CEDAR RAPIDS, Ia. — Northern Illinois safeties coach Tyler Yelk texted Cedar Rapids Prairie head coach Mark Bliss over the weekend. He said he needed to come meet face to face with Jace Andregg, one of Bliss’ receivers.
Because on Saturday, Yelk saw what the rest of the Midwest recruiting world saw:
Andregg, a relatively unknown 2020 prospect, scored a 125.19 football rating at Nike’s The Opening regional in Canton, Ohio. That was the top score of all prospects at the camp, which included several elite Power Five guys. For comparison, former Iowa City West star Oliver Martin scored a 133.02 as a junior, helping to spur his late-blooming, white-hot recruitment.
Nike’s football rating is based on a variety of combine measurements. For Andregg, those included a 4.65-second 40-yard dash, 40.1-inch vertical leap, 3.97-second agility drill, 7,950-watt peak power score and 39-foot power ball throw.
Bliss said Andregg has also logged a 10-foot, 2-inch standing long jump, which is comparable to numbers recorded at the NFL combine.
“To be honest with you, I thought (his rating) was something to expect because I know what he does in the weight room,” Bliss told the Register on Monday. “If you see the kid in person, you can tell he lifts weights. He’s only 15; he looks like he’s 20.”
Prairie uses a single-wing, rush-heavy offense. So Andregg, who checks in at 6-foot-2 and 185 pounds, recorded only 15 receptions for 118 yards after getting bumped up to varsity in Week 4 this season.
Still, local football programs have had an eye on him for a couple of years thanks to his athleticism.
Just last week, coaches from Iowa, Iowa State, Northern Iowa, Western Illinois, North Dakota and North Dakota State stopped at Prairie during their Midwest tours to visit with Andregg.
“(NDSU tight ends/fullbacks coach Tyler) Roehl told him he’s the best-looking sophomore he’s seen on his trips through a lot of the schools,” Bliss said.