Posted by: marcmwm | June 28, 2009

Quick ride for Vier

For Austin Vier, the thrill of the recruiting chase lasted one day. Maybe it was closer to a day and half.

“It did happen really fast, just one day,” the Ballard High School senior said. “I wasn’t expecting it.”

Vier’s recruiting hadn’t reached the offer stage. The 6-foot-7, 220-pounder played quarterback for Ballard last fall. Ballard was mostly a running team and Vier’s numbers reflected that — 57 of 117 for 690 yards, six TDs and 10 interceptions.

He went into this summer as sort of an unknown. On the radar, but not quite in range of an offer.

Then he showed up at Iowa’s football camp in mid-June.

He arrived on a Tuesday. He was called into a room for a meeting with offensive coordinator Ken O’Keefe sometime during the week. After spending camp bouncing between QB and tight end, recruiting coordinator Eric Johnson offered a scholarship by the end.

“Iowa was always my first choice,” Vier said. “That was my dream school. I talked to the coaches a little bit when I accepted the offer and went down there. I talked to them a little bit about their faith program, their education and then, obviously, their football is really good. I knew I’d fit in the program.”

He received the official written offer in the mail on Friday. He returned to Iowa City on Saturday and accepted.

“They said my film was a little bit above average, but what put me over the top was how well I performed at camp,” said Vier, who also had interest from Nebraska, Missouri, Purdue, Minnesota and Iowa State.

Iowa State and Nebraska recruited Vier as a tight end. The others talked QB.

These camps contain an air of desperation. A certain percentage of the players go in hoping for an offer and some might even expect one. Obviously, the offer doesn’t come every time.

So, it must’ve been pretty cool to be called into a room for a one-on-one meeting with the offensive coordinator. That had to be a good sign.

“We started talking offense and we went over the offense,” Vier said with a laugh. “It was just me and coach O’Keefe. It was awesome.”

He started camp at QB but switched in and out at tight end, too. His offer is as an “athlete,” meaning nothing is set in stone as far as his position at Iowa.

“It’s either going to be quarterback or tight end,” Vier said. “I think being able to play both those positions will help.”

There’s no timetable for how long a look at QB would last. Before he transferred to Ballard, Vier played varsity wide receiver as a sophomore at Nevada.

“I don’t know if it’s necessarily going to be a year or more than a year,” he said. “They (coaches) just said I’m going to get a shot at it. I don’t know how long that will be. I’m going to give it my best shot. I could end up at quarterback or I could end up at tight end. Either one, I’d be fine with.”

Last year, Ballard, which is 8 miles south of Ames, was mostly a running team. This season, Vier said Ballard will try some “pistol” — a version of the spread that Ohio State uses to feature Terrelle Pryor — and some shotgun snaps to go with its standard I formation.

He’s eight miles from Ames and Iowa State was interested. But Vier doesn’t expect any splashback. In fact, he ran into ISU coach Paul Rhoads at a 7-on-7 tournament after he committed. “He was pretty nice,” Vier said. 

“Everyone knows it’s my dream school, so it was a pretty quick decision,” Vier said. “It’s always been my dream to be a Hawkeye. I really like the Hawkeyes and have since I was younger and going to games. It’s my dream school.”

It was a quick ride, but Vier is glad is over. Now, he can pour himself into Ballard.

“I can concentrate more on my team,” he said. “They’ve given me the support that I needed all the way through high school. I want to give them something back, too. It’s fun just to concentrate on Ballard now.”


This link contains a small picture of Vier guarding Carroll’s Blake Haluska in a basketball game. It’s from The Tri-County Times.



  1. Nice profile on a really nice sounding kid. I have always been impressed at Iowa’s ability to see an “athlete” and not just a position player, and be able to mold them into what they need them to become. Sounds like Austin has the right attitude for that, much like a lot of his Hawkeye brethren.

    And the tag should be “…a small picture of a large Vier towering over Haluska…”

  2. Hey Marc,

    Not to hi-jack your thread on Austin, but the link-pic of Blake Haluska prompted the memory that Blake was/is a talented high school athlete/QB also, who had earned some interest from D1 football teams last year as a junior. Do you know his status as a recruit, either from his perspective on Iowa or on Iowa’s alleged interest in him?

  3. If Blake’s name would come up, I imagine it’d be as a QB. I haven’t heard or read that this summer. That could change with a solid senior year. I don’t know his dimensions, either. If he’s like his brother, I imagine Iowa would find a place for him if he were a football recruit. To answer the question, I haven’t heard or read his name since winter.

  4. Thanks, Marc. I didn’t see Blake’s name in Scout’s Iowa HS Top Ten, so I wondered what had happened to him.

  5. Kent, he’s a solid player and might still be able to pull a D-1 offer, but this year’s in-state class is really deep. Not being listed among the top 10 players isn’t really that much of a knock.

  6. Marc sorry to hijack a thread here, but I see a lot of activity on the HR “Lounge” about Demarco Paigne. Is there news on him? Furthermore I saw someone on cyclone fanatic suggest things are close to coming together with Hoch, Scherer and Donnal????

    Any insight?


  7. Adam — Glad you’re back! Great point on this year’s recruiting take in Iowa. It’s a big, big year for Iowa prep football recruits.

    My top three (just off the top of my head) — Morris, Derby and Dawson. I’m sure that could be debated.

  8. Paine will be back in 2010. He enrolled at ICC in January. He needs to complete his AA degree. I believe he’ll return in 2010 with three to play three.

    Hoch, Scherff and Donnal are still out there as of this minute.

    I imagine the Thomas funeral demanded a lot of the attention from high school football folks in Iowa today. I don’t think anyone would want to take away from that.

    Here’s a Paine link from Jan.:

  9. Marc,

    I remember you saying this before……………..

    “””””””””Paine will be back in 2010. He enrolled at ICC in January. He needs to complete his AA degree. I believe he’ll return in 2010 with three to play three.”””””””

    ………………..I just noticed a 69 post thread on HR and wondered out loud why such hubbub on a kid who wont be back for a year. There is also a bunch of chatter about Scherer.

    Also do you know anything about Will Wellington the Rber from Fairfield 2 years ago. (my home town) I know he went to Junior college, might have been ICC and I just wondered how is progressing. I know he lit up 3A in 2007, but had some grade issues! I don’t think Iowa had any real issues but I wondered if he had any D1 capability


  10. I remember Wellington a little bit. Fast sprinter in track, I believe. Haven’t heard anything there.

    That thread was a debate about something else. Wasn’t so much about Paine. When a player returns from a juco, the UI has generally issued a release.

  11. […] Posted in Iowa Hawkeyes, Recruiting | Tags: Austin Vier, James Morris, Matt Hoch, Recruiting « Quick ride for Vier […]

  12. […] offered. Iowa coaches saw something they liked and acted quickly.Links – Here’s the story I wrote on Vier when he committed (another one so long ago it’s on the old blog). . . . ESPN […]

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