalism at Iowa. His cousin, Henry Krieger-Coble, is a freshman tight end with the Hawkeyes.

"I just got off the phone with him," Kittle said. "He's ecstatic, too. Just like the New England Patriots tight ends, that will be me and Henry in a couple of years, hopefully."

Iowa recruited Kittle as an athlete.

"Coach Ferentz said that we can figure out a position later," Kittle said. "From what my dad was talking about, they're going to beef me up and make me a tight end or an outside linebacker, most likely."

Norman High took advantage of Kittle's versatility.

" He played wideout for us," Nation said. "In some sets we moved him down to tight end. He played strong safety and free safety. We would walk him down the line where he'd almost be a defensive end at times. He's so athletic that there's going to be a lot of opportunity for him."

In December, Kittle attended the Insight Bowl Bowl that pitted Oklahoma and Iowa. He stood on the Sooner sideline with his father.

"I've always been a leader. I always want to set an example for my teammates," Kittle said. "I think I'm a pretty good athlete and understand the game well. I have a little bit of an advantage with my dad being a coach."


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