Division one-bound CF athletes

Jared Hylton/Sports Editor

Barkley Hill and Ben Challgren celebrate a touchdown against Muscatine.

Being a student-athlete isn’t a walk in the park. Finding the right balance between school, sports, friends and other extra-curricular activities can be challenging. But for those of us who are lucky enough to turn the heads of college scouts, the admission process becomes a lot trickier, and eventually, more rewarding too.

For many student-athletes, the first step to putting themselves on the map is to put together a highlight reel of their previous season and send it to coaches around the nation. Many of these athletes saw varsity playing time as sophomores, or in rare cases, as freshmen. One of the few people to successfully make the transition is sophomore Ross Pierschbacher, who started at left tackle for the football team as a freshman. And turn heads Pierschbacher did. He has successfully landed himself on the radars of many Division I college teams. Pierschbacher isn’t the only one to get himself national attention though.

Senior running back Barkley Hill has committed to Iowa State for next season, though he declined to comment on the recruiting process.

Ben Challgren is another senior to commit to Division I from the Tiger football team. Challgren is a linebacker and Duke-bound for the 2012-2013 school year where he plans on majoring in economics.

“[In the recruiting process], you’re a piece of meat being run through the system and processed,” Challgren said.

Challgren will be the only Iowan on the team next season.

“Being a football recruit made the admission process a lot different for me than most students. I had the benefit of the football team backing my application, so it really helps when trying to get into a top-tier academic school,” Challgren said.

Besides having the opportunity to play Division I football and have the opportunity to compete for a national championship, Challgren chose Duke for its academic prestige. “The whole process was really fun. I got to see some of the best academic institutions in the country. It’s the kind of opportunity kids dream about.” He said he hopes to maintain a high GPA and play four or five years of football.

For student-athletes, college athletics is the next step. It increases one’s overall maturity, teamwork and how to react in pressure situations—all skills that will help later in life. For most, it is the first time they have the opportunity to compete on the national level. For these select athletes, college athletics is the building block for what is yet to come.

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