Nathan Bazata's head coach, Mike Speirs, has confirmed with Voice of the Hawkeyes that the defensive tackle has committed to Iowa. The 6-2, 270-pounder out of Howells (Neb.) becomes Iowa's fifth verbal pledge of the 2013 recruiting class.
Bazata selected Iowa over an offer from South Dakota State, and had also received interest from Nebraska and Iowa state.
"He committed sometime this morning, I believe," Speirs said of Bazata. "He decided that they were the first one to offer, and that's where he was going to go."
Similar to 2012 Hawkeye signee Drew Ott, Bazata plays eight-man football. According to Speirs, the two future teammates also share a similar work ethic.
"Nathan is just a typical small-town Nebraska kid," Speirs said. "He's a hard-working farm kid, and he's incredibly strong for being a junior in high school. He's got a good frame, and he'll be able to put on some weight. He's so quick. For a kid his size, he's very quick. He hasn't really tapped into his ability yet."
Bazata was named First Team All-State as a junior, and also excels in wrestling and track. He recently set the school record in the shot put with a throw of 57'11'' and lost in the state finals of the heavyweight division to former Hawkeye target Mike Shoff. Hawkeye assistant Reese Morgan feels Bazata will bring the total package to Iowa.
"He's just an incredible athlete," Speirs said. "They just like his tenacity. Coach Morgan said that one of the things that caught their attention was that he played every play as hard as he could. He plays every play like it's the last play of the game."
Bazata also reminds Morgan of past players that have thrived in Iowa City.
"Coach Morgan liked him, and said he reminded him of some of the kids they've had there," Speirs said. "Small-town kids that did well for them."