Iowa linebacker pledge Ben VanSumeren flips to the Michigan Wolverines

Matthew Bain
Hawk Central

The Iowa Hawkeyes lost a 2018 pledge Sunday afternoon.

Ben VanSumeren is out of Essexville Garber. He is an athletic 3-star TE (6-3, 228) who flipped from Iowa to the Wolverines.

Ben VanSumeren, a linebacker recruit from Garber, Michigan, flipped to his home-state Michigan Wolverines. He announced the decision via Twitter.

"I want to thank Coach Ferentz, the entire staff and fan base for your time and belief in my abilities," VanSumeren wrote. "I have great respect for the Hawkeye program and wish nothing but the best for you moving forward."

Michigan offered VanSumeren on Dec. 14, four days after he completed his official visit to Iowa.

This is VanSumeren's second decommitment. He previously reopened his recruitment after verbally committing to Western Michigan.

The three-star prospect can deadlift 475 pounds and boasts a 40-inch vertical. He's an off-the-charts athlete who emerged in the Midwest recruiting scene after piling up 77 catches for 1,446 yards and 13 touchdowns as a sophomore and junior at Essexville Garber High School. He picked up even more steam at last year's Nike The Opening regional camp in Cleveland, where was rated the country's No. 1 underclassman tight end. 

Iowa recruited him as a linebacker, but he's projected to play offense at Michigan.

The writing was on the wall for this move: VanSumeren took an official visit to Ann Arbor last weekend, which was in violation of Iowa's unwritten "no-visit" policy.

VanSumeren's departure leaves Iowa with 15 freshmen in its 2018 class, and Iowa City West's Dillon Doyle as the only linebacker.

Matthew Bain covers college football and basketball recruiting for the Des Moines Register. He also helps out with Iowa and Iowa State football and basketball coverage for HawkCentral and Cyclone Insider. Contact him at and follow him on Twitter @MatthewBain_.