Hawkeyes Sign Four Top Student-Athletes

Dec. 3, 2007

IOWA CITY, IA – Iowa Men’s Golf Coach Mark Hankins announced today that Jared Walahoski, Brad George, Chris Brant and Barrett Kelpin have signed National Letters of Intent to attend the University of Iowa.

Jared Walahoski is a native of Urbandale, IA, and attends Johnston High School. Walahoski led his high school team in scoring average all four years and received all-state honors during his junior and senior years. In July 2007, Walahoski won the Iowa Men’s Amateur Championship at the Harvester Golf Club, becoming the youngest winner in the 105-year history of the event. He is ranked as the 265th and 295th-best junior golfer in the nation according to golfweek.com and AJGA.org, respectively. Jared is also a National Honor Society member.

Walahoski says: “I like Coach Hankins and his plans for the future, especially his commitment to winning Big Ten Conference and NCAA Championships. Additionally, Coach Hankins’ commitment to training and fitness will help me reach my full potential as a golfer. I am also excited to compete in the Big Ten Conference and play a competitive national tournament schedule. The University of Iowa offers great academics in a great environment.”

“Jared is a great athlete with tremendous potential,” said Coach Hankins. “He has continued to work his way up the rankings and by winning the Iowa Men’s Amateur Championship showed his competiveness and focus against the state’s best players. He is a leader and we are excited to have him as a Hawkeye.”

Brad George attends Linn Mar High School and resides in Marion, IA. George received first team all-conference honors all four years of high school and was named first team all-state his junior and senior years. George was the top-rated junior golfer in Iowa in 2007 by Junior Golf Scoreboard. He is rated as the 229th and 237th best junior golfer in the country, according to golfweek.com and NGJS.com, respectively. In addition, Brad was a member of the 2006 Linn Mar basketball team that captured the state championship.

George says: “I chose Iowa because I have great respect for Coach Hankins and the program he is building. Since I was little, I have always been a Hawkeye fan. Getting the chance to play for Iowa will be awesome. When it comes to the University of Iowa, there is no better school!”

“Brad continued his steady play and improvement throughout this past summer and fall,” said Coach Hankins. “He has represented the state of Iowa on the national scene and comes from a strong junior golf program in the Cedar Rapids area. He loves the game of golf and The University of Iowa, and will be a great addition to our team.”

Chris Brant is a native of Edwardsville, IL, and attends Edwardsville Senior High School. Brant was named first team all-conference all four years of high school and was named the Alton Telegraph Player of the Year after finishing third at the large school state tournament his sophomore year. Also, he was named the St. Louis Post Dispatch Player of the Year after he finished 18th at the large school state tournament his junior year. He is ranked as the 178th and 145th-best junior golfer in the nation according to golfweek.com and AJGA.org, respectively. Chris is a member of National Honor Society and holds a 4.17 GPA on a 4.0 scale.

Brant says: “I chose The University of Iowa because of its wonderful academic reputation. I will be able to earn a great education. I also chose Iowa because of the top-notch golf program. Coach Hankins is a great coach that has an outstanding track record. I feel that I can grow both as a person and as a player under his tutelage. Additionally, the competition in the Big Ten is second to none and this will also help me grow as a player.”

“Chris is a first-rate student-athlete that has continued to show improvement throughout his junior career,” said Coach Hankins. “He is an excellent student of the game and a leader among his peers. He comes from a strong area of golf and has accomplished much success on the local, statewide, and national levels. We are excited to have him as a Hawkeye.”

Barrett Kelpin attends Loy Norrix High School and resides in Kalamazoo, MI. Kelpin was selected to the Michigan All-State Super Team (top eight high school golfers in the state) his junior year after finishing fifth at the state tournament. He finished second at the 2007 Michigan Junior Amateur Stroke Play and fourth at the 2007 AJGA Midwest Junior Players Championship. Kelpin is rated as the 249th and 184th-best junior golfer in the nation according to NJGS.com and AJGA.org, respectively. Additionally, Barrett is a member of National Honor Society.

Kelpin says: “I like Coach Hankins; especially the way he runs his team and how much he wants to win. I want to win and I like the chance to help Iowa get back to a winning tradition. The academics at Iowa were a major factor in my decision, also. I will get a great education there while golfing and that is very important to me.”

“Barrett has produced some very low competitive scores and continues to show that he can compete with the best juniors in the country,” said Coach Hankins. “His success on the statewide level brought many accolades and his work ethic and academic focus make him a perfect fit here at the University of Iowa.”

“Overall, I am excited about the potential of this, my first recruiting class here at the University of Iowa,” said Coach Hankins. “Each of these young men have outstanding junior records, including extensive national tournament experience and high national rankings. Collectively, they are a diverse group that will push each other to be the best.”