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August 12, 2012When the Iowa Hawkeyes first offered a grayshirt to wide receiver Matthew VandeBerg, he had to do a little research to see what all that entailed. After checking it out and making another visit to campus, the South Dakota native decided to accept the offer tonight and will join the Hawkeyes as a grayshirt recruit in January of 2014.
Q: Can you just talk about your decision and making the call tonight?
VANDEBERG: Well, I've been mulling it over for the past few weeks and just decided it was about time. I didn't know what I was waiting for not committing, so with the scholarship on the table I just accepted. I called Coach Kirk Ferentz and told him.
Q: What was his reaction?
VANDEBERG: He was pleased. He said it made his night. He was glad I committed and said I'll definitely be able to help the team. He doesn't know if it will be on offense or defense yet, but he's confident that wherever I go, I'll be a good fit there.
Q: That is coming in as a grayshirt recruit initially right?
Q: Is there a chance that could change depending on how things go?
VANDEBERG: Yes. He said that if they can get me there sooner, they will.
Q: When they say either side of the ball, is that wide receiver and safety?
VANDEBERG: Correct. Wide receiver or free safety is what they've said. I've played both at their camp.
Q: What made the timing right to do it now instead of waiting until after the season like you had said before?
VANDEBERG: Like I said earlier, I don't know what I was waiting for. It's hard to turn down a chance to have your college paid for. I knew that was what's on the table, so I figured I might as well get it over and done with.
Q: Was it important for you to do it before your season too?
VANDEBERG: Yeah. Initially I wanted to wait until later to see what else might come up, but I started to realize this is where my best fit is going to be anyway so I might as well just get it over and done with.
Q: What are some of the things you like about Iowa?
VANDEBERG: Definitely the family like atmosphere. I know all of the coaches there and all of the coaches know me and know my mom and stepdad. We all have a good relationship with everybody. It's just very comfortable there. It was very easy to join the family I guess is how they would put it.
Q: You were out there for their barbecue a couple of weeks ago. Did that kind of seal the deal for you or were you already leaning that way?
VANDEBERG: It definitely helped just being able to meet the other recruits that are committed and some of the people there. The player panel really helped too. They had a safety, Tom (Donatell), and he came in as a grayshirt, so I got to talk to him and it really helped me understand what I would be doing if I accepted it.
Q: Overall, what is the feeling like tonight just knowing where you are headed next year?
VANDEBERG: It feels great. It's a lot of relief definitely. I had a lot of different thoughts going through my head like what if this or that happens, so just to get it over and done with means there are no more what ifs. I'm set where I'm going.
As a junior, the 6-foot-1, 168-pound VandeBerg put up big numbers with 67 catches for 1,081 yards and 16 touchdowns for Brandon Valley High School. He also had 53 tackles and nine interceptions on defense. This past spring, VandeBerg won state track titles in both the long jump (22-6.75) and triple jump (44-10.75).