116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
IOWA CITY — Ballard High School junior Kale Krogh wants to make the most of his June.
The 6-foot-6, 265-pound offensive tackle plans to visit five college campuses in five days — Iowa State, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska and Iowa, in that order from June 1-5.
“I want to get in as much as I possibly can, take everything in, and make the most of my June,” Krogh said on Wednesday.
Krogh’s crazy schedule wasn’t born out of concern, though, despite the fact the Class of 2022 didn’t get to make the most of its summer last year following the extended dead period, which canceled all camps, official and unofficial visits.
But JC Moreau, owner and head strength coach of Strength U in North Liberty, said he hasn’t seen schedules packed quite like Krogh’s before.
“I was just talking to somebody with one of the recruiting services about this to ask him what a couple of our guys was uncommon,” Moreau said in an interview on May 6. “The camps aren’t that long, but still getting in the car and driving 300 miles and having to perform, then going to bed and doing it again. It’s going to challenge a few of them mentally. Others are going to be just the same.”
Part of that, he said, is because schools send the invites to athletes, saying if they come, it’s more likely they will receive an offer.
“It's like everybody is in a mad rush to get as many kids on their campuses as they could in that first two weeks,” Moreau said. “I get it, it partly frustrates me at times because I wish they would offer earlier. But it also means if they offer a kid that usually snowballs into 10 more offers.”
According to 247Sports, 20 schools have expressed interest in Krogh, including five Ivy League schools, and 13 have made offers. His first and only Power Five offer right now, though, is Minnesota, which is why he knew he wanted to get on campus early. But he knows he can get more if he travels to camps.
“I just want to show them extra love because that’s special to me,” Krogh said. “I’ve talked to Iowa since my freshman year. It was special with (offensive line) Coach (George) Barnett, too, because he offered me while he was at Tulane, so I already had a relationship built.”
The plan looks a little like this: the Huxley resident will make his first trip to Iowa State down the road on June 1, then return home for the night. He’ll drive to Minnesota on Wednesday morning and spend the afternoon on campus, and return home that evening before waking up early to make his first long-distance trip (four or five hours) to Missouri on Thursday. He’ll head to Nebraska that evening, stay the night, before going to a morning workout the next day and returning home only to drive to Iowa City for his final camp.
The rest of the month is open. He could plan official or unofficial visits to other places he’s garnered interest from across the country.
“You always have in the back of your head, ’Oh my goodness, it would be a terrible time for him to get hurt,’ but Kale doesn't really stop,” Krogh’s mother, Teri Krogh, said. “I don't really think this will faze him. I think it's exciting that he gets a chance to go visit all of these programs in the Midwest.”
Kale is a busy athlete. He makes the four-hour round-trip drive to North Liberty on Sundays and Wednesdays just to train with players from across the state in bigger classifications like Pleasant Valley’s Andrew Depaepe.
Two weeks ago, he was in track, wrestling, basketball and lifting after school in addition to his twice-a-week workouts at Strength U. He hopes to double on basketball and wrestling this upcoming winter, so he’s already added wrestling training these past couple of weeks.
“I’ve prepared my body pretty well for this,” Krogh said. “I played five basketball games this weekend, and then wrestled Monday after school, lifted before I wrestled, and then hit PRs in both squat and bench on Monday and Tuesday.”
Depaepe, one of Krogh’s training partners at Strength U, also plans to visit eight schools across the country in three weeks’ time, but he’s not making up for lost time. The Class of 2023 defensive lineman has nine Power Five offers. As a sophomore, he hasn’t been to a camp before, and didn’t even play varsity football until 2020.
“I didn’t really have attention until after football season this year,” Depaepe said. “I got my first offer like a month after the season, and then after that I just got all those like pretty fast.”
He’ll be at Wisconsin on June 7, Michigan and Michigan State on June 13, Missouri on June 23 and Washington on June 24. After that, he’ll squeeze in unofficial visits to Iowa, Iowa State and Indiana before the dead period starts on June 28.
Camps are not only important for recruits to get a taste of the coaching, but also an opportunity for exposure they may not otherwise get, so it’s no surprise they’re loading up their schedules.
“This (dead period) has gotten pushed back so many times, I don’t know that people thought for sure it would end on June 1,” Moreau said. “But, in the last three weeks, everybody's been very confident it would be moving forward.”
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