Matthew VandeBerg grew up connected to Wisconsin. His father was rasied in the state and rooted for the Badgers.
The idea of running onto the Camp Randall field has been on Matt's mind for awhile. It remained in his thoughts through the recruiting process.
The Badgers pursued the young Vandeberg, twice having him on this summer. Coach Bret Bielema liked what he saw in camp and offered the South Dakota product a preferred walk-on opportunity.
That offer was looking good until Iowa in July extended Vandeberg a gray-shirt chance. He would pay for his first semester of college before being put on scholarship. He was torn.
"As far as I'm concerned, the schools are neck and neck," the 6-foot-1, 170-pound Vandeberg said late last month. "I don't have any favoritism over either one."
Wisconsin suggested that a gray-shirt opportunity could come Vandeberg's way, he said. The possibility kept him pondering the decision.
"I wanted to wait a little bit more into the process," Vandeberg said. "But I started mulling it over in my head, thinking, "What am I holding out for? What am I really waiting for." I've got a scholarship on the table. I might as well just take it."
Vandeberg twice visited Iowa. As it comes down to for most recruits, he felt comfortable there.
"This one felt right," he said. "Don't get me wrong. I still like Wisconsin. But I think Iowa is the right place for me.
"All of the coaches have a good rapport with me and I have a good report with all of the coaches there. That goes a long way for me."
Some fans might wonder what would happen if Wisconsin or another school arrives with an offer as good or better than the Hawkeyes' opportunity. Does Vandeberg feel like his decision is final?
"Yeah, I do. I do," he said.
Iowa recruited Vandeberg as an athlete. He said the coaches are considering wide receiver and free safety.
"They don't know where they're going to put me yet," he said. "They said that wherever they put me, they feel like I'll be able to help the team."
Preference for Vandeberg?
"It would be 60-40 (percent) wide receiver," he said. "It's not overwhelmingly one position, but I do like scoring touchdowns."
Vandeberg boasts speed in his game. He said his three best 40-yard dash times were 4.4 seconds at Iowa State and a 4.49 at Minnesota and Wisconsin.
Iowa Recruiting Coordinator Eric Johnson said last week that the 2013 class is just about full. That information was given to Vandeberg. He said that it didn't weigh heavily into his ending of the process.
"I felt like I had a good enough rapport with (the coaches) that they wouldn't take it away from me," Vandeberg said. "But I guess there was a little bit of me that said "You should probably get it done with.""
Vandeberg is considering a sports management major.
Brandon Valley High begins the season ranked second in South Dakota. With his school competing for a title, Vandeberg explained what it felt like to get his college decision made to concentrate on his senior season.
"It's a big relief, big relief."