Recruiting notebook: Illinois native Athan Kaliakmanis excited by early Iowa offer; Important official visitors this weekend

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Photo courtesy of Athan Kaliakmanis (left)

By Tyler Devine

IOWA CITY, Iowa - The Iowa football team doesn't make a habit of offering scholarships to high school freshmen.

Quarterback Athan Kaliakmanis is an exception to that rule as he is believed to be the sixth member or the 2021 class to receive an offer from Iowa.

“It is truly a blessing,” Kaliakmanis said of the offer from Iowa, which came on Thursday. “I can’t thank everyone enough that has helped me through this process. It’s just amazing to see my hard work is paying off.”

A native of Antioch, Ill., Kaliakmanis attended a camp at Iowa this past weekend. He enjoyed getting his first look at the UI campus and showing the Iowa coaching staff his skills.  Kaliakmanis decided to visit Iowa after having been in contact with Iowa recruiting coordinator Kelvin Bell.

“Coach Bell invited me to a camp last week and I went,” Kaliakmanis said. “I got a chance to meet the whole coaching staff and walk around the building with coach Bell.

“Definitely just being able to see the facilities and meet the coaching staff stood out to me. Being able to show the coaches what I can do was an amazing experience.”

The 6-foot-4, 195-pound Kaliakmanis also has scholarship offers from Central Michigan, Iowa State, Syracuse and Virginia Tech, but is in no rush to narrow his list with three years of high school still remaining.

“I wouldn’t say any offer is above another,” Kaliakmanis said. “I’m just super thankful that Iowa was able to offer just like other schools. I will start narrowing down the list at the end of my sophomore year.”

Clear Creek Amana defensive end T.J. Bollers and Bettendorf defensive lineman Griffin Liddle are also in the 2021 class and already have a scholarship offer from Iowa.

Making it official: Iowa will host 14 2019 prospects for official visits this weekend.

Nine of Iowa's 10 2019 commits will be on campus, the exception being Oak Lawn, Ill. defensive back Sebastian Castro.

Ezra Miller, a native of Holstein, Iowa, was the first to commit to the class, and is said to hold the unofficial record for campus visits for an Iowa recruit.

List of visitors (Undecided)

Justin Britt, OL, 6-4, 282, Indianapolis, Ind.

Tomari Fox, DE, 6-2, 235, Suwanee, Ga.

Dane Belton, DB, 6-1, 185, Tampa, Fla.

Jalen Hunt, DE, 6-2, 245, Belleville, Mich.

Iowa commits

Tyler Endres, OL, 6-6, 280, Norwalk, Iowa

Logan Lee, TE, 6-5, 225, Orion, Ill.

Ezra Miller, OL, 6-6, 310, Holstein, Iowa

Noah Fenske, OL, 6-5, 280, New Hampton, Iowa

Jack Campbell, LB, 6-4, 210, Cedar Falls, Iowa

Desmond Hutson, WR, 6-4, 190, Raytown, Mo.

Jestin Jacobs, LB, 6-4, 205, Clayton, Ohio

Jake Karchinksi, DL, 6-5, 245, De Pere, Wis.

Alex Padilla, QB, 6-2, 195, Greenwood Village, Co.