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Pelini Visits Pair of JUCO Targets   

FAU is in the midst of a bye week, and if that allows for one thing, it’s for the coaches to hit the road recruiting. Carl Pelini has spent the past two days recruiting the midwest, and yesterday he was at one of the top junior college programs in the country.

Pelini visited Iowa Western Community College where he talked with offensive lineman Travis Zimmerman and tight end Brock Hinkel. The Owl’s are expected to lose a handful of offensive linemen and a pair of tight ends to graduation at the end of the season –– which means those are two priorities for FAU.

Zimmerman (pictured right) is a 6-foot-4, 285-pound lineman and a two-year starter for Iowa Western. He’s been hearing from a of host of FBS programs and holds offers from Northern Iowa, Old Dominion and Illinois State. Pelini’s visit marks the first time a head coach had traveled to see Zimmerman, and according to the prospect, that was a positive.

“We talked for about 10 minutes after practice with our tight end and he said he would call me later this week about setting up an official visit,” Zimmerman said. “He said he loves how I play and my intelligence… They lose their starting center, so they need a center for next year.”

Zimmerman played guard last season for an Iowa Western squad that won the National Junior College Athletic Association Championship. This year, he’s moved to center and helped his team to a 7-1 record and a No. 4 ranking in the NJCAA polls.

Hinkel is a 6-foot-5, 250-pound blocking tight end that doubles as a target in the passing game. While he’s not as heavily recruited as Zimmerman, his size and ability to block on the edge is something that isn’t found at the high school level.

According to Zimmerman, Pelini would like both players to visit in the coming months and is actively recruiting the pair of friends.

“It’s pretty cool” Zimmerman said. “We grew up five miles down the road from each other in high school, and we’re really close.”

Zimmerman and Hinkel are natives of Iowa and ended up at Iowa Western after being under-recruited in high school. Iowa Western has recently become a one-stop shop for college coaches, as 31 players have signed with FBS programs over the past two years.

“We get so many feeder programs that come here, that our coaches are starting to do things the right way. They’re developing kids the right way here, both on and off the field… It fits a lot of ways other coaches are trying to run their program” Zimmerman said.

Zimmerman’s highlights can be seen here, while Hinkel’s are available here.