Michael Malloy will be the first to tell you that he was not a big Hawkeye fan growing up even though he lived in the state of Iowa. The speedy 6-foot, 180-pound Sioux City native followed mostly out of state teams when he was younger, but began learning more about Iowa once they started recruiting him this past year. For Malloy, the more he saw, the more he liked about the program.
"At first, I really didn't know that much about Iowa because I didn't really follow them or like them that much to be honest," said Malloy. "But that was before I met the people inside the program. Those are the people you're going to be interacting with on a daily basis like the coaches, the strength and conditioning staff, the players, and the academic advisors, and all of them were very impressive."
Malloy attended Iowa's one-day camp in June where he played running back and wide receiver and earned a scholarship offer from the coaching staff one week later. Since that time, the three-star prospect has thought a lot about the opportunity and during a visit to campus today decided to give his verbal commitment to the Hawkeyes.
"I committed," Malloy said. "Everything that I saw and did today impressed me. First, I got there and met with the running backs coach and a couple other coaches and the player panel where I had a chance to ask some of the players about the team. After that, I met with Coach Ferentz and that's when I told them I was ready to commit. They all seemed pretty excited about it."
The player panel was one part of the visit that really made a good impression on Malloy. There, the Sioux City native had a chance to hear current Hawkeye players like James Vandenberg and Keenan Davis talk about their experiences in the Iowa football program.
"After talking to the player panel, it just seemed like a place that fit me really well," said Malloy. "It's a place where you are going to have to work really hard, but it's a family atmosphere where everyone is working towards the same goal and they seemed like they were really close as a team."
As a junior, Malloy earned first team all-state honors as a running back, finishing with 207 carries for 1,668 yards and 29 touchdowns for Sioux City Heelan. He also had 26 catches for 210 yards and two touchdowns receiving as he led the Crusaders to a 12-2 record. Also a state champion in track, the Iowa coaching staff likes his speed and versatility on offense.
"They told me that it's either going to be wide receiver or running back and they will probably wait until I actually get there to decide," Malloy said. "That's fine by me. I would pick running back if it was my choice, but if it's not there then I'd prefer to stay on the offensive side of the ball, so wide receiver would be okay too. Whatever I can do to get on the field."
Malloy chose Iowa over a scholarship from South Dakota and interest from Iowa State and Wisconsin, among others. With his college decision out of the way, he looks forward to focusing on his senior season as he hopes to lead Heelan back to the state championship game this year.
"It's a relief because now I don't really have to worry about recruiting anymore," said Malloy. "Iowa is a great program and obviously they have great people there. It's really exciting to know that I'm going to be a part of something like that next year."