Drake Kulick held a scholarship offer from Northern Iowa. In the end, the lure of playing in front of 70,000 people at Kinnick Stadium convinced him to pay for college - at least to start.
Kulick officially visited Iowa on Thursday. The 2013 linebacker from Muscatine (Iowa) High verbally committed to accepting a preferred walk-on opportunity with the Hawkeyes.
"The whole Iowa family made me feel like I was a part of them and it felt great," the 6-foot-2, 210-pound Kulick said.
Iowa has a long history of turning walk-ons into scholarship players and more. Mark Weisman and Matt Tobin were two examples of that on last year's Hawkeye team. Tight end Dallas Clark put together a pro bowl career in the NFL.
"Drake has informed UNI," Muscatine Coach Jake Mueller said. "He will take a class (at Iowa) this summer and start working out with the team then."
After not swimming competitively since the seventh grade, Kulick returned to the pool this winter. He has become part of Muscatine relay teams contending at the district meet this weekend, which meant he needed a mid-week visit to Iowa.
Kulick said (Hawkeyes Assistant Coach Reese Morgan) told him he likes how he moves in space and sees him as an outside linebacker. He reports running the 40-yard dash in 4.52 seconds and is a member of Muscatine's 4x100-meter and shuttle hurdle relays.
Kulick plans to study exercise science at Iowa. He would like to become a strength and conditioning coach at the college level when his playing career ends.