Iowa State Cyclones

New Iowa Senate majority leader Jack Whitver was "dark-alley guy" for Iowa State football

Former ISU receiver had his biggest game against state-rival Hawkeyes

Iowa State's Jack Whitver during Iowa State's football game against Connecticut at ISU's Jack Trice Stadium on Nov. 23, 2002. (Jim Slosiarek/The Gazette)
Iowa State's Jack Whitver during Iowa State's football game against Connecticut at ISU's Jack Trice Stadium on Nov. 23, 2002. (Jim Slosiarek/The Gazette)

Jack Whitver, elected by Senate Republicans Wednesday to be the majority leader in Iowa’s State Senate, was an Iowa State something-else years ago.

Whitver is 37, and lives in Ankeny. He graduated from Grinnell High School and was an Iowa State Cyclone wide receiver from 1999-2003, joining the program as a walk-on and going on to catch 98 passes, including 52 in his junior season. He was given an athletic scholarship during his college career.

One of the biggest plays of Whitver’s career came as a junior in 2002 when Iowa State rallied from a 24-7 halftime deficit in Kinnick Stadium to defeat Iowa, 36-31.

The Cyclones had a third down at their own 5-yard line in the second half. Quarterback Seneca Wallace scrambled in the end zone before seeing Whitver was open on a long route. Wallace’s pass to Whitver was good for 29 yards, and the drive ended with an ISU field goal.

Whitver had eight catches for 132 yards in that game. It was the most catches or yards he had in a college game.

In his 2003 senior season, Whitver had a personal single-game season-high 111 receiving yards against the Hawkeyes, giving him 16 catches for 276 yards against Iowa in his career.

Whitver was an assistant coach for the af2/Arena Football League’s Iowa Barnstormers from 2008 to 2011.

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Whitver’s Iowa State coach, Dan McCarney, told Randy Peterson of the Des Moines Register this last year: “Jack’s so handsome and so nice. How can that nice guy want to go out there on the football field and mix it up?

“Let me tell you this: Jack turns into one of those dark-alley guys on game day.”

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