CEDAR FALLS — Even the best Major League Baseball hitters have had their knees buckled by a devastating curve ball.
Cedar Falls’ star wide receiver Logan Wolf had one thrown at him last week.
Committed to the University of Northern Iowa football team since August, the 6-foot-4, 185-pound Wolf saw his stock rise following perhaps the best season in Tiger program history — 71 catches for 1,221 yards and 22 touchdowns.
Wolf also rushed 24 times for 216 yards and a score, and he averaged 16.5 yards per punt return, returning three punts for touchdowns.
His numbers and physical attributes brought Iowa coaches Kirk Ferentz and Reece Morgan to Wolf’s doorstep last week. A scholarship offer soon followed.
“They hadn’t said they were going to offer,” Wolf said Wednesday.
But after visiting Iowa City over the weekend, Wolf called UNI head coach Mark Farley Wednesday, told him he was staying in Cedar Falls and signed a national letter of intent.
Wolf is one of 12 players the Panthers signed Wednesday, and a couple more could be added before this signing period ends Friday. Farley said he expects to add three or more at the second signing day Feb. 6.
“The Logan Wolf one puts the icing on the whole class,” Farley said. “A tremendous family. A tremendous athlete and a tremendous young man. He is going to get a huge opportunity here, and I know he made our football team better today, not just on the football field, but overall in all the other things he will bring to our team.”
UNI had many things in its favor in regard to Wolf, especially allowing him to join Ben Jacobson’s men’s basketball team during the football team’s off-season.
There were other factors, too.
His dad, Paul, played football at UNI from 1991 to 1994 and was an all-Gateway Conference performer in 1994.
“Coach Farley and coach McCann (Wide receivers coach Pat McCann) did a great job of recruiting him,” Paul Wolf said. “He has a great relationship with them. Thrilled. He made a great decision.”
Paul Wolf said both UNI and Iowa recruited Logan as a receiver.
“UNI was in all the way from the beginning,” Paul added. “But I will tell you a couple of things about Kirk Ferentz and Reece Morgan, the two guys who recruited him. Great guys, great football coaches and they treated him unbelievably this past week. Logan had an opportunity to go play there, and it came down to what was a better fit for him, and I think it was UNI in his mind.
“... There is no doubt Logan could play in the Big Ten, I don’t doubt that at all with a lot of work. At the same time, he had to go with his gut, and his gut was with UNI.”
His current teammate, Jack Campbell, who signed with Iowa on Wednesday to play linebacker, tried to sway Wolf to join him in Iowa City.
“A few phone calls,” Campbell said sheepishly. “But I’m so proud of Logan and everything he has done. I wish him the best in his college career. I’m just excited to see one of my teammates succeed.”
After being committed to the Panthers for the better part of five months, Wolf said the past seven to 10 days were stressful. In the end, it came down to relationships he had developed with UNI’s coaches, in particular McCann, who will enter his third season at UNI in 2019 and is likely one of the top candidates to be promoted to offensive coordinator after the departure of John Bond.
“It was really tough,” Logan said. “With Pat McCann, I have a great relationship with him, and I really want to be coached by him, and I can’t wait to do that.”
In addition to Wolf, UNI’s top targets came at linebacker and defensive back.
Iowa Central Community College linebacker Spencer Cuvelier, a Cresco native with three years of eligibility left, was another a big get. With a pair of FBS offers on the table, the 6-foot-3, 240-pound Cuvelier joins Council Bluffs Thomas Jefferson’s Cameron Baker and North Polk’s Caleb Lomica as one of a trio of linebackers UNI signed.
“You talk to the people he’s played with or coached him, and they all say he brings everybody’s level of play up when they play with him, and that is exactly what we need on defense,” Farley said of Cuvelier.
At defensive back, the Panthers added Houston native Edwin Dearman and Butler Community College transfer safety Micah Mayberry. Mayberry and Tristan Roper, one of three offensive linemen signed, are from Blue Springs South High School, the same program that produced tight end Briley Moore.