West Branch running back Luke Lenoch has committed to play football at William Penn University. He announced his decision Sunday via Twitter with a photo of him wearing a No. 32 William Penn jersey.
Lenoch got an offer from the Statesmen in late December and visited their campus in Oskaloosa this weekend.
“I’ve been wanting to commit there for a while, but I wanted to make sure I got this visit down,” he said Monday. “I noticed that the coaches were talking to everybody. And a lot of places that I’ve been to, they might invite a bunch of people for a visit but they only talk to a select few. They did a really good job of getting around and giving everybody some time to talk to them and see how they felt about the visit — ask them how they were doing.
“And they were just really outgoing, and they’ve got young coaches who like to get to it and are really exciting, and that’s just when I knew I wanted to be there.”
It's official! pic.twitter.com/QfTQe4eMRg— Luke Lenoch (@LLenoch) January 16, 2017
William Penn is a private, liberal arts school that plays in Division I of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics, or NAIA, which many compare to the NCAA’s Division II.
It finished 7-4 last season and ranked 24th in the NAIA’s top 25. It had the No. 2 rushing offense in NAIA D-I, which accounted for 87 percent of its offense (3,228 rushing yards, 473 passing yards).
Lenoch fits right in.
He leaves the ranks of Iowa’s high school competition as West Branch’s all-time leading rusher, with 6,022 yards. He logged 1,838 yards and 30 scores this year for the Bears, which finished 6-4 with a loss to Regina in the first round of the state football playoffs. He also earned Des Moines Register All-Iowa Class 1A team honors this year.
“Going and seeing all that they had to offer, in terms of what was it like — the dorms,” Lenoch said of his visit. “When I was going around and seeing inside the PAC center (Penn Activity Center), seeing how nice it is, just meeting all the coaches and players and how nice they are — they were really outgoing. They had a question-and-answer thing where they brought in four players and the coaches left, and they were honest and they were just really cool guys.”
The Statesmen, in the Heart of America Athletic Conference, play against schools in Missouri, Iowa, Kansas and Nebraska. Mount Mercy in Cedar Rapids, Grand View in Des Moines and Clarke in Dubuque are all members.
Lenoch said he isn’t sure what he’ll major in yet.
Matthew Bain covers preps, recruiting and the Hawkeyes for the Iowa City Press-Citizen, Des Moines Register and HawkCentral. Contact him at email@example.com and follow him on Twitter @MatthewBain_.