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Ankeny’s JJ Kohl wants to build something special at Iowa State

Ankeny’s JJ Kohl wants to build something special at Iowa State
Ankeny High junior quarterback JJ Kohl (12) drops back on a pass attempt against visiting Southeast Polk. The Rams fell to the Hawks, 21-7. (Credit: Lee Navin/For the Register)

ANKENY, Iowa (BVM) – The Iowa State Cyclones may have gotten their quarterback of the future following JJ Kohl’s verbal commitment to play football at ISU. The four-star quarterback from the Class of 2023 announced via Twitter that he would be playing his college football in Ames.

“I feel like Iowa State is the best place for me,” Kohl said. “Coach Campbell, Coach Gordon and Coach Manning, those are some special guys there and I’m fired up that I get to work around them and work with them.”

For Kohl, it’s a chance to live out a childhood dream of playing Division I football as well as be a part of something special that is growing at Iowa State. The Cyclones have been on the rise since head coach Matt Campbell came to Ames and Kohl has taken notice. 

“I feel like Iowa State has come a long way and Coach Campbell has done some great things with the program,” Kohl said. 

Along with bringing a Big 12 championship back to Ames, Kohl wants to continue the legacy that former Cyclones have started. That includes taking Iowa State football even further than they have. 

“Ultimately I just want to continue to grow Iowa State,” Kohl said. “This last senior class that kind of built up Brock Purdy, Charlie Kolar they kind of built up Iowa State a little bit and I just want to continue that success.” 

It is that goal of building up Cyclone football that has already gotten Kohl to start reaching out to fellow recruits. Kohl believes in what Iowa State is doing and wants to promote that to others. 

“I feel like Iowa State is in a great place in my opinion to get high name recruits,” Kohl said. “I’m reaching out to a lot of guys and trying to help out with that recruiting process.”

That includes his new teammate at Ankeny High School, Jamison Patton. Patton is a three-star recruit who transferred to Ankeny from Roosevelt High School to focus on playing defensive back, the position he is being recruited for by the colleges.

Iowa State recruits, from left: Jalyn Thompson of Dowling Catholic, Alex Mota of Marion, JJ Kohl of Ankeny, Jamison Patton of Ankeny, Kaidan Ivory of Waukee Northwest and Jaekwon Bradley of Des Moines Roosevelt watch the Cyclones warm up prior to kickoff against Iowa at Jack Trice Stadium in Ames on Saturday, Sept. 11, 2021.

Patton is being recruited by both Iowa and Iowa State and since they began practicing together to prepare for the season, Kohl has talked to Patton. 

“I’ve been talking with him a little about it; I think it would be cool if we’d be able to play with each other in college,” Kohl said 

However, the main goal for both players is to bring another state title back to Ankeny. The Hawks were already going to have a great team this fall and the addition of Patton only makes the Hawks’ chances of getting back to the UNI-Dome even better. 

“I’m fired up,” Kohl said. “I’m really looking forward to it. I’ve been throwing a lot recently with a lot of my teammates and I can tell we’re fired up to get into football mode. It’s crazy to think that our first game is going to be in just over three months.” 

It’s crazy because it wasn’t that long ago that Kohl and Ankeny were playing in the IAHSAA Class 5A state championship game against Southeast Polk High School. The Hawks lost 24-7, but that was the season Kohl began to make a name for himself. 

“Last season was a really cool season,” Kohl said. “I grew a ton, I developed a lot, I learned the game a lot and developed some relationships with some really good people.” 

The 6-foot-6, 225 pound quarterback was electric for the Hawks. Kohl threw for 2,185 yards and 25 touchdowns, leading Ankeny to a 10-3 record. Kohl was named an Under Armour All-American and received a majority of his Division I offers. 

It was the culmination of years of hard work that Kohl had put towards achieving his dream of playing Division I football.

“It was always my dream to play Division I football,” Kohl said. “I always believed in myself and I always thought that I could play at the Division I level.” 

Now Kohl’s focus is on winning a state championship and preparing for Iowa State. He has been spending countless hours with Hawks coaches Brady Walz and Adam Nelson, studying film and working on his mechanics. 

Kohl is one of the top quarterbacks in the country, one of the top recruits in Iowa for the Class of 2023 and is an All-American. He has a bright future not just this season with Ankeny, but also in Ames and there is no doubt he will have a good chance of accomplishing one of his bigger goals. 

“I want to win a Big 12 championship,” Kohl said.

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