Pressure doesn't faze Tyler Kluver
Future Hawkeyes player and UA Game selection doesn't get rattled in the clutch
There were only two snaps left in the competition to determine the two long snappers for the Under Armour All-America game. They were aptly titled pressure snaps.
Already holding a tenuous lead in the contest, all Tyler Kluver (Marshalltown, Iowa/Marshalltown) had to do was connect on both attempts to secure his spot in the game.
Some might consider that a nerve-wracking moment. But not Kluver, who experienced a similar situation as a freshman when an injury to the team's starting long snapper pressed him into action in the middle of a state semifinal contest. Having already lived through that experience, those two pressure snaps for the UA Game hardly dread a bead of sweat down the 6-foot, 213-poundrs forehead.
"I knew if I made those two pressure snaps I was going to take it home," Kluver said. "It kind of plays into your mind a little bit. Snapping is like kicking; those two positions are not like any other. You just got to know in your head you have the ability to do it and repeat that every time.
"I guess on that day I was mentally focused and locked in."
Kluver scored a 57 out of a possible 60 points and won the competition by four. On Wednesday, he received the greatest reward to come from that summer camp as he was awarded his game jersey as part of the American Family Insurance Selection Tour for the 2013 Under Amour All-America Game.
"When I was the first selection [among long snappers] for the Under Armour Game it almost didn't feel real," Kluver said. "I had been to the same camp the year before and lost to the two snappers from the 2012 class."
Kluver didn't begin long snapping until the seventh grade. His uncle snapped at Iowa State, but Kluver only picked up the position because he was one of the few that could do it accurately on his team. He served as Marshalltown's backup varsity snapper as a freshman and was not called upon for nearly the entire season.
As fate would have it, the team's starter blew out his knee during the state semis and Kluver was called upon to snap for the remainder of the game as well as the state championship the following week.
Don't ask Kluver for details on that semifinal contest, though.
"I can't even remember," he said, "because I was so in the moment."
The two-star prospect and the nation's No. 4-ranked long snappers is committed to Iowa as a walk-on. Kluver first visited the Hawkeyes in August for a scrimmage and has been to every home game since. He told the coaching staff he wanted to be a Hawkeye before the Northern Iowa game on Sept. 15.
Iowa coaches told Kluver the plan is for him to learn under a senior snapper as a freshman before becoming the starter as a sophomore and taking his predecessor's scholarship.
Kluver contemplated holding out for a scholarship from an FBS program, and he said Iowa State, North Texas and Wyoming may have offered had he remained uncommitted.
Living less than two hours from Kinnick Stadium, however, Kluver always hoped he would be a Hawkeye.
"Growing up I always wanted to play for the Iowa Hawkeyes," he said. "It was a dream."