Iowa Football

Cedar Rapids Kennedy's Connor Colby (and his mullet) officially signs with Iowa football

One of 17 prospects in 2021 recruiting class

Kennedy's Connor Colby (left) adjusts his helmet at a high school football game between Cedar Rapids Kennedy and West De
Kennedy’s Connor Colby (left) adjusts his helmet at a high school football game between Cedar Rapids Kennedy and West Des Moines Valley at Kingston Stadium in Cedar Rapids on Friday, Sept. 13, 2019. Valley won the game, 28-14. (Rebecca F. Miller/The Gazette)
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Forget his size. Ignore his mean on-field demeanor, the way he always seems to finish every single block.

Check out Connor Colby’s mullet.

It should have its own Twitter account. Someone get on that already.

“My dad had one in high school,” the Cedar Rapids Kennedy senior said, with a laugh. “Originally he was against it when I told him I was getting one. But I kind of brought it back within the Kennedy football team. I know, like, four or five kids got one this year. The first time I had one it was about eight months of growth, then I cut it off during basketball season. I think this is another nine months of growth. I’ll keep it throughout college ... Business in the front, party in the back.”

Atta boy.

Colby and/or his awesome throwback hairstyle officially signed Wednesday to play football at the University of Iowa, one of 17 preps to do so. He is one of four offensive linemen in the recruiting class, all listed at pretty much the same height and weight.

Colby will enroll at Iowa in January and be roommates with fellow signee David Davidkov of the Chicago suburbs. Davidkov was a four-star guy who ignored overtures from the likes of Ohio State and Notre Dame.

He has exactly the same physical specs as Colby, also a four-star who committed early to the Hawkeyes. Both are 6-foot-6 and 295 pounds.

“Davidkov never rocked a mullet the way Colby did for about a year and a half. Missing out on that there,” said Iowa recruiting coordinator Tyler Barnes. “Those are prototypical tackle body types you’re looking for. We’re fortunate one of them just happened to be up the road in Cedar Rapids, grew up wanting to be a Hawkeye. Pretty sought after, too. He may not get the national recognition that Davidkov did, because he committed earlier than David did.”

“I’m just excited to start the next chapter of my life,” Colby said. “I’ll be there in January ready to get to work. Honestly (this whole process) was kind of easy for me. I had an idea in the back of my mind that I wanted to go to Iowa. After I took all of my visits the summer before my junior year, it just kind of solidified everything for me.”

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Colby and his father, Jeff, toured around the country the summer before his junior year at Kennedy. That’s when his recruiting exploded.

Ohio State, Michigan, Nebraska, they all wanted him.

“He always gets the last punch, he always gets the last push, he’s always throwing somebody on the ground. He always gets the last blow,” said Kennedy Coach Brian White, whose son, Max, is a preferred Iowa walk-on. “Obviously down in Iowa City, they love that. And everybody loved it. But that caught their eye right away. That’s something that really does separate him.”

Kennedy did not throw the football much at all in Colby’s three seasons, so he and Coach White agreed that pass blocking will be something he’ll have a “learning curve with.”

“But I do think that the fact our offense, we are a vertical blocking team, meaning we don’t catch block, we don’t run the spread, we’re not basketball screening, we go off the ball vertical, that’s really going to help him in Iowa City,” White said. “Those guys, they run downhill, and he’s used to that.”

Colby said Notre Dame and Stanford continued recruiting him hard even after he committed to Iowa. He said Ohio State would text him every now and then.

But there was never a doubt where he would go.

“I think the main thing I improved on (this season) was my strength,” he said. “I put on a lot of muscle mass throughout quarantine. I feel like that translated for me in finishing blocks more with my legs rather than just my upper body. We have a weight set in the basement of our house, so I was just living down there the whole time.”

Iowa’s other notable signees include Cooper DeJean, who led Ida Grove OABCIG to back-to-back state championships as a prolific quarterback. Barnes said the Hawkeyes view him as a safety type in college, though it’s never bad to have straight-up athletic ability to fall back upon for other possible positions.

Wide receiver Keagan Johnson’s father, Cluster, was an outstanding college player at Nebraska who shunned his home-state school and dad’s alma mater to sign with Iowa. Minnesota linebacker Justice Sullivan’s dad, Jake, was a good shooting guard for Iowa State’s basketball program.

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The class consists of nine kids from Iowa, three from Illinois, two from the Kansas City suburbs, one from Minnesota, one from Nebraska and one from Ohio. Definitely a regional class that lost one original commit (Florida defensive back Jordan Oladokun) after the racial bias investigation into the program over the summer.

“Yeah, I mean, with the whole class, we had to be open and honest,” Barnes said. “There were conversations similar to the conversations that took place in this building with our current players. You couldn’t run away from it. Had to hit it head on.”

“I think that’s really what makes me feel good about this class and about this team, right?” Ferentz said. “They could have packed it up after the first two games. Didn’t do it. Same thing with the guys that were committed to us, really seriously looking at us. They looked at facts, not sensational headlines. They didn’t get caught up in all the stuff. They were looking at things of substance. I think obviously they walked away feeling pretty good about things.”

More on Iowa's 2021 recruiting class: Highlights, bios and thoughts from recruiting coordinator Tyler Barnes

Comments: (319) 398-8259; jeff.johnson@thegazette.com

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