West Sioux football Star and Iowa State recruit Hunter Dekkers is a grassroots guy with a ton of talent Randy Peterson, firstname.lastname@example.org
HAWARDEN, Ia. — Light, early-morning sprinkles fell on the 40 or so football players working out at the West Sioux High School practice field. It was 6:30 a.m. in this farming community whose population of 2,500 just happens to include one of the top high school senior quarterbacks in the country.
Hunter Dekkers was heavily in the mix with his teammates, the muscular lefty hurling passes across his body while running right, handing off the ball and even sneaking to the defensive side of the field — where he doesn’t often play.
It was a mid-July Thursday, following a 6 a.m. Wednesday weight-lifting session that followed a late Tuesday night baseball tournament game in which Dekkers pitched and homered. All this early-morning business came after he participated in the “Elite 11” quarterback camp at the Dallas Cowboys complex in June.
Iowa State recruit Hunter Dekkers of West Sioux is on the verge of breaking Iowa high school career records Randy Peterson, email@example.com
“Hunter is the kind of kid that you hope you’re going to raise — of course, I don’t have children. Success doesn’t go to his head. He accepts his talent as a gift from God. He’s not telling me that. That’s just how I see him.”
So, how’s he viewed from the other sidelines?
“Hunter makes hard plays look so easy,” veteran Hull Western Christian coach Travis Kooima said. “They’re second-nature to him. When a play doesn’t go as planned and you’re stuck in second-and-15 — somehow, he gets 16 and a first down. You do everything perfect from a defensive standpoint, and they still make a first down.”
Defensive strategy sounds simpler than it is.
“So many teams try to take away the throws — the bubbles and the quick screens,” Kooima went on. “He’s accurate — and he’s got great receivers.
“For us, we’d rather have him run it. We’d rather not give up the long pass, because those plays provide such a momentum swing.
“It sucks having to coach against him, but it’s fun. You don’t see those type of players all the time.
“He’s a generational-like player.”
Randy Peterson is the Iowa State columnist for the Register. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org, 515-284-8132, and on Twitter at @RandyPete. No one covers the Cyclones like the Register. Subscribe today at Des Moines Register.com/Deal to make sure you never miss a moment.