Even with the July evaluation period just weeks away and an entire year-plus of the recruiting process potentially to follow, Spirit Lake (Iowa.) 2019 center Owen Coburn was ready to make his decision. Taking an unofficial visit to South Dakota State on Tuesday, Coburn made the call and opted to become a Jackrabbit. 

“It was the relationship with the coaches,” Coburn told NY2LA Sports. “They reached out to me and parents and I just had a great relationship with the coaches and players."  Coburn had other offers from Drake and North Dakota. 

Notifying head coach T.J. Otzelberger of his commitment personally, Coburn caught South Dakota State off guard.  “They were really happy,” said Coburn. “They were mostly surprised because it was so early. But I really wanted to just form a tighter relationship with them over the next two years.” 

Coburn made three unofficial visits to South Dakota State in total.  “The first couple times were really good,” he said. “So I knew going in that was I was going to commit today. They’re updating the facilities, so when I get up there, they’ll have a brand new practice facility. That made a big impression on me too.” 

Iowa and Northern Iowa were also showing interest in Coburn this summer. However, the 6-foot-10, 205-pound center was too comfortable in Brookings.  “The tight relationship was just too much to overcome,” he said. “They offered early and that built the relationship really quickly.” 

Since taking over the program, Otzelberger has lived in the NY2LA Sports Association, signing alums Alex Arians (Wisconsin Swing), Alou Dillon (Playground Elite), Matt Dentlinger (Martin Bros.), and Ryan Krueger (Wisconsin Swing) in the 2017 recruiting class. Grabbing another in Coburn, Otzelberger believes Coburn could help replace the reigning Summit League Player of the Year. 

“They want me to step in and take Mike Daum’s spot,” said Coburn. “I’m not thinking that far ahead though. Just enjoying the moment.”

Coburn plays with Martin Bros. during the travel season.