Meet the Iowa Eight: Bettendorf lineman Mark Kallenberger
Position: Offensive tackle
Weight: 260 pounds
Key stats: A true anchor for the Bulldog offensive line, Kallenberger helped his team rush for 2,696 yards and a class-best 48 touchdowns in 2015 en route to the 4A semifinals. His long wingspan and nearly 50-pound weight gain over the course of high school have become important measurables, too.
Why he’s one of the Iowa Eight
Rated as the state’s No. 2 recruit by 247Sports, Kallenberger had outstanding technique built up by his father, and a nasty streak brought out by older brother Jack, who was a 2014 all-state selection. That’s made him a blossoming prospect in pass protection and a brutal finisher on run plays.
“I felt like I had good technique before I even got on varsity, because I can remember being in third grade when my dad taught me steps for run-blocking,” Kallenberger said. “I’ve been prepared.”
He’s a three-star player with upside on a perennial powerhouse.
“Sophomore year, I’d block guys and let them go,” Kallenberger said. “Last year, I did a better job of staying on my block, playing through the whistle, finishing it. And my footwork has really gotten better. I’m excited to see how it all comes together this season.”
Kallenberger gave his verbal commitment to Iowa on March 31. Recruited by assistant Reese Morgan, he accepted the offer over others from regional schools like Iowa State, Nebraska, Kansas State and Missouri. Given how he’s packed on muscle in his last two seasons — from a 210-pound sophomore to a 240-pound junior — a redshirt season under strength and conditioning coach Chris Doyle likely puts him in the long line of 300-pound in-state tackles.
“I haven’t really had a problem adding weight when I’m focused on doing it,” Kallenberger said. “But I still play basketball and all the workouts make it tough at certain times of the year.”
“The difference between Mark and some of the other big guys we’ve had over the years is that he is really a tough, tough kid. A lot of times the bigger kids are just big. Mark’s a hard-nosed kid, and when you combine that with his body, his athleticism and his technique, he’s the total package for a college lineman. One of the best I’ve seen here in my 20 years.” – Bettendorf head coach Aaron Wiley
Other Iowa Eight selections
- Oliver Martin, Iowa City West wide reciever
- Tristan Wirfs, Mount Vernon lineman
- Jake Hummel, Dowling Catholic linebacker
- Zach Dykstra, Spirit Lake offensive/defensive lineman
- Devon Moore, Waterloo West quarterback
- Rocky Lombardi, W.D.M. Valley quarterback
About this series
The Iowa Eight is the Register's preseason list of the eight best football players in the state of Iowa, weighing past performance and their projected future. Incoming freshmen through seniors are eligible. The team is selected based on Register staff observations and consultation with high school and college contacts. The Register will have additional Iowa Eight lists for key boys' and girls' sports throughout the year.