Texas High School senior Mick Ellis has never set foot in Kinnick Stadium, but he hopes to use his foot to deliver a lot of victories for the Hawkeyes in the future.
A first-team all-state player at Lovejoy High School in Lucas, Texas, Ellis connected on 13-of-17 field goals as a junior, including a long of 53 yards.
“My best friend’s dad used to work up there in the hospital, and he loved the campus,” Ellis said. “He loved everything about it.”
The good reviews, plus the online videos he saw helped Ellis make his decision. It also helped that Iowa was the first FBS school to offer him a scholarship.
And they offered without seeing Ellis kick in person, just on tape.
“When someone is willing to offer you without ever seeing you kick is eye-opening,” Ellis said. “But they trust Chris Sailer. He’s done so much for me.”
Sailer is a national kicking guru who has camps all around the country for specialists. It is there that Ellis — who is unranked — met some of the other top kickers in the country.
“I’m friends with all the kids that are ranked in the top 20 in the country, and I was at the Top 12 camp with Chris Sailer,” Ellis said. “It is so relieving when you get the offer. When I told the coach today, I got goosebumps, I was so relived.”
Ellis knows that many kickers are asked to walk on. Ellis had interest from LSU, Oklahoma, Texas A&M and Stanford, but Iowa was the first to offer a scholarship.
He learned about the offer after making a visit to Yale.
“I got an offer at Yale, then within the hour, I got an offer at Iowa,” Ellis said. “I’ve seen hours of videos about Iowa. I talked to people that went there. I have not heard one bad thing about the entire place, except that its cold there.
“Other than that, I love it. And I was born in Pennsylvania, so I’ll get used to the cold.”
Ellis said he thought he might get offers from other schools, but was willing to commit to the Hawkeyes.
“I like that they are a specialist-based team,” Ellis said. “They see it as a third of the game, like it actually is.”
Ellis hopes to major in business or economics at Iowa.
He’s believed to be the 10th player to commit to Iowa’s 2014 recruiting class.
Category: Iowa Hawkeyes Football