A who's who of elite college football programs recruited Rodney Coe during his prep career. The U.S. Army All-American ended up choosing Iowa ahead of reported offers from Alabama, Florida, Notre Dame, Oklahoma and others.
The excitement of playing Big Ten football faded when Coe learned he would not qualify academically. The Class of 2011 prospect ended up at Iowa Western Community College in Council Bluffs, Iowa.
Coe took the news hard. But he vowed to run the ball for Iowa after earning an associate's degree from Western. That plan took a turn in the winter.
The Edwardsville (IL) High graduate learned that the Hawkeyes didn't see him as a running back. They viewed him as a defensive end.
Coe announced on Twitter that he wanted to stay at running back. He felt like that would be the end of his relationship with Iowa.
Coe's outlook changed again. The Western coaches convinced him to work on the other side of the ball this spring.
"I just kept getting bigger," said Coe, who reports that he's currently 6-foot-3, 286 pounds. "They asked me to try (defensive end) out and see what happens. I wouldn't say it was a drastic decision or move. They just wanted me to try it out. They felt like I had the right size and athleticism to do well.
"It's going pretty good. The hardest part is getting used to the technique and all the action that happens between the D-End and the O-Line. There's a lot of stuff you have to know."
The move sparked a reconnection between Coe and the Hawkeyes.
"My coach (Scott Strohmeier) talks to them because I really can't," Coe said. "He said they're saying that they still want me up there and they want me to come. My coach said we're just going to see how everything goes. If Iowa still keeps the scholarship offer on the table and wants me, that's where I'll be going. If not, I'll open up my recruitment for some other colleges."
In other words, If Iowa wants Coe, Coe wants Iowa.
"I still want to go to Iowa," he said. "That's where I signed out of high school and that's where I want to end up being."
Coe said his move to defense hasn't brought new schools into the picture for his services.
"I really would't say that recruiting has changed much," he said. "I really haven't had a lot schools talk to me with the whole Iowa situation. A few schools have tried to get in touch with me since I changed positions.
"Iowa State is looking. They have gotten players out of here that are doing well there."
Coe said he feels comfortable at his current weight. He is trying to increase his strength.
"I feel like I'm getting better," Coe said. "From the start of the spring practice to the end and in weight training, I feel like I'm getting stronger and getting better technique wise."
Coe said his grades "are good." He'd like to complete his associate's degree in December and enroll at a four-year in January.
"That's what I'm working towards," Coe said. "This summer I'll be staying here and taking a lot of classes to hopefully be able to go somewhere after the first semester next year."