We last spoke with Caleb Benning back in April when he picked up an Iowa Football scholarship offer during a campus visit. He told us then that he was open to the Hawkeyes even though he's a Nebraska legacy.
The 2024 Omaha (NE) Westside High Athlete showed as much Sunday when he returned to campus for Iowa's annual recruiting tailgater. While his April stop proved a bit hectic with Iowa going through spring drills, this experience provided a more intimate setting
"This time around, I got the full tour and really got to take my time," Benning told HN. "There were only 20 some recruits, so everything was a lot less general. In all honesty, I actually liked the non-football stuff this time - the education piece, eating in the city and just learning more about the Iowa experience."
Caleb's father, Damon Benning, won four letters playing running back at Nebraska in the mid-1990s. He played on two national championship teams.
Sunday marked the third visit for Caleb to one of the Huskers' main rivals in the Big Ten West Division. He spent it continuing to build a bond with Hawkeye assistant coach LeVar Woods, who helped the Hawkeyes land receiver Keagan Johnson, another Nebraska legacy, in the '21 recruiting class.
"My conversations with coach Woods are about life. Obviously, within football, but just where I've been this summer and how it's going. He even asked me about my girl's life, which made me laugh. He's just a genuine guy," Caleb Benning said.
Iowa is recruiting Benning (5-11, 185) as a defensive back. Defensive coordinator Phil Parker coaches the secondary for the Hawkeyes.
"I also talked with coach Parker. We talked defensive stuff. Whenever I get the chance to sit down with him and watch football, I don't want to stop. His track record of successful DB's is crazy, but understanding what goes behind it is intriguing," Benning said.
Benning isn't close to ending his recruitment. He's still building relationships with college coaches and learning about schools.
While there's still plenty of time on the clock, the Hawkeyes are positioned to be in it until the end.
"Iowa is for sure up there; just the effort they've shown and the connections I've built are great," Benning said.
He plans on returning this fall for an Iowa game. It might be for the night game against Nevada on Sept. 17.
"The big thing I honestly want to experience is simply the atmosphere. I watch the big games on TV and can get a feel for the crowd, but to really be there is different," Benning said.
The Lincoln (NE) Journal-Star named Benning (6-0, 180) to its first-team Super-State team this fall, the only sophomore on the squad. He played both ways for Westside, recording 68 tackles (55.0 solo, 4.0 for loss) with six passes defended and four interceptions as a defensive back. He caught two touchdowns as a receiver, averaged 23.0 yards on six kick returns and 19.9 yards on 17 punt returns.
Rivals ranks Benning as a three-star recruit. The service sees him as the No. 3 player overall in Nebraska in the '24 class.
Watch Benning's sophomore highlights HERE.