Kade Warner making his own mark
Twenty-eight years ago, the Iowa Hawkeyes took a look at a quarterback from Cedar Rapids by the name of Kurt Warner, but ultimately decided to pass on offering a scholarship. The Regis graduate ended up playing for the UNI Panthers and the rest is history, of course, with a long journey that ended with a storybook Hall of Fame type of career in the NFL.
Fast forward to the present and Kurt’s son, Kade Warner, is making his own mark on the football field as a wide receiver putting up big numbers at Desert Mountain High School in Scottsdale, Arizona. This year, as a senior, the 6-foot-2, 205-pounder hauled in 83 catches for 1,062 yards and 14 touchdowns, which has helped put him on the radar of several Division I colleges.
Among those is the Iowa Hawkeyes, who invited Warner to campus for a game day visit this past weekend. The Class of 2017 prospect made the trip with his mom, Brenda, and a cousin, Tor, that went to the University of Iowa. What they ended up seeing was the Hawkeyes’ big upset over No. 2 ranked Michigan on a last second field goal at Kinnick Stadium on Saturday night.
“The experience was unforgettable,” said Warner. “The fans there at Iowa love their team and have pride in them. It's their professional team in a way. So that was awesome to be a part of.”
“Then, there was the game, which I have never seen an upset of that proportion with my own eyes,” Warner said. “It was almost as if the whole stadium and even the team knew they were going to win that game, or at least give one hell of a fight. Even when Iowa threw that interception late in the game, no one left, no one was too worried. Everyone stayed and had faith in their Hawkeyes to pull this one out.”
“After the interception, I looked at my cousin and told her it wasn't over,” he continued. “I said we have three timeouts and will get the ball with a minute and a half left. I told her Michigan is going to run it twice and then throw on third down for an incompletion. When my prediction came true, I knew they were going to win.”
“The atmosphere after was electric,” said Warner. “I stormed the field with the players and the students and was glad to be a part of the celebration.”
Arriving early on Saturday, Warner had a chance to meet with the Iowa coaching staff before the game and take a tour of the new Hawkeye football facilities.
“Besides the game, I think the biggest highlight for me was the tour I took,” Warner said. “I got to talk to some of the coaches and take a tour of all the football facilities. The facilities are probably the newest and nicest I have ever seen. All indoor, high tech, and all team oriented. It was jaw dropping walking through them.”
Among the coaches that Warner had a chance to talk with former Iowa Hawkeye and Arizona Cardinal LeVar Woods, who is now the tight ends coach at his alma mater.
“I had a chance to talk to some of the coaches like LeVar Woods, the tight ends coach, but not on the basis of recruiting interest or anything of that sort,” said Warner. “They were more focused on the game and just wanted to say hello and make sure I knew that they all knew me.”
So far, Iowa’s recruiting interest has been mostly as a preferred walk-on, which is something Warner is still considering.
“I think they want me as a preferred walk-on,” Warner said. “They do need some help in the wide receiver area, which keeps me hopeful, but we will see as time goes on.”
Warner, who will play in the Blue-Grey All-American Bowl in December, currently has one scholarship offer on the table and lots of interest elsewhere as he continues to stay patient with the recruiting process and sort through his different options.
“My only offer is from the University of San Diego,” said Warner. “Then I have preferred walk-on opportunities at schools such as UCLA, Northwestern, ASU, and Iowa. I also have interest from some of the Ivy League schools.”
No matter what the situation ends up being, with a family history of making it despite the odds, no one should be counting out Kade Warner.