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Huff a Hawkeye at heart

BY PATRICK RAFFERTY | JANUARY 20, 2010 7:30 AM

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A swift swimmer since he was 6, freshman swimmer Jordan Huff may be Iowa’s most touted recruit in years.

At 16, Huff was the fastest under-18 long-course swimmer nationwide, winning a national title in the 100-meter freestyle. That year he also made the U.S. National junior team with current teammate Paul Gordon.

With prestigious accolades to his name, he decided to attend Iowa the summer before his senior year at Dubuque Senior High in order to focus on his immediate future.

“I really wanted to get that decision out of the way, so I wouldn’t be thinking about it during the school year,” he said. “It wouldn’t affect my grades, and it wouldn’t affect my performance at state.”

Huff’s team won the state title the following season, capping a prep career in which he became a 10-time All-American and an eight-time all-state honoree.

Receiving college interest letters since his junior year, Huff had offers to attend almost any institution he wanted.

Raised in a swimming family that introduced him to the sport early, he always thought it would be cool to be a college swimmer.

He never forgot where his heart was, though.

“The decision to come here was the easiest decision I’ve ever made,” he said. “I honestly couldn’t think of going anywhere other than Iowa. When I went on other visits, it didn’t feel the same. I didn’t feel the same connection to the team or the campus. I’ve been a lifelong Hawkeye fan.”

While growing up, Huff swam for the Dubuque Area Swimming Hurricanes, where he found his strongest motivators — his mother and club coach Doug Colin.

But he started seeing huge time drops while at Dubuque Senior. Following his success both there and at the U.S. Nationals, Huff realized he could compete in college.

“Swimming there made me more confident in myself that I’ll actually contribute to a Division-I school,” he said. “I wouldn’t want to go and kid myself. Swimming those times definitely made me feel more confident that I could go to Iowa and help out.”

Iowa assistant coach Frannie Malone noticed his unique talent almost instantaneously. She cites Huff’s large physique, work ethic, and strong Iowa ties as keys to his success.

“He was a top recruit,” she said. “I think he’s somebody anybody would have liked to have gotten. He’s an in-state talent, which you always want to keep.

“Above all, he was a Hawkeye. He was a Hawkeye fan at heart, and that’s what’s really going to carry him through to be successful.”

While watching Huff during his first season with Iowa, assistant coach Kirk Hampleman noticed the freshman’s natural will to win.

“He’ll throw down anywhere,” he said. “If you could have the Olympics in a backyard swimming pool, he’d be there.”


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