By Ryan Murken
Your Prep Sports
SOLON – Since committing to Iowa all the way back in December of 2015 the question surrounding Jacob Coons is what role he would play in college.
A three-star prospect as an athlete, Coons lined up everywhere from tight end and defensive end to receiver and outside linebacker during his three-year varsity career at Solon.
Coons is expected to land at tight end when he arrives in Iowa City but for the last 14 months has played the role of unofficial recruiter.
The fourth player to pledge to the Hawkeyes’ 2017 class Coons spent the following year trying to convince others to join him in Iowa City.
By the time Coons signed his national letter of intent at the Solon High School library on Wednesday he already had a good read on his future teammates.
“I committed early right after Tristan (Wirfs) and Coy (Kirkpatrick) did and those guys that committed early kind of stayed together, stayed in contact and tried to recruit other people,” Coons said. “It’s fun to see it come together and get to see who you are going to be teammates with.”
One of six Iowans in the Hawkeyes 22-man recruiting class, Coons was one of the first players to jump on board.
Coons joined in-state signees Coy Kirkpatrick of Madrid and Mount Vernon offensive tackle Tristan Wirfs when he committed in December of his junior year.
By January five-star defensive end A.J. Epenesa had joined the fold andTexas quarterback Peyton Mansell gave his verbal commitment in June.
Those four all joined Coons in signing letters of intent on Wednesday.
“Some people come and go but you have to stick with the people that have always stayed committed like Tristan, Coy, AJ, Peyton,” Coons said. “Once you get those core people you can sort of build around them.”
Iowa was always the program Coons had his eye on.
He attended the signing ceremony for former Solon standout James Morris when he inked with the Hawkeyes and couldn't help but think about being in that position.
Once Iowa offered Coons it didn’t take long for him to pull the trigger on a commitment. The rest was just waiting and recruiting.
“When I got that offer I waited a little bit to see if anything else would come but I knew Iowa was it,” Coons said. “I went to James Morris’ signing when he signed with Iowa and you don’t see yourself in that position one day, now that it has happened it’s just surreal.”
A three-year starter, Coons caught 56 passes for 933 yards and 10 touchdowns in his prep career.
He had 29 grabs for 485 yards and five touchdowns last season as a senior helping Solon to a 9-2 record and a spot in the Class 3A quarterfinals.
Coons also had 25 tackles and a team-high six sacks last season as a defensive end and earned third-team all-state honors.
“I assume they are going to place him on offensive side of the football to start, probably at tight end but he has the versatility to play on the defensive side whether it’s defensive end or outside linebacker,” Solon coach Kevin Miller said. “The upside is that he is an athlete that has some of the measureables to be successful at a variety of spots.”
Coons says he would prefer to play tight end in college but at 6-foot-3, 220 pounds Miller said even offensive tackle may not be out of the realm of possibility for the versatile Coons.
“He is a big framed kid that if he put on enough weight could also play offensive tackle,” Miller said. “I think his blocking skill set is probably his greatest strength and whether he is playing tight end or tackle or wherever I think he can be an outstanding football player.”