Hawkeyes add Pella elite all-state defensive lineman

Andy Hamilton
Pella all-state defensive lineman Garret Jansen committed to Iowa.

Garret Jansen had been set on Cincinnati since June when the punctual Pella defensive lineman committed to the Bearcats.

Those plans changed earlier this month when the Cincinnati coaches informed him they wanted to delay the start of his career, which led Jansen to take a look at Northern Iowa.

And those plans changed Friday night after Iowa extended a scholarship and the 6-foot-1, 250-pound elite all-state pick accepted.

"They're getting a high-character young man, a kid who makes good choices," Pella coach Jay McKinstrey said. "I don't want to make kids from the past feel bad, but he may be the hardest worker we've ever had. He's a kid who's in the weight room before everybody else, in the locker room an hour and a half (before practice). It's amazing. And physically, they're getting a kid who's very explosive off the ball and he never stops. … He's worked his way into being a very, very good football player."

Jansen had a hand in 31 tackles behind the line of scrimmage for a squad that went undefeated on its way to the Class 3-A state title. He also started on the offensive line. But his top contribution for the Dutch may have been his example-setting work habits.

"The team followed him," McKinstrey said. "They respect him so much. They felt he had set the standard and they needed to follow him because if they did that they were going to be doing things right."

Jansen's commitment to the Hawkeyes ended a whirlwind January for the Pella senior. Earlier in the month, Cincinnati informed him his full ride was being changed to a grayshirt offer.

"Garret was disappointed in that," McKinstrey said. "He wanted a chance to play next year and be on a team rather than sitting out next year. Then he opened it up and was looking at other (schools).

"As of (Friday), he was going to go to UNI (unless) Iowa came back with an offer. He was up front with them."

Iowa's offer came after the Hawkeyes came up short Friday in the derby for four-star Texas prep defensive lineman Darrion Daniels.

Jansen is believed to be the 19th player to commit to Iowa's 2015 class.