A second consecutive state championship in the books for his Arrowhead High (Hartland, WI), Sam Seonbuchner has been working to add a little something to his game before he enrolls at Iowa State over the summer.
A little extra weight, that is.
"When I first met coach (Paul) Rhoads, I was 213 pounds, and he said I was perfect for a high school outside linebacker, but I'm up to 220 right now," Seonbuchner said Thursday. "I'm trying to lose a little fat and gain a little muscle and I plan to be at the 220-225 range when I get to Iowa State.
"And then by the time the season begins I'll be up to 240."
The trick for Seonbuchner, a three-star player and the No. 115 outside linebacker in the 2014 recruiting class, is maintaining his playmaking skills that perfectly fit his role at weak side linebacker while adding some heft to size up better against Big 12 athletes.
"The biggest thing, I need to be conditioned and ready to go," Seonbuchner, who has an Iowa State official visit this weekend, said. "I need to keep working out and getting stronger."
Iowa State has seen Seonbuchner twice on the road during the last two weeks of the winter recruiting period.
Last week, Rhoads and graduate assistant Derek Day stopped by and on Thursday, Day met him at school and followed him home. Seonbuchner is solid to his Iowa State pledge, which he made official in May over offers from Ball State, Bowling Green, Ohio, Pitt and North Dakota State. The in-homes are just a way for his family to be absorbed into Iowa State's.
"It's pretty much them building relationships with my parents, we talk about the team now and in the future, talk about me as an individual," Seonbuchner said.
Iowa State is hoping to get sophomore-to-be weakside linebacker Luke Knott healthy in time for the regular season (Knott missed the last quarter of the season with a hip injury) but doesn't have experienced depth at the WILL, which Seonbuchner began playing in high school. Seonbuchner racked up tackles as a middle linebacker at the pee wee and middle school level, but after current Southern Illinois Saluki Blake Mattson graduated, the coaches saw Seonbuchner fit as a playmaker.
They said, 'Hey, he's gone. You've got the athleticism, height and weight,'" Seonbuchner said. "I like outside linebacker more because you can still blitz when you're a middle linebacker but blitzing off the edge [as an OLB], you get more sacks, you get more picks in the flat, more opportunities to make plays.
"Iowa State said the opportunity will be there but it's up to me how it plays out. I'm not sure if I'll redshirt, but whichever is best for the team is which one I'll do."