Kuempel Giving Tackle a Shot

Kuempel Giving Tackle a Shot

After getting his first scholarship offer from a Division I program last week, Linn Mar (Marion) offensive lineman Andy Kuempel appears to be turning his focus on furthering his football career instead of basketball. The 6-foot-6, 250-pounder arrived at Iowa State's first padded camp in hopes of bolstering his stock on the football field.

The eastern Iowa prep, who was offered by Kansas on Saturday after making a trip to the Jayhawks' summer camp, has found a home at offensive tackle and got the opportunity to work with the Cyclones' first-year line coach Barney Cotton.

"I loved to work with him," said Andy Kuempel, also one of the state's top incoming senior basketball prospects. "He's a great teacher of the game. He knows what he's doing; nobody can argue that. It was an honor to work with him today. I'm projected at tackle, so I'm showing everybody what I can do at tackle. Being as I didn't play tackle a lot last year, I'm here to learn a lot and get more exposure. Hopefully I can take a lot away from it."

Kuempel also knows what areas he needs to work on. Given his tall and lanky frame, he's starting with his work in the run game while continuing to sharpen his skills as a pass blocker.

"My main focus is run blocking," he said. "I'm tall and that's awesome with pass blocking, but it's kind of my curse with run blocking. I've got to get really low, so I can get under people and get good leverage. That's my main thing to work on this summer."

With his summer schedule almost set, Kuempel will surely get plenty of practice. After making a trip to the NIKE Camp in Iowa City, where he ran a personal-best 5.25 40 time, he traveled to camps at Kansas State and Kansas in the last week. He made a one-day stop in Ames, and now will start out on a Big 10 swing to Iowa, Purdue and Wisconsin.

His KU offer could mean a change in focus for Kuempel.

"I was offered by Kansas two days ago at their camp on Saturday," he said. "Now I'm a football player. I'm still going to play basketball. It's important, because as a football player I need to have that athletic ability."

Meanwhile, ISU appears to be taking a wait-and-see approach with the offensive tackle prospect.

"They're very interested, but told me that they're not in the position to make an early offer," Kuempel said. "I'm fine with that. They need to see me at tackle some this year. I'm just going to play my best and I'm sure some good things will happen for me.

"I'm going to finish up the summer and see what happens, then focus on my football season. Hopefully I'll be able to start thinking about it more a couple games into the season."

Monday padded camp notes

As it turns out, two of the campers on hand Monday are younger brothers of current Cyclone players -- one a senior and the other a junior.

Redshirt freshman Caleb Berg's brother Miles was on hand once again, and did much of his work with the defensive backs. ISU coaches will likely take a wait-and-see approach with Miles, compiling senior tape and before making a decision on him.

Freshman Nick Frere's younger brother also made the trip to Ames. Nate Frere proved to be a beast in one-on-one drills as a defensive lineman. He sports a different frame than his older brother, and looks more like a younger version of Nick Leaders. It's still unclear where he could end up at the next level, but look for junior-to-be Nate Frere to emerge as a hotly-contested prospect over the next 12 months.

After reporting last night for the start of the first padded camp, West Des Moines Dowling's Trent Flander took the afternoon session off for a session with recruiting guru Tom Lemming. The 6-foot-4, 235-pound Flander is expected back for all of the Tuesday sessions.

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