As a senior, linebacker Macon Plewa racked up a bunch of tackles, interceptions, and all kinds of honors, but no Division I scholarship offers when it came to recruiting. So the 6-foot-2, 215-pound Wisconsin native decided to pursue his dream anyway and looked over several different walk-on opportunities. This week, Plewa decided that he had finally found the right fit and made his college choice.
"I'm going to Iowa," said Plewa. "It's a dream come true for me. I'm ready to put in some hard work and hopefully make an impact on the team as soon as possible. I'm really excited about it."
A native of Franklin, Wisconsin, Plewa had been discussing things with the in-state Badgers along with Minnesota recently, but was sold on the Hawkeyes after a visit to campus in Iowa City this past weekend.
"I've been talking to the coaches at Iowa for the past month and then I went and visited on Saturday," Plewa said. "I watched them practice and kind of toured the whole campus with the coaches. I really liked it and just felt like it was the right fit for me."
"After getting back home and talking it over with my family, I called the coaches up on Monday night and told them that's where I want to be the next four or five years," he continued.
At Franklin, Plewa finished with 131 tackles, 22 tackles for loss, and five interceptions in leading the team to a 12-1 record his senior year. He earned a number of all-conference and all-state honors along the way and had a key role in their big win over highly ranked Kenosha Bradford in October.
"I won the all-conference defensive player of the year and Melvin Gordon was the offensive player of the year," said Plewa. "Obviously, he's a top prospect, but we beat them in the playoffs and I actually had the game winning interception at the end when I was covering him."
Plewa has played both inside and outside linebacker in high school plus tight end where he had five touchdown catches for Franklin last season. The Iowa coaching staff initially projects him to play inside linebacker in college.
"It's a good opportunity for me," Plewa said. "The coaches explained how when it comes down to it, it doesn't matter if it's a scholarship player or a walk-on, it's the best player that puts in the work that's going to play."
While it may have taken him longer than some others to find his college destination, Plewa is happy that he stayed patient and waited for the right opportunity to emerge.
"At this point, I'm just completely relieved," said Plewa. "A lot of my friends made their decisions a long time ago, but I've been patient and things finally came through for me. It's a dream come true and I think I found the right fit. Now, it's time to get to work and get ready for the Big Ten."
Iowa's 2011 walk-ons:
Brendon Boerm - 6-foot-0, 175-pound safety from Traer, IA (North Tama)
Adam Cox - 6-foot-0, 210-pound fullback from Stillman Valley, IL (Stillman Valley)
Marshall Koehn - 6-foot-1, 175-pound kicker from Solon, IA (Solon)
Travis Perry - 6-foot-3, 200-pound linebacker from Urbandale, IA (Urbandale)
Macon Plewa - 6-foot-2, 215-pound linebacker from Franklin, WI (Franklin)
Gavin Smith - 5-foot-10, 175-pound cornerback from Iowa City, IA (Iowa Central Community College)
Mark Weisman - 6-foot-0, 210-pound fullback from Lincolnshire, IL (transfer from Air Force)