Iowa adds heat-tested QB to its collection

Wiegers picked Rutgers, switched to Iowa and comes in fully pro-style

Detroit Country Day football practice with coach Dan MacLean, quarterback Tyler Wiegers, wide receiver Maurice Ways, running back Richard Wilson and defensive lineman Derrick Coleman at school in Beverly Hills, Michigan on August 19, 2012. (Daniel Mears / The Detroit News)
Detroit Country Day football practice with coach Dan MacLean, quarterback Tyler Wiegers, wide receiver Maurice Ways, running back Richard Wilson and defensive lineman Derrick Coleman at school in Beverly Hills, Michigan on August 19, 2012. (Daniel Mears / The Detroit News)

Tyler Wiegers committed to Rutgers last April. He politely told the University of Iowa "thanks, but no," and saw himself quarterbacking Scarlet Knights into their Big Ten era.

Then in October, with Rutgers leaking oral commitments and dealing with a bullying allegation, Wiegers ended it with Rutgers. Iowa was there in April, and Wiegers was glad it was still there in October.

"I didn't talk to Iowa when I was committed," said Wiegers, a 6-4, 213-pounder threw for 2,465 yards and 22 TDs as a junior at Detroit (Mich.) Country Day High School. "I told them I was going to stick with Rutgers. They wished me the best of luck, if you ever decide to change your mind, we're here. [Offensive coordinator Greg] Davis said they weren't going to take a QB early, so that offer was going to stand. Luckily, we still had that option open."

Wiegers signed with the Hawkeyes on Wednesday and is now probably No. 5 on the depth chart. Iowa quarterback is full stocked, from junior starter Jake Rudock to sophomore challenger C.J. Beathard, senior backup Cody Sokol, redshirt freshman Nic Shimonek, Wiegers and 2015 commitment Jack Beneventi.

Wiegers is good with this. This is what you want to hear if you're Iowa.

"You're going to have good competition wherever you go," Wiegers said. "You have to expect it and welcome it. Ultimately, it makes you better. If you're good enough to start, you'll be the guy and you'll get in there."

Rutgers, which begins play in the Big Ten this fall, ended up with two quarterback commitments, including Minnesota transfer Philip Nelson.

Wiegers jumped on the Rutgers offer because it was his first one from a BCS school. Wiegers had offers from several Mid-American Conference schools, including champion Bowling Green.


"It was my biggest offer and I liked it. I liked all the coaches, so I committed there," Wiegers said. "I thought it would be a good spot for me. Going along through the summer and my season, I talked about it again with my parents. We thought it was better for me to de-commit and look at some of the other schools I still had and that still had openings." ranks Wiegers as a four-star recruit and the No. 14 pro-style quarterback in the country.

"Pro-style" is a term that Wiegers readily admits fits his game.

"I don't think it means 'unathletic,'" he said with a laugh. "I guess a lot of that is associated with it, a guy not being able to run. It's been a stereotype that's undeserving, because there are a lot of guys who can still be athletic.

"I don't see me busting a 50-yard run, but I think a pro-style guy is more of a guy who's going to be in the pocket, managing the game and getting the ball to his playmakers, looking more to distribute the ball, get it out to the playmakers and let them make the plays than try to make a big play."

Wiegers doesn't believe a pro-style QB needs a slingshot for an arm, either. In you're mind, you cringe at the term "game manager," but don't all quarterbacks do that on some level?

"A big arm obviously helps. You work toward having a big arm all the time, but I don't think it's a necessity," Wiegers said. "I wouldn't say I have the strongest arm in the country, but I think I can make all the throws. I would say that being able to make the throws, see the reads and put the ball where it needs to be on time, those are the biggest things."

Iowa is an oasis for pro-style quarterbacks. It's what Kirk Ferentz has envisioned for his program from day 1. Wiegers shaped his recruiting around schools that run pro-style attacks.

"I felt like I needed to go to a place that would fit my skill set," he said. "There had to be a fit with the coaches, too, but I do feel that is my main skill set. That's something you need to look at going into college. You want to be able to get out on the field. Being in a pro-style system was definitely something I was looking at. I didn't receive any offers from schools that weren't pro style, except maybe a couple of MAC schools."

It might've taken Wiegers some time to find Iowa, but it sounds like a fit. When a quarterback de-commits, he knows he's going to take some heat. If nothing else, the latest addition to Iowa's quarterback depth chart comes in heat-tested.


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"The recruiting process is a learning process in general," Wiegers said. "You kind of learn how to deal with different people, make sure you do your homework and do what's best for you.

"There's that part of it, but as far as de-committing goes, it's tough de-commiting from a coaching staff that you've been getting to know for awhile. Sometimes, you have to do that stuff. The fans, they were getting a little angry with me. They're passionate. It's part of the game, so you expect that. It wasn't really that big of a deal."



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