There was a poster on Oliver Martin’s table at Iowa City West’s signing day event Wednesday. It was a photo-shopped picture of him wearing the quintessential maize and blue Wolverines uniform, with the bright yellow facemask covering the slightest of smiles on Martin’s face.
Those are colors he’ll be wearing a lot now.
Martin announced his commitment to Michigan via Twitter Monday night, ending a frenetic stretch of three weeks when much of the college football recruiting world analyzed his every move.
“I’m just excited to be going,” Martin said.
Iowa’s all-time leading receiver headlined a loaded winter Signing Day class in the Iowa City area. Fourteen area students signed letters of intent to commit to Division I schools Wednesday, as well as many other kids committing to Division IIs, NAIA schools or junior colleges.
Martin’s West football teammate, Alex Kleinow, signed with Iowa State.
“Just another step in the process,” Kleinow said. “It’s a great step to take at Iowa State. It just means the world to me being at Iowa State with (offensive line coach) Tom Manning, and just the culture change that’s about to happen there.”
Regina’s Jared Brinkman signed with Northern Iowa, and three other area football players signed with Iowa: City High’s Nate Wieland, Solon’s Jake Coons and Mid-Prairie’s Levi Duwa.
“It means a ton,” Duwa said. “Making it official today, this is where I’m going to stay and where I’m going to call home. It’s a big deal, but I couldn’t do it without everybody. A lot of credit to the coaches and teammates and parents and all the teachers. Give all the credit to them. I wouldn’t be where I am today without them.”
Added Wieland: “They told me Monday that I was going to get an offer, but they just didn’t know if it was going to be blue-shirt or a full ride. And so they called Wednesday night and said it was going to be a full ride. When that happened, I had a lot of thoughts running through my head. But then when I finally settled down and announced it, I pretty much knew I was going to be a Hawkeye.”
And from Coons: “It feels surreal. Growing up a Hawkeye fan, you want to be a part of it. And now that you are, it’s an unreal feeling.”
The Iowa City area also had a pretty loaded D-I soccer class: Solon’s Josie Durr (Iowa); City’s Grace Brown (Nebraska); West’s Regan Steigleder (Northwestern), Emma Cooper (Michigan) and Alex Anderson (Drake); and Clear Creek Amana’s Hannah Bormann (Drake).
“I’m very nervous right now,” Bormann laughed after signing her letter of intent. “I was nervous earlier.”
“I’m just so happy that it’s official and true now,” Durr added. “Everything’s real now. It’s finally here. Since I was 8 years old, I’ve wanted to go play college soccer somewhere and it’s ever better that it’s at the university, since I was born and raised around here.”
City’s Mary Arch signed with Iowa for cross country and classmate Hailey Fay will join the dance team at Arizona.
Matthew Bain covers preps, recruiting and the Hawkeyes for the Iowa City Press-Citizen, Des Moines Register and HawkCentral. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @MatthewBain_.